Houtstad IJlst
History of the timber industry and shipbuilding
Sneekerpad 14 - 8651 NE - IJlst
IJlst, linked to wood for many centuries
Shipbuilding, timber industry, from manufacturing to processing.
The Elfsteden town of IJlst, Drylts in Frisian, doesn't bear the apt name 'Wood town' for nothing. It has been connected to wood for many centuries, in all ways: shipbuilding, wood industry, from manufacturing to processing. Museum and Workshop Houtstad IJlst, right next to the beautiful sawmill the Rat, is entirely dedicated to the industry that made IJlst big, in miniature. With the most famous exponent being the Nooitgedagt carpentry tools, workbenches and skates.

The building alone is worth seeing. First, its location on the centuries-old Elfstedenroute De Geeuw, the water connecting IJlst and Sneek. Secondly, the design of the museum, by architect Haiko Meijer. This won the prestigious Vredeman de Vries Architecture Prize in 2018. The design is inspired by the authentic timber construction of the past: nine robust cubes of Russian larch wood form the basis. The interior spaces are clad in beautiful German pine. A transparent, energy-neutral, building with an open feel.

The museum houses the Nooitgedagt collection: an impressive array of tools, skates and toys. Jan Jarigs Nooitgedagt's one-man business, founded in 1865, grew into a large company with national fame, especially for its skates. Yet this was only a by-product. The core business was the production of (carpentry) tools. Nooitgedagt's chisels, planes and workbenches are still loved by carpenters and collectors. Nooitgedagt was also known for its collection of beautiful wooden children's toys.

Museum and Workshop Houtstad IJlst regularly hosts workshops, demonstrations and courses for young and old, with the aim of keeping authentic crafts alive.

The town of IJlst is definitely worth a visit. Wood sawmill the Rat, right next to the museum is an experience. And directly opposite the museum is one of the 11 fountains of the 2018 Eleven Fountains project. The visit to IJlst is completed by a walk along the unique overtuinen in the centre.

  • Located on the Elfsteden route
  • History of the wood industry and shipbuilding
  • Nooitgedagt collection: tools, skates and historical toys
  • Interactive: workshops and courses
  • Located next to sawmill De Rat and the Eleven Cities Fountain

The Eleven Fountains

Directly in front of Museum and Workshop Houtstad IJlst is the fountain 'The Immortal Flower- Rikka' by Japanese artist Shinji Ohmaki. The beautiful fountain is part of an international art project, set up in 2018 for Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018, cultural capital of Europe. Eleven fountains in the 11 Frisian cities, designed by 11 artists from 11 different countries. A real crowd puller for which people from all over the world come to Friesland.

Interested or
more information?

Visit the Houtstad-IJlst website for more in-depth information about the attractions and collections, specific opportunities for you as a visitor and practical information. Think about opening hours, ticket prices and contact details. We look forward to welcoming you.