The route starts at the Bat Fountain, designed by artist Johan Kreten. The dark bat spews water, like gargoyles used to do on the façades of cathedrals. The church next to this unique fountain, that is safe for children, is not a cathedral. The Broerekerk is a ruin of a monastery church that was built in the 13th century. These days, it has a roof of glass. A very unique feature, which is worth seeing.
Follow the Jongemastraat to the Broerestraat and turn left, across a small bridge. Follow the canal to the Kerkstraat, on your right. You are now walking straight to the church Martinikerk. Note that, along the way to the church, you will see a former orphanage, the Oud Burger Weeshuis, on your right. A hotel is now located in the building, behind the fence there is a green orchard.
The Martinikerk church is open for visitors, so take a look inside. You will see two stained glass windows, some frescoes, and an impressive organ. But don’t just look up, as there is much to see on the floor too. The deep reliefs of the tombstones on the floor are beautiful, but be careful not to stumble over them.
Continue the route by walking around the church, to the street Kleine Dijlakker. The façades along the canal are centuries-old and not one looks the same. In the summer, picturesque pompeblêden, the Frisian name for the leaves of water lilies, grace the canal. The lilies bloom in June. After a short walk along the canal, you arrive at Museum Gysbert Japicxhuis. This building has a beautiful stepped gable. Gysbert Japicx, poet and founder of Frisian literature, was born here.
Across the street you will find the Titus Brandsma Museum, dedicated to Titus Brandsma (1881 - 1942), father Carmelite, journalist, publisher, professor and resistance hero. Next to it is the beautiful St. Francis basilica, which is a work of art in itself.
After a short walk, turn right on the Nieuwmarkt and follow this street until you arrive at the Skilwyk, where you turn left. Follow the Dijkstraat to the Stroombootkade on your left. Follow this street until you see the distillery Sonnema on your left. Here they know the art of distilling Beerenburg! If you want to take a look inside, you need to make a reservation.
Continue the route along the water and pass friendly boat people bobbing on the canal. At the modern church Gasthuiskerk turn left, into the Witherenstraat. Here you will notice that Bolsward was built on terps (man-made mounds), because this street goes up, towards the city centre, where you will see the beautiful town hall of Bolsward. The walls of this late Renaissance-style building are covered with miniatures and proverbs in Latin. The building is currently being renovated. In 2021 it will house a new historic centre, with a library, archive, restaurant and an antiquities room.
If you turn right, you will arrive at the Broerekerk and its Bat again. But on your left, there is the shopping street with its cosy shops and cafes. Why not descend on one of the café terraces and raise your glass to the beautiful town of Bolsward? All cafes and restaurants in Bolsward can be found here.