The tour starts at the tall, slim fountain of Sloten. A pile of dark, plastic containers, with atop of it a man with a girl on his shoulders. She is holding a peewit, an endangered bird. The containers symbolise water, abundant in some parts of the world, but extremely scarce elsewhere. From this unique fountain, we head eastwards, where we walk on the bulwark for a bit. On the bridge you get a glimpse of Sloten, with its beautiful façades and old cobbled streets.
On the other side of the bridge, on the right, you will see a cannon, used in the defence of this once very important city. Due to its location, Sloten was strategically of great importance to Friesland and needed considerable defence. Now the cannon points to the lovely rolling landscape, with practically no signs of pollution by humans. It’s green wherever you look.
On your left you will see one of the three churches of Sloten. We walk behind it and there, along the outskirts of the village, are the famous clotheslines of Sloten. In the past, on this green, people left their linen outside to get bleached by the sun. Sloten is built very compactly, and only at the edge of the town there is enough space, sun and wind to let the laundry dry. It looks nice and it saves on energy!
Follow this path until you can turn left into Dubbelstraat. On your left and right you will see lovely houses, but the highlight is yet to come.
Cross the canal and turn right. The façades in this street are real gems. Because the city used to be so important, a lot of time and money was put into the houses, to make them stand out. You can see this in the centuries-old stepped gables and clock gables. Behind one of these beautiful façades, you will find the VVV tourist office and Museum Sloten, housed in the former town hall of Sloten. The museum offers a surprising view on the city’s history and in its attic you will find Laterna Magica: the most beautiful collection of magic lanterns in the Netherlands.
Continue your way along the water and cross the first bridge you pass. This bridge is not suitable for buggies or people who have difficulty walking, although that somewhat applies to all bridges in Sloten. You should be able to climb stairs for this bridge.
When on the other side of the water, continue the route to the south side of the stronghold. Here you will find the marina Lemsterpoort, with behind it the beautiful flourmill. At the foot of the Lemsterpoort is a pillory, which reminds of the time when Sloten could pass and execute sentences.
Behind flourmill De Kaai there is a small field with a large cannon. Sloten still has an active town crier, named Pieter Haringsma. In the high season, Pieter calls the city together every Friday evening for the traditional firing of the canon on the grounds of flourmill De Kaai. The cannon is fired by the “shooter’s guild” of Sloten, who wear traditional attire.
If you keep following the road, you will arrive at the fountain again. The end of the route! On to the next city. All restaurants and cafés of Sloten can be found here.