Over Joure – Activiteiten in Joure

Day out in Friesland? Go to Joure

Joure is rightly called one of the most beautiful villages in Friesland. The village is popular among tourists and day-trippers because there is much to see and do. From the famous Frisian Balloon Festival to the birthplace of Douwe Egberts and the famous Frisian clocks.

Klaas Gubbels Kaskade JoureTips: Kaskade, Museum Joure & Free downtown parking

Joure is een hotspot rijker: Kaskade. Een 6 meter hoog kunstwerk van niemand minder dan Klaas Gubbels. Het cortenstalen, aromarode kunstwerk heeft dankzij crowdfunding een permanente plek gekregen in het park naast Museum Joure, de bakermat van Douwe Egberts en Pickwick. Handig: naast het museum kun je gratis parkeren, een ideale plek om je dagje Joure te beginnen. Het museum is bijna elke dag open. Naast de verrassende vaste expositie van dit ‘maakmuseum’, zijn er tijdelijke exposities (nu: ‘100 jaar sparen’) en kun je er heerlijk vertoeven voor koffie met wat lekkers. Het museumcafé heeft bovendien een terras met uitzicht op de monumentale gebouwtjes.

Are you on vacation and looking for beautiful places in Friesland with history, sights and fun activities? Or are you going on a day out in Friesland soon? Then be sure to take a look in Joure. On this page we tell you about sights, events and activities in Joure. Just in the cozy, compact center of Joure is much fun to experience - and you can park for free.

Reading tip: 24 hours in Joure

Blogger Lydia spent 24 hours in Joure and - of course - wrote an inspiring blog about it.

History of Joure

Joure originated as a settlement at a junction of waterways and has a rich history. Especially thanks to the activity of its inhabitants 'the Jousters'. Many shipbuilders, clockmakers (Frisian clocks), furniture makers and not to forget the Douwe Egberts coffee, tea and tobacco makers started in Joure. The first D.E factory is now, like several craft workshops, part of Museum Joure; perhaps the most surprising museum in Friesland.

Joure 'a vlecke' with a rich history

Joure Midstraat

Midstraat Joure centre, 1919

Joure is located in the southwest corner of Friesland (officially Fryslân) and is the capital of the municipality of De Fryske Marren (the Frisian Lakes). Joure has about 13.000 inhabitants and is the sixth place of Friesland. For the history of the village we go back to the 15th century.

Safe settlement

Joure (in Frisian De Jouwer) was founded in the 15th century next to the former village of Westermeer. It was considered a relatively safe place for the notorious Norsemen. Because although Joure was situated at a crossroads of waterways and therefore easily accessible, it was also remote. This offered some protection against plundering Scandinavians.

Joure is not a village, it's not a town, it's a stain...

Joure is traditionally called a 'vlecke', a settlement with urban characteristics but officially not a city. Although Joure was not granted city rights, it was an important village around the 16th century. Joure, for example, had the right to a weekly market. In those days a privilege that not many villages enjoyed. Later there was also an annual fair: the Jouster Merke. Due to the growth of the spot, the older, neighbouring mother village Westermeer merged into Joure. At the cemetery in the centre, the only physical reminder of this ancient village is a medieval church tower.

Did you know this? A village used to become a city when it received city rights. If a village did not get city rights but had city characteristics, it was called a "vlek. In Frisian, a "vlecke.

De Jouwer: oats or water?

How did Joure get her name? There are several theories about this. Joure's Frisian name 'De Jouwer' is reminiscent of the Frisian word 'Hjouwer', which means oats. Joure is said to be located on a field where oats used to be grown. Another possibility is the Germanic word for water: 'ghebhara'. This explanation seems likely because both Joure itself and its surroundings are rich in water. Histoarysk Wurkferbân Skarsterlân knows more about it.

Did you know this? In Friesland, most towns and villages have a Frisian name in addition to a Dutch one. These can be very different from each other. In Frisian, Joure is called "De Jouwer.

artisan clockmaker

Joure has always known many clockmakers.

Village of traditional craftsmanship

Jousters practice(d) many different crafts. The centuries-old history of these crafts can still be experienced in Joure. Most eye-catching are the shipbuilding, Frisian clock industry and of course the coffee roasting of D.E. Joure's largest industries attracted other crafts. Furniture makers, for example, where the clock cases were made. And braziers who took care of parts of the clocks. Trade used to take place mostly over water. The village therefore had several shipyards for the Frisian skûtsjes and windows that were used.

Prames and skûtsjes

Windows are one of the oldest types of ships. These long, narrow boats have a flat bottom and were ideal for transporting merchandise, such as peat, through the inland waterways of Joure. Skûtsjes are Frisian sailing ships with a length of 12 to 20 meters. The skûtsjes were used as cargo ships, until motorized ships took over their role. Today, the ships shine during the annual Skûtsjesilen, in which Joure also participates. On the picture you see the famous Jouster Skûtsje. One of the most beautiful and fastest skûts of the SKS.

Joure and Frisian clocks

Frisian clocks were traditionally made in Friesland since the 18th century. Although clocks were also made in other parts of the Netherlands, Frisian clocks in particular have become well known. Joure was the center of that clock industry. Clockmakers there manufactured many Frisian chair and tail clocks. But what is the difference? A Frisian bracket clock is a hanging clock that stands with legs on a chair or wooden wall board. These clocks were made beginning in the 18th century. Later, when the tail clock became popular, chair clocks became more and more elegantly decorated. Typical are the painted dials and the decorations of gilded lead.

Frisian clock - Office

Frisian miniature tail clock, or an office or notary clock.

The Frisian tail clock was made from the second half of the 18th century. This clock is derived from the chair case, but hangs on the wall and has a long case with the crank in it. In the closet there is a window through which you can see the pendulum. Also this clock is nicely decorated. The Frisian tail clock has a beautifully painted dial and decoration of lead or copper. The clock strikes every hour and a half.

Did you know this? Frisian clocks are still made, repaired and restored in Joure using traditional methods. In Museum Joure is the world's largest collection of Frisian clocks on display.

Joure and Douwe Egberts (D.E)

Of course you know Douwe Egberts from D.E coffee, Pickwick tea and maybe you've been in a D.E Café. It is hard to imagine that these world famous brands have their cradle in Joure. Still, it is. And you can tell that from everything in Joure.

Did you know this? The company Douwe Egberts has its origins in Joure. Egbert Douwes started a store in Joure with colonial goods. Later this store was taken over by son Douwe Egberts and grew into the well-known brand of coffee and tea. The original store on the Midstraat in Joure still exists.

Employees D.E in Midstraat

Employees of (probably) Douwe Egberts for D.E premises in the Midstraat. Now part of Museum Joure.

The history of the famous coffee brand goes back to 1753. Egbert Douwes and his wife started a grocery store called "De Witte Os," on Midstraat. Here they sold groceries including coffee, tea, tobacco and chocolate. Later the business was taken over by Douwes' son, Douwe Egberts, who also became the namesake of the company. From then on, the Jouster company focused mainly on coffee, tea and tobacco. In the centuries that followed, D.E grew from a small store to a world-class player. Today the parent company is called Jacobs Douwe Egberts Peet's (JDE Peet's), this carries the following well-known brands, among others:

  • Douwe Egberts
  • Pickwick
  • Kanis & Gunnink
  • Senseo
  • L'OR Espresso

Although the head office moved to Utrecht, there is still a large D.E. factory in Joure. There are many Jousters who have a past at Douwe Egberts or still work there. The company has undeniably been important for the development of the village. It's not for nothing that many Jousters are proud of 'their' coffee and tea.

What to do in the centre of Joure

Jouster Merke

Conviviality at the annual Jouster Merke.

Day out in Friesland? In the centre of Joure, you can enjoy a whole day with ease. The range of shops is extensive and there is a lot to do in terms of culture. In addition, Joure has various sights and especially in summer there are many activities and events.

Parking in the centre of Joure

The shopping centre of Joure consists of one long street: the Midstraat. The Midstraat ends - how could it be otherwise - in Douwe Egberts Square. Parking in the centre of Joure is in most cases free of charge. Behind the Midstraat, next to the museum, is a large parking lot.

Clock making and fresh roasted coffee

You can see the history of this artisan village in many places. For example, in the center - at Douwe Egbertsplein - there is still an artisanal Joure clockmaker. And in the Midstraat you will find 'De Witte Os', the very first Douwe Egberts store and now part of Museum Joure. Here artisanal, museum-roasted coffee and loose tea still passes over the counter(also available to order online).

Museum of Fashion Joure

Museum Joure, a real museum of manufacturing.

Experience a wealth of crafts

Through the shop you walk into an attractive coffee and teahouse, located in the stately home of the 'second founder' of Douwe Egberts: Cornelis Johannes de Jong. A visit to the adjacent first D.E-factory, the D.E-collection and the birthplace of Egbert Douwes should not be missed afterwards. The museum comprises a total of ten monumental buildings, including Keverling's gift Metaalwarenfabriek. They are connected by a beautiful garden and together they form the oldest industrial area of Joure. In addition to the history of D.E., Museum Joure is home to a wealth of crafts.

Want to experience the museum of Joure with an audio guide? Here's the audio tour.

Jouster mills, towers and alleys

Also worth a visit: the various windmills in Joure, the Water tower and the medieval church tower of the former mother village Westermeer. Go for a walk in the centre and see the historic buildings on the Midstraat. Walk into one of the many alleys. A whole life used to take place in Kruissteeg, Simonssteeg, Geelgieterssteeg, Roskamsteeg and their kind on the Midstraat.

Balloon parties Joure

Balloon party Joure, an annual spectacle.

Activities in Joure - Calendar of events

Throughout the year there are several events on the agenda in Joure, culminating in the Frisian Balloon Festivities.

Frisian Balloon Festivities

One of the most famous activities in Joure are The Balloon Festivities. These are usually held in the last week of July. Every day of this event dozens of hot air balloons take off. In addition, there is a fairground, fun activities for children, historical attractions, markets and performances by artists. Check balloonfeesten.nl for entrance and the agenda.

Farmer wedding Joure center

Farmer's Wedding Joure


On the first day of the balloon festivities is the Farmer's Wedding, a wedding in old-Frisian tradition. In addition, there is a horse race on unsaddled horses and a big ring ride. This is a parade with beautiful Frisian horses, stretched in front of a traditional wagon, right through the Midstraat of Joure.

Jouster Merke

Jouster Merke 1957

Jouster Merke in 1957

For more than 500 years the annual fair of Joure has been held. This makes the Jouster Merke a unique event! Besides a market with many stalls there is also a fair ('merke' in Frisian also means fair). Another part of the fair is the horse market. The Jouster Merke is held on the fourth Thursday of September.

Subtropical swimming pool Swimfum (formerly Stiennen Flier)

Bad weather? Or just want to go for a nice swim? Not far from the center is subtropical swimming pool Swimfun. There you can enjoy the wild water rapids, rapids, cold water well, sauna, and much more.

Cycling routes

Joure is part of several cycling routes in Friesland. For example, the beautiful cycle route 'Op de koffie in Joure' goes through the centre of Joure and surrounding villages. On this route, of about 50 kilometres, there are cycle junctions to show you the way. Along the way you'll see several mills and you can have a coffee at Museum Joure.

More information about Joure can be found at VVV Joure. The tourist office is located in the museum.

Museum Joure, birthplace of Douwe Egberts and more

Museum Joure dagje uit

Museum Joure mag niet ontbreken tijdens een dagje Joure.

Museum Joure consists of no less than ten monumental buildings and has two entrances. You can enter the museum on the Geelgietersstraat (near the free parking lot and artwork Kaskade), or through the monumental Douwe Egberts store De Witte Os in shopping street the Midstraat. You are entering the birthplace of Douwe Egberts and Pickwick. And you can see, smell and taste that in everything. But there is more than coffee, tea and tobacco on this monumental industrial estate in the middle of Joure's center. Much more.

Step back in time and meet traditional Jouster and Frisian craftsmanship. Visit the workshops of the coffee roaster, clockmaker, printer (Graphic Museum), coppersmith, tea maker and silversmith and experience how the crafts are made. Don't forget the largest collection of Frisian clocks view and finish with a delicious cup of coffee or tea - with Frisian orange cake - in the cozy coffee and tea house. Parking is free near the museum. Museum Joure is also a nice for museum for children, for groups AND easily accessible for people in wheelchairs.

Very special to see what impact the industry from Joure has had on Dutch culture . Good that this museum is there. Actually it is a kind of a treasury very interesting for young and old.

- Henri, via Google Reviews

More about Museum Joure >