The Turning Point of Dokkum

Dokkumer hotspot

Early in the morning of January 2, 1909, riders of the very first Elfstedentocht arrived in Dokkum, including Minne Hoekstra from Wergea. The first editions of this legendary skating tour went “around the North.” This turning point in Dokkum was the first stamp post.

Due to the onset of thaw, the tour in 1909 was held three days earlier than announced. Even so, many skaters did not dare to participate. Only 23 riders appeared at the start in Leeuwarden. The chairman warned them: “Take it easy at the beginning, because whoever is first in Dokkum might be the last in Stavoren.”

Minne Hoekstra heeded this advice and arrived in Dokkum as a mid-pack rider. During the tour, he conserved his energy so that he could accelerate just before the finish line and arrive in Leeuwarden first after 13 hours and 50 minutes.

The turning point in Dokkum remains one of the most remarkable points of the Elfstedentocht. The benches on the quays symbolize the turn skaters must make here. Since 1929, Dokkum has been the last stamp post. The reason? Safety. Riders could get lost on the Frisian Lakes in the dark.

Everyone has been waiting since 1997 for the 16th Elfstedentocht. Everything is being done to promote ice growth. For instance, ships are not allowed to moor in the Kleindiep during winter. Friesland, or perhaps all of the Netherlands, can hardly wait for the legendary spectacle to take place again! It giet oan!

9101 MH Dokkum

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