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Leeuwarden – The Passion © Ruben van Vliet.

Leeuwarden – The Passion © Ruben van Vliet.


Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018

European Capital of Culture

Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018 is the starting shot of a thought-renaissance that begins in Friesland and must go around the world. It is the year in which we use special cultural clashes to demonstrate that idiosyncrasy is indispensable when you want to achieve bigger dreams, deeds and diversity. Revolution – Friesland style.

You build terps together. We could have also built a dyke, but we like to do things a bit differently in Friesland. When the rest of Europe had kings and nobility, we preferred to govern ourselves. When Friesland joined the Republic, we chose to retain our own language and culture.

A rapidly changing world demands idiosyncrasy. That’s why Friesland is also such a good laboratory in which to seek out together new and creative solutions associated with a changing world. By bringing together art, science, agriculture, the idiosyncratic residents of Friesland and outside visitors, we collectively shape a new world.

This is not always a given. Idiosyncrasy sometimes generates resistance and conflict, but it also brings about the most creative ideas and the most sustainable solutions. Precisely because the easiest route is not chosen. In short, building a terp begins with a discussion.

During Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018 we will have discussions across all kinds of borders - with artists, farmers, scientists, and visitors from inside and outside Friesland and the Netherlands. Always using a quirky work of art or project as a pivot for the discussion: a modern fountain in a historic landscape or cityscape, giant dolls in a city centre or a thousand musicians in a meadow giving a performance about bird migration. In short: building new terps, but doing it a bit differently.

Highlights October 2017 – September 2018

Mata Hari exhibition: 14 October 2017 - 2 April 2018
Opening European Capital of Culture: 26-28 January 2018
Escher exhibition: 28 April - 28 October 2018
Opening 11Fountains: 18 May 2018
Tall Ship Races & The Sea The Sea: August 2018
Royal de Luxe: August 2018
The Stormrider: September - October 2018

Accessibility for foreign visitors
Airports: Groningen Airport Eelde (70 km), Amsterdam Schiphol (140 km)




Place of location: The city of Leeuwarden and the province of Friesland
Legal form: Not-for-profit
Year of foundation: 2010
Events per year: The cultural programme consists of around sixty main events and hundreds of locally organised events.
Presenting Partners: ING bank, Leeuwarden Entrepreneurs Fund (LOF)
Media partners: NPO (Dutch National Broadcasting Company), NDC Mediagroep
  • Dakterp © Tryntsje Nauta, Heleen Haijtema.
  • Duinterp ameland © Tryntsje Nauta, Heleen Haijtema.
  • Eleven fountains © Tryntsje Nauta,Heleen Haijtema.
  • Embassy for water © Tryntsje Nauta, Heleen Haijtema.
  • Farm of the world © Tryntsje Nauta, Heleen Haijtema.
  • Sense of place © Tryntsje Nauta, Heleen Haijtema.
  • Strangers on stage © Tryntsje Nauta, Heleen Haijtema.
  • Take off © Tryntsje Nauta, Heleen Haijtema.