Hindeloopen, Netherlands


Hindeloopen (Standard Frisian: Hylpen, Hindeloopers: Hielpen, Woudfries and Kleifries: Hynljippen) is a town in the municipality of Súdwest-Fryslân, in the Dutch province of Friesland. The city was an independent municipality until 1984.

Hindeloopen is located southwest of Workum, northwest of Koudum and north of Molkwerum. The city center is located directly on the IJsselmeer, on De Zijlroete and Indijk.

The city has a large marina in the north with some holiday homes, and in the south a larger holiday park and some campsites. The smaller old municipal fishing port later became a passer-by port of the Vereniging Hylper Haven.

In 2020 the city had 870 inhabitants, of which more than 70 live in the relatively large outskirts of the city. After Sloten, the city is the smallest of the Frisian eleven cities. Hindeloopen has a dialect that differs strongly from Westerlauwers Frisian, Hindeloopers, which is mainly distinguished from it by preserving the medieval vowels.



Hindeloopen originated as a small settlement, but quickly grew into a not insignificant place. In the 12th century, a copy of a document from 822 listed the place as Hitinkufe and Hintinlvofe. In the same century, a copy of a document from 825 was listed as Hindahlop.

In a forged document from the 13th century the place was mentioned as Hindelepum, in 1398 as Hinlopen, in 1436 as Hindelopen, in 1486-1487 as Hindelepen, in 1579 as Hindelopen. The place name would refer to the jump (hlop) of the doe (hinda). The place would have been created where deer horses.

Hindeloopen was granted city rights in 1225 and is one of the eleven Frisian cities. Despite the fact that the city had no port, but only a roadstead in the Zuiderzee, Hindeloopen was an important trading place for a long time. The Hindelooper Grootschippers sailed in their flute ships to the Baltic Sea to trade. They sold many Dutch products such as gin and woolen fabrics in the Baltic countries. On the return trip to Hindeloopen, wood was transported to Amsterdam and the Zaanstreek. The special living culture, Hindelooper painting and Hinderlooper costume also stem from this period.

The city's heyday was between 1650 and 1790, when Hindeloopen owned a large fleet of more than eighty ships. According to local tax data from 1749, the city had 1600 inhabitants. The capital 17th and 18th century captain's houses still show how rich the Hindeloopers were. Later, during the Napoleonic era, Hindeloopen became poor due to trade restrictions and increasingly became a fishing town. The fishing vessels carried the letter code HI.

Hindeloopen formed an independent municipality, until it was merged in 1984 with Workum, Stavoren and a large part of Hemelumer Oldeferd into the new municipality of Nijefurd. As of 1 January 2011, Hindeloopen is part of the merged municipality of Súdwest-Fryslân.


Protected city view

Part of Hindeloopen is the government protected face Hindeloopen, one of the protected city and village views in Friesland. There are also several national monuments in the city.

Although Hindeloopen is small, there are many attractions, such as:
Former town hall, now a museum
Former covered fish auction, now lying bank from 1785
The old fishing port in 2006, reconstructed after the port from 1934
The Sluis Hindeloopen is a lock and forms the connection for pleasure craft between the center and the harbor and the IJsselmeer (Jan Broerskanaal). The former Zuiderzee lock is still operated by hand. There is also a bridge across the lock.
Lock keeper's house, the Sylhús. Facade image from 1911, the "Miraculous catch of fish", on the Sluishuis. The former harbor building has an open clock (chair) tower from 1619



The city has a few churches. The most prominent church is the Grote Kerk (Hindeloopers: Graet Serke) from 1632, formerly belonging to the Reformed municipality and later to the PKN. There is also the Westertoren from 1593. Close to each other are the Grote Vermaning and the Kleine Vermaning. The Grote Vermaning is the Mennonite church and dates from 1653. The small one, also called the Likserke, has been converted into a home.

Hindeloopen used to have its own traditional costume. In the 21st century, only the folkloric singing and dancing group "Aald Hielpen" still shows the traditional costume at performances in Hindeloopen or far beyond, as far as America and Japan.

Hindelooper painting is famous worldwide. Bedstead walls, furniture such as tables and chairs, folding tables, cabinets, travel trunks, miniature furniture: in the 18th century these objects were painted in the characteristic Hindelooper colors and motifs. The curls, flowers and leaves in the colors red, blue, white and green were processed in Hindeloopen into a separate style. The motifs were found in picture Bibles and picture books.



First Frisian Ice Skating Museum
Hindeloopen Museum: Hindelooper painting, costumes and shipping history
Rescue museum KNRM
Fisheries Museum



Despite the small population, Hindeloopen has a relatively large number of facilities thanks to water sports and museums. There is, for example, a small middle class and ten catering establishments. The Hindeloopen marina has many amenities, such as an indoor swimming pool, sauna and water sports shops.



The city has the football club SV Hielpen. Hindeloop takes place annually in May.



On November 14, 1981 and on November 23, 1991, Hindeloopen was the place where the national arrival of Sinterklaas took place. The city also has the fishwife choir Grietje Sprot, the Hindeloopen harmonics club and Zeemanskoor Auke Wybesz.