Sneek is situated in Southwest-Friesland, close to the Sneekermeer and is well known for its canals, the Waterpoort (Watergate, the symbol of the city), and watersport (Sneekweek). Sneek is one of the Friese elf steden (Eleven cities). The city is very important for the southwest area of Friesland (the "Zuidwesthoek").
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.
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.Watergate (1613)
Town hall (1550)
Martinichurch (1498), with a carillon of 50 bells
Tonnema Candy Factory (1955)
the Wooden bridges across the Rijksweg 7.
The following roads connect Sneek with other cities:A7
Ring Sneek: the city's "ring road"
Sneek is accessible by public transport; buses and trains are operated by Arriva.
The following waterways connect Sneek with other cities.Houkesloot Between Sneek and the Prinses Margrietkanaal.
de Geeuw Between Sneek and IJlst.
de Zwette Between Sneek and Leeuwarden.
Franekervaart Between Sneek and Franeker.
On the following parking places you can park your car:Binnenstad Pay
St. Antoniusplein Pay
Oppenhuizerweg (temporary) Free
Fries Scheepvaart Museum Frisian Maritime Museum
Nationaal Modelspoor Museum National Model Train Museum
Het Bolwerk, very first poppodium of Friesland, since 1975. Member of the Fries Popnet.
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 includeThe Noorderchurch will house a theatre and a Center of the Arts (CvdK - Centrum voor de Kunsten)
The Bolwerk will house another part of the CvdK
A new Theatre (Capacity of 600 people) at the location of the former postoffice-building
The connection between the Theatre and the Bolwerk with a walking bridge and a floating podium in the city canal. This part won't be constructed because of high costs.
The Public library and the Martinichurch will be linked to the Cultural Quarter
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:Henk van der Veer, writer
2005: Maaike Schuurmans, musical actress
2006: Yede van Dijk, actor
2007: Bennie Hoogstra, 25 years playing the Drum- & Showkorps Advendo
Sneekweek, Sailevent on the Sneekermeer
Swinging Sneek, live-music in cafés and on street
Sneek has eleven primary schools and three high schoolsSportcentrum Schuttersveld
Sportpark SWZ Sneek
Sneek Wit Zwart(SWZ), footballclub
LSC 1890, one of the oldest footballclubs in the Netherlands
ONS Sneek, footbsllclub
Black Boys, footballclub
Waterpoort boys, footbsllclub
Sneeker MHC, hockeyclub
VC Sneek, volleyballclub
L.T.C. NOMI, tennisclub
White Cats Sneek, baseball and softball club
FC Gescheurde Knieband, footbsllclub
11Stedenfietsvierdaagse Eleven city 4 day bicycle tour
Rienck Bockema (ca. 1350-1436)
Pier Gerlofs Donia, (ca. 1480 - 1529), Frisian freedom fighter, rebel and pirate 'Grutte Pier'
Murk van Phelsum (1730–1799), physician
Nicolaas Molenaar (1850–1930), architect
Jakob van Schevichaven (1866–1935), detective writer
Geert Aeilco Wumkes (1869–1954), theologian and historian
Willem de Sitter (1872–1934), mathematician, physicist and astronomer
Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy (1885–1961), politician
Frits Wissel (1907–1999), pilot, discoverer of the Wissel Lakes in New-Guinea.
Klaas Dijkstra (1895 - 1969), advocate of pseudoscience (Flat Earth)
Kees Deenik (1915–1993), singer, TV producer
Dieuwkje Nauta (1930–2008), teacher, politician
Bart Tromp (1944–2007), sociologist
Joke Tjalsma (1957), actress
Toon Gerbrands (1957), coach and manager
Pauline Krikke (1961), politician
Manon Thomas (1963), television presenter
Jan Posthuma (1963), international volleyball player
Ronald Zoodsma (1966), international volleyball player
Monique Sluyter (1967), model and television star
Olof van der Meulen (1968), volleyball player
Sherida Spitse (1990), soccer player
Wiebe Nijenhuis (died 2016), strongest man of Friesland 1982-1984
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) 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.