De Harmonie is a municipal theater and concert hall of Leeuwarden and is the fifth largest theater in the Netherlands. The building has three halls with a total seating capacity of 1,750 seats and a total visitor capacity of 2,500. Each year, around 200,000 people visit the more than 450 activities in De Harmonie, roughly divided into 100,000 visitors for performances, festivals and other cultural activities and another 100,000 visitors through rentals, conferences, meetings, rehearsals and trainings, and all sorts of other events.
In 1995, De Harmonie was given a new building, with a contemporary and unique character, designed by Dutch architect Frits van Dongen. The design of De Harmonie is based on the water environment of Friesland. De Harmonie is proud to have received a Gold Green Key certification for meeting the strict standards of sustainability, the environment and corporate social responsibility.
Located in Leeuwarden, capital of the Dutch province of Friesland (Fryslân), the Museum of Friesland has a rich history spanning almost 190 years. In 2013, it moved into the first newly constructed Dutch museum building of the 21st century. As the main repository of Friesland’s material heritage, it is recognised internationally for key aspects of its collection. These include spectacular treasures excavated from ancient Frisian mounds, 17th- and 18th-century Frisian silverware, and works by the 19th-century painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema, who was born near Leeuwarden. Also housed here is the Hindeloopen room that became an international icon of northern European identity at Paris’s Great Exhibition of 1878, as well as items highlighting the legacy of Mata Hari, who was born in Leeuwarden. Museum visitors can admire works by Old Master painters and 20th-century Frisian artists such as Gerrit Benner, and also Dutch and international contemporary art and design. Through these objects, the Museum of Friesland tells stories about Friesland’s eleven cities and the countryside, the love-hate relationship that Frisians have with water, and the quest to define Frisian culture and Friesland’s position in the world.
Exhibition: Escher's Journey
In 2018 one of the Museum of Friesland’s long-cherished dreams will finally be realized. M.C. Escher is perhaps Leeuwarden’ most famous resident, a fact unknown to a large number of Escher fans and residents of Friesland. He was born in 1898 in the city palace on the Grote Kerkstraat, the building that now houses the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics. The Museum of Friesland is organising a major exhibition about M.C. Escher for 2018, the year that Leeuwarden-Fryslân is the Cultural Capital of Europe.
Left: M.C. Escher’s “Cycle” (1938). Right: M.C. Escher’s “Waterfall” (1961) © the M.C. Escher Company B.V. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com.
Neushoorn is the cultural lynchpin of Leeuwarden, accommodating the two concert halls, rehearsal rooms, audio visual studios, dance studios, a café, and Friesland College’s creative education branch, D’Drive.
Located at the corner of the old Ruiterskwartier and the Haniasteeg in the historic center of Leeuwarden, the Neushoorn complex builds on the original small-scale urban morphology with its winding streets and lanes. In its presence and material use, the building expresses the dynamics of these functions. Notable details in the building include salvaged parts of demolished buildings and samples of graffiti cut from repurposed brick walls.
The entire island of Terschelling is our venue for Congress Day II. Held annually in June, the ten-day Oerol Festival is focused on live, public theatre as well as music and visual arts. The premise of this site specific festival is to use the entire island as a stage. Beaches, woods, dunes and other landscapes will function as performance spaces, and shows have also taken place in farm sheds, boathouses and an army bunker.
Tryater is the oldest theatre company in the Netherlands and performs theatre in Friesland for adults, youth and children. Using Frisian languages as a source of inspiration in the multilingual reality of Friesland, Tryater takes theatre to a wide public, offering an artistic experience, an opening for nuanced reflection, encounters and dialogue. To a large degree, Tryater creates the conditions for vibrantly and sustainably developing the cultural climate in Friesland and the north of the Netherlands. Tryater presents itself as deeply rooted in the area. The exchange of thoughts between the players and the audience is intensive, and Tryater not only meet their public in theatres, but also in village halls, sports halls and schools. By performing on these sites, Tryater invites people to experience their everyday surroundings in a new way. This ‘Tryater way of working’, of connecting with our surroundings, forms the core of what Tryater stands for and it’s what makes the company unique in the world of theatre