A small but impregnable fortress city
The smallest city of Friesland was a fortress city in the 16th century. Sloten was impregnable. This small city was, with a rampart, five bastions, two land gates and to water gates, in fortress terms the ideal city. Her shape is mainly round and resembles an onion, that is also the reason that Sloten is also called "Sipelstêd" (Onion city).
Charming gables, neck-gables and step-gables
Sloten is originated on a junction of important land- and waterways. Because of the location Sloten experienced its largest development in the 17th and 18th century. All ships that passed the city had to pay toll. The many charming gables, neck-gables and step-gables along the canal "Het Diep" are also build in this rich period. In between the private residences are an old Town Hall (1759) and a Dutch Reformed Church (1647).
The present Sloten
Nowadays Sloten is only guarded by the two watergates. At the southside of the "Lemsterpoort" (1821) and on the northside of the city by the "Sneker of - Woudsenderpoort" (1768). On the bastion of the southside a corn-mill is located. The flour is still made via the Artisan method. A walk over the bastions and along the canal is worth the effort. Also, in the summertime, every Friday evening, the cannon of Sloten is fired. The city homeguard fires with the cannon that is located on the farmyard of the corn-mill "De Kaai" and town-crier Pieter Haringsma gives an explanation during this event.
Once in the three years the fortress city Sloten shows the history of the Middle Ages. During this outdoor spectacle the attack of the Spaniards of the 12th of May 1588 is performed. Hundreds of inhabitants of Sloten are dressed in charming historical clothes and together with the old town houses this makes the scene decoration.