City rights

The Fourth City of Friesland

Dokkumer hotspot

Count Jan I of Holland is the lord of Dokkum and its surroundings. As befits a true lord, he regularly receives requests from various people seeking permission to travel through his land. Safe and free passage for merchants is often requested. Such was the case on February 23, 1298. Little did Jan know that this letter would write history. The letter was co-signed by the city council of Dokkum, proving that Dokkum was regarded as a city—the fourth city of Friesland, to be exact.

When Dokkum precisely received the accompanying city rights is unknown. However, it is a fact that these rights brought great prosperity! Legislation and justice, toll rights, the construction of defensive works, and market rights allowed Dokkum to flourish. Even now, Dokkum still reaps the benefits: every Wednesday, there is a weekly market in the Grote Breedstraat. It is said to be one of the oldest weekly markets in the Netherlands!

It was not until 1610 that this town hall was built as a true prestige project; it was meant to rival the town halls of Franeker and Harlingen. Now, 400 years later, the building is still used by the administration of the Municipality of Noardeast-Fryslân. This municipality, in addition to Dokkum, consists of 51 villages and 63 hamlets. ‘Together, personal, and close by.’

De Zijl 2
9101 ML Dokkum

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