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Bolsward - Hartwerd | Klooster Claercamppad pilgrimage trail: Circular walk 2

(15.5 km)

In the Middle Ages, Bolsward stood on an island between the Middelzee and Marneslenk estuaries. This made it easily accessible by water and the town flourished as a trading centre. In the 18th century Bolsward’s thriving dairy industry was destroyed by cattle plague. But the merchant houses, canals and churches of the Hanseatic city have been carefully preserved.

The canonisation of the Carmelite Friar Titus Brandsma, who was born on a farm on t…

In the Middle Ages, Bolsward stood on an island between the Middelzee and Marneslenk estuaries. This made it easily accessible by water and the town flourished as a trading centre. In the 18th century Bolsward’s thriving dairy industry was destroyed by cattle plague. But the merchant houses, canals and churches of the Hanseatic city have been carefully preserved.

The canonisation of the Carmelite Friar Titus Brandsma, who was born on a farm on the outskirts of the city has made the city a place of pilgrimage. Pilgrims also come to Bolsward to pay their respects to the wooden statue of Our Lady of Sevenwouden, which is believed to work miracles. When the city was looted and burned by a Saxon army, the statue survived in a way that cannot be explained and can still be seen in a side chapel of the beautiful St Francis Church on Grote Dijlakker road.

The Broerekerk church was built as the monastery church of the Friars Minor. A visit to it will take you back in time. The Franciscan Friars came to Bolsward in 1260. Large parts of the three-aisled church were destroyed by a fire. Several years ago a glass roof was installed on top of the remains of the church. The spectacular St Martin’s Church in Bolsward, which stands on the oldest mound in the town, is also worth seeing.

The road to the village of Burgwerd leads you across an ancient polder. A dike with drainage ditches was built around Hartwerd, Burgwerd and Bolsward as early as around the year 1000. The monks of the Bloemkamp and city monasteries are thought to have played an important role in this.

In 1191, a little further on from here, east of Hartwerd, three monks from Claercamp Monastery founded Olde Clooster or Bloemkamp monastery. The monastery helped build drainage systems and dikes and gained large landholdings. In 1572, Bloemkamp monastery was destroyed by the Sea Beggars. Today there is a farm named after the monastery on the mound where the monastery once stood.

Near the graveyard for the village of Hartwerd there was an outlying estate of Bloemkamp monastery known as a ‘Monckehuys’. Today there is no trace of the religious riches of the past in Hartwerd. All that remains is an exhibition of some pieces of pottery in a hiker’s hut. The church was demolished and remnants of the church tower were used to build a small bell tower that still rings once a day.

A farm track takes you past the hamlet of Ugoklooster, where there was a convent for women between 1411 and 1572. Titus Brandsma, later canonised as a saint, was born here in 1881. There is a monument to Titus in front of the farmhouse.

This circular walk is part of the Klooster Claercamppad pilgrimage trail.

Sights on this route

Starting point: Snekerpoort 21
8701 HK Bolsward
1

Broerekerk (church)

Broerekerk (church)
Broereplein 10
8701JC Bolsward
2

11Fountains Bolsward

11Fountains Bolsward
Broereplein 10
8701 JC Bolsward
3

City Hall of Bolsward

City Hall of Bolsward
Wipstraat 1
8701 HZ Bolsward
98
61
67
81
71
4

Hartwerd Bell Tower

Hartwerd Bell Tower
Kloosterweg 1
8741 KB Hartwerd
72
98
5

St Martin’s Church in Bolsward

St Martin’s Church in Bolsward
Martinikerk Bolsward
Groot Kerkhof 4
8701 HG Bolsward
52
End point: Snekerpoort 21
8701 HL Bolsward
  • 98
  • 61
  • 67
  • 81
  • 71
  • 72
  • 98
  • 52