Franeker has a rich history
In between the 11th and 16th century Franeker evolved itself to an economic, cultural and governmental centre. Bastions, gates, "stinsen" (estate home) and a large church are all proof of these developments. The city was lead by noteworthy families, who lived in the "Stinsen". Duke Albrecht van Saksen move to Franeker in the 15th century and for a moment it seemed that Franeker would become the capital of Friesland. When the choice was made for Leeuwarden to be come the capital, Franeker got a university in 1558 as a reward. During the existence the university got great reputation, mainly on theological and legal area. In the French period (1811) the university had to close. The development of Franeker continued until the 18th century.
Franker, the "Kaatsstad"
Nowadays Franeker is also called the "Kaatsstad". This because of the game "kaatsen" (a kind of ball game) and the famous "PC-Kaats" game that is played every year and draws thousands of visitors. The city has a special area for the game next to "de Bogt fan Guné", the oldest student hostel of the country.
The Eise Eisinga Planetarium
A thing Franeker is still famous for is, without a doubt, the Eise Eisinga Planetarium opposite the Renaissance Town Hall. The oldest, still working, planetarium in the world build by Eise Eisinga in betwee 1774 and 1781. More than 200 years later you can still read that actual position of the planets.