Our route through Workum starts on a lawn at the waterside. Two huge lions (that almost appear to be made of chocolate) welcome you, with the impressive church in the background.
Leave the grass and follow the street Begine to the Merk (market). You will pass a pottery where they make Workum Pottery and use a special Frisian carving technique. Take a look inside, if you get the chance.
If you keep walking, you will get to the market square. This is a beautiful part of Workum and very lively in the summer, with all the café terraces. One of the gorgeous building on the square is the Waag, the former weighing house, which bears Workum’s coat of arms. Do you spot the lions? These days, the Waag houses Museum Warkums Erfskip, which has recently been completely renovated. To the left of the Waag, in a unique gateway, you will find the ‘gable stone wall’. A creative way to preserve and exhibit the beautiful gable stones.
The square is also the location of the impressive ‘cathedral of Workum’, the Saint Gertrudis Church. This is the largest late-Gothic cruciform church in Friesland, with the largest windows in the province. The interior of the church is sober, but impressive, with beautiful wood carvings and stained glass. But what is most special in this church are the beautifully painted biers; works of art in themselves. Large for adults and small for children. Nine of the twelve biers you can see here are guild biers, which belonged to the guilds. You can recognize them by the paintings of bakers, millers, carpenters, skippers, surgeons and farmers.
We continue our way, around the church, to the Nonnestrjitte (‘street of nuns’), where with a little imagination you can still see them walking, the old nuns. We arrive at the Tower of Workum, an unfinished tower made of red bricks. The tower has three bells; the weeper, the comforter and the cheerer. There is also a more modern carillon that plays tunes every day.
We will now walk through Súd, a street with some shops and many interesting houses. Clock gables, stepped gables, saddle roofs... No two houses are alike here. Súd takes you in southern direction. We pass the tower again and will now continue on Noard. After a short walk, you will find the Jopie Huisman Museum on your left. The famous Jopie Huisman was a Workum painter, and a merchant in old iron and lamps. This museum is one of the most popular museums in Friesland and is housed in a couple of beautiful, modernized Workum buildings.
If you continue straight ahead on Noard, you will arrive at the church Sint Werenfriduskerk, a neo-Gothic giant towering high above the town. Turn right in front of the church to see a conservation area of Workum. A street with charming little houses.
At the end of this street, you will encounter the ‘Eleven Cities Point’, a historic landmark. If you turn right a little before that, Houtmôlestreekje will take you to Dôltewâl, where you will pass a small marina. At the end of this street, you arrive back at where you started this tour. The artistic lions in front of the ‘Cathedral of Workum’. All restaurants and cafés in Workum can be found here.