Joure, Netherlands


Joure (Frisian: De Jouwer) is a place in the Dutch province of Friesland and the capital of the municipality of De Friese Meren. Joure has 13,150 inhabitants (2020).

Inhabitants of Joure are called Jousters. In popular parlance they are also called Jouster Keallepoaten (calf's feet), after the Frisian "keallepoat" (calf's leg), a cake offering that the ancestors brought to the water spirit, because he had allocated so much water to their land. The keallepoat consists of two elongated cakes that are baked next to and against each other and therefore look like veal's feet. They are made from rye flour, honey and various herbs.



Joure was partly created on top of a sand ridge and on an old flood defense (end of the Middle Ages) that ran from the Tolhuis to Haskerhorne, on the crown of this dyke the later Midstraat was constructed. Joure was also at a crossing of waterways next to the former village of Westermeer. Around 1400 many canals were dug by Hamburg sailors. They sought a remote place that could be reached by canals and draft horses, as these places were relatively safe from the feared Normans. Then the Kolk was also dug, from where a waterway "De Overspitting" to Heerenveen was also dug.

In the crisis years of the 1930s, there was a lot of activity in Joure. The peat that came from, among other places, the Nannewiid (lake created by peat excavation, south of Oudehaske), was transported on barges in Joure and transferred into skûtsjes. This overloading took place on the spot where the church "de Oerdracht" now stands.

Some street names, such as "Eeltsjebaes, Aukebaes and Hettebaes", still remind us of the shipyards, where new skutsjes and pramen were made, but also many repairs were carried out. Before the war, Joure was part of an extensive horse tram network. Joure was thus connected with Sneek, Lemmer and Heerenveen. The Stationsstraat is a street name from that time. A nice detail is that roads had to be built before the construction of the rails. The Tramwei is a reminder of this. Before that they were used to undertake all transport by boat.


Traditionally, Joure is not a city, but it is too big to be called a village. In Old Frisian tradition such a place is called a vlecke.

There are several theories about the origin of the name Joure, or De Jouwer. It is often thought that it comes from the Frisian word Hjouwer, which means oats.

The name of Joure is also inextricably linked to Douwe Egberts. In 1753, Douwe Egberts' father, Egbert Douwes, started a business in colonial merchandise on Midstraat in Joure, which has grown into the well-known coffee roaster. For years there was still a DE store on Midstraat. It was closed on October 24, 2014.

Until the municipal reorganization in 1984, the capital Joure was part of the former municipality of Haskerland, and then until 2014 of the former municipality of Skarsterlân. After that Joure became part of the municipality of De Friese Meren.

The Haulster forests are located east of Joure. The Haskerveenpolder is located north of Joure. The Langweerderwiels are located west of Joure. Joure has a subtropical swimming pool, a harbor, an old center and beautiful water-rich residential areas.



In 1466 de vlecke acquired the right to a weekly market. More than 15 years later, in 1482, the right to an annual fair was also added: Jouster Merke. This is still held every year on the fourth Thursday of September.
The Frisian Balloon Festivities have been held annually in Joure since 1986. In addition, 35 hot air balloons take off daily from the Nutsbaan in Joure. The event usually takes place in the last week of July and attracts many tourists. In addition to the take-off of balloons, the balloon parties consist of various performances by artists. Since then, Joure is also called Balloon City with about 50 balloonists.
The Peasant Wedding is also held on the Wednesday that the balloon parties start. With a wedding, a harness racing (riding competition) on unsaddled horses and a ring riding facility.
The World Cup Solex racing is also held in Joure every year. This also attracts many tourists.
The Romantic market is held in August, Joure can be transformed into a real Mont Martre Market for one day. More than 250 stalls transform the Midstraat into a beautiful and above all cozy market. The art and collectors market offers numerous nostalgic products from (grand) mothers time. The market has a long tradition in Friesland and has grown into a real Frisian event in more than fifty years.
For the first time in 2008 (May 24) a historical spectacle was organized in Joure: Rjochtdei, a major event in the center of Joure. Midstraat was the center of the 17th century theater. The year 1628, in which the lower court was used in de vlecke Joure, is central. In the form of an open-air game, Grietman Hobbe van Baerdt (the then mayor) gave justice in the Hobbe of Baerdt Tsjerke. All kinds of activities took place around it in the center. A special coin, the Jouster Sulvur Gūne, was issued for this day. On May 20, 2010, the Rjochtdei was organized for the second time. On this occasion, Ambachtelijk Friesland offered the Museum Joure a drinking horn, cut from the horn of a cow. The carving on the horn contains the coat of arms of Joure and that of Hobbe van Baerdt. The opening is decorated with ornamental silver and the tip contained a silver acorn.

Every summer, in the last week of the primary school holidays, the Youth Holiday Days are organized. About 750 children per day attend these children's play days. In 2011 it was organized for the 20th time.