We visited the museum on a foggy Friday, also market day in Leeuwarden. It was a great introduction into the Friesland history and culture; we are living nearby for 3 years and felt we should know something about the area where we are now living. We were given a museum tour guide in English, and that helped tremendously [as our Dutch is not quite up to par].
The silver collection [in the basement] is quite extensive and very beautiful, and all from at the time, local silversmiths. On the second floor you get the story of the freedom fighter Grutte Pier and of Mara Hari, while the third floor is dedicated to how the area, Leeuwarden in particular, was affected during WWII. We especially enjoyed the "bioscoop" or cinema with actual footage from the events in the 1940's.
In Sept. of 2013 the new Fries Museum will open on the Zaailand, the square in the heart of the city. I am looking forward to visiting again in this magnificent building of the future... the perfect integration of modern architecture and old canal houses in a single area.
If you're living in the NL, the way to go with museums is with the Museumkaart... you pay around €44 for a years membership and free entrance to almost all museums in the NL. Definitely worth the price, as the entrance fee for the Fries Museum alone is €10.
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