Sneek is situated in Southwest-Friesland, close to the Sneekermeer and is well known for its canals, the Waterpoort, and watersport. Sneek is one of the Friese elf steden. The city is very important for the southwest area of Friesland.
Sneek was founded in the 10th century on a sandy peninsula at the crossing site of a dike with an important waterway (called the Magna Fossa in old documents). This waterway was dug when the former Middelzee silted up. The dike can still be traced in the current street pattern and street names like "Hemdijk", "Oude Dijk" and "Oosterdijk".
Sneek received several city rights in the 13th century, which became official in 1456. Sneek was now one of the eleven Frisian cities. This was also the beginning of a period of blooming trade for the city that would last until about 1550. In 1492 construction of a moat and wall around the city began. In those days Sneek was the only walled city in Friesland. The Waterpoort and the Bolwerk remain today.
Before 2011, the city was an independent municipality.
Since September 10, 1970, Sneek and the Japanese city Kurobe have been sister cities. In 1970, Mayor L. Rasterhoff of Sneek visited the city of Kurobe and was named an Honorary citizen. Mayor H. Terade of Kurobe made a visit to Sneek in 1972. In 2000 delegations of both cities visited each other again. The Japanese showed the citizens of Sneek a "Sneekplein" which was built in Kurobe.
Sneek has its own dialect that dates back to the Dutch language before 1600. Snekers is part of the stadsfries dialects.
The famous clothingstore C&A started in 1841 with a store in Sneek. The Candyfactory Leaf produces Peppermint under the name KING as well as chewing gum (Sportlife) and various other sweets. The name "KING" has nothing to do with the English word KING, it stands for 'Kwaliteit in niets geëvenaard'("Quality equaled by nothing"). Also Sneek has a Steel, Machinery and a Rope factory. Since 1964 there's a factory of Yoshida YKK from Kurobe. Besides that, the Supermarket branch Poiesz, Clothing brand Gaastra and Frisian gin called beerenburg from Weduwe Joustra are products that have their roots in Sneek.
Sneek is well known as the center of watersports with over 130 watersport companies and 13 Marinas. It also it has a historic inner city replete with houses of old upper-class families.
The following roads connect Sneek with other cities:
Sneek is accessible by public transport; buses and trains are operated by Arriva.
The following waterways connect Sneek with other cities.
On the following parking places you can park your car:
In 2010 there will be a Cultural Quarter, The municipality has made plans to connect various Cultural areas into one big Cultural Quarter. The total costs of the plans are about €35,000,000 and include
The Culture Award of Sneek is called The Silver Ball and has been awarded 11 times. The award is given annually to a person that has done an improvement/good job on the areas of Music and Culture for Sneek and its surroundings. Some of the winners are:
Sneek has eleven primary schools and three high schools
Ida Hoekema Ietje Hinje (1967), Tourist & Venidera in Bergondo ( Galiza)
Sneek has around 14.000 houses. Half of those houses are rental houses. There are new projects in different neighbourhoods.
In 1519-1520, the Frisian warlord and freedom fighter Pier Gerlofs Donia spent his last days in Sneek. Donia died peacefully in bed at Grootzand (Sneek) (nl) 12 on 18 October 1520. Pier is buried in Sneek in the 15th-century Groote Kerk (also called the Martinikerk). His tomb is located on the north side of the church.
This quaint little city has a shopping center that is walker and biker friendly. There are high-end clothing stores, restaurants, bars, music stores, cafes, coffee shops, and an old-fashioned candy store.