The Watergate (national monument)

Waterpoortsgracht Sneek -plan route

The water gate was built around 1492, at the same time as the city wall around the city. The gate served to close off water access to the city. The water gate was built on the Hoogendsterpipe (a pipe is a narrow water passage). In 1613 the gate was converted into an ornamental gate because it no longer had a military function. From that moment on, the gate has essentially its current appearance. The architect is unknown. A thorough renovation followed in 1757.

In 1785 the gate was given a keeper's house. The middle section now had a very 18th century appearance. From 1825 onwards the city was no longer closed off at night, meaning the gate permanently lost its function. In the 19th century, all other gates around Sneek were demolished. Things also looked bad for the water gate as steamboats could not fit under it. Yet the gate has continued to come under pressure from the population. In 1877 it was restored according to a design by the nationally known architect Isaac Gosschalk, executed by Johannes Philippus Hogendijk. Gosschalk reversed the 18th century changes and restored the early 17th century condition. He gave a free interpretation of the original middle section, which strongly determined the current appearance of the gate.

The Waterpoort consists of two octagonal towers, with a bridge in between over the shipping route between the De Kolk and the Stadsgracht in the city center, and a gatekeeper's house above the bridge. Sneek had four other water gates and two land gates, all of which have been demolished. The Water Gate remained and is now the symbol of Sneek. This symbol can be found, among other things, in the mainsail of the Sneeker skûtsje Sneker Pan and in the logo of many Sneker companies.



Did you know?

  • there are 3 replicas in a recreational park near the Chinese city of Shenyang?
  • there is also a replica in the Japanese amusement park Huis ten Bosch near Nagasaki?
  • there is a small Water Gate in Madurodam?
  • This was built in 1976?
  • There is a (reduced) replica in Avifauna Bird Park (Alphen aan den Rijn)?
  • There is also a model in Legoland, in Billund, Denmark?
  • This model is made entirely of Lego bricks?
  • The Water Gate is on the Ace of Spades in a standard card game?
  • The route of the Elfstedentocht skating tour passes the Waterpoort?
  • The Waterpoort is open to the public a few times a year, for example during Open Monument Day (with the exception of corona year)
  • You can only reserve a visit to Waterpoort if you book a city walk through the Frisian Maritime Museum?