Skip to main content
Favorites 0

IJlst: city of wood

Three churches, two mills, a museum, protected cityscape and a trainstation. One day in IJlst is easily filled. Wood is the central aspect of this city. Logs are transformed into planks, which are made into all sorts of objects. Today, IJlst is perfect to find rest before moving to the next city.

Eight tips in IJlst

De Rat, Nooitgedagt and White laundry

How a rat saws a plank

it is not yet a (Dutch) proverb and if it existed, then the millers would definetly have an answer for it. When the wind blows and put the millblades in action, the sawframes in the mill go up and down. The logs that were floating in the water flow inside and come out as planks on the other side. Wet wood has less tendency to deform. It has to be in the water for at least some years though. In this case the Geeuw, a centuries old waterway between IJlst and Sneek. Sawmill 'De Rat' is a operational mill where you can get a plank made via the authentic way and where you can experience the history of woodsawing.

Schaatsen, gereedschappen en speelgoed

Some objects last a long time. It could be that someone has a hammer in the toolbox from the 'Nooigedacht' factory that is older than the person who owns it. The same goes for old skates that are simply called 'houtjes' (woodies). The factory that makes these objects is since long gone and transformed into a museum. Besides wooden tools and skates, the factory also made metal skates like we know them today and created wooden toys before plastic became a popular resource for making toys. 

Crossing the road

We would find it quite odd to cross the road when going to your garden. But in the past, this was very normal. Maybe because there was less traffic and crossing the road with a cup of coffee or laundry was a way of making conversation with the neighbors. By the way, the basket with laundry was most certainly filled with white laundry. On a sunny day you would spread it out on the grass and the sun would do the work. At the end of the day you would take the laundry inside, completely dry. IJlst is the only place in the Netherlands were the waterside gardens have remain intact. In other towns and cities, streetnames are all that remain.

Staying the night in IJlst

Meet the other eleven cities of Friesland