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Franeker

Franeker is one of the eleven historical cities of Friesland and capital of the municipality of Franekeradeel. It is located about 20 km west of Leeuwarden on the Van Harinxma Canal. As of 1 January 2006, it had 12,996 inhabitants. The city is famous for the Eisinga Planetarium from around the year 1800.HistoryFraneker was founded around 800 as a Carolingian stronghold. The name probably derives from Froon-acker, meaning "country of the king"; the oldest street in the city is still called Froonacker. Beginning around the 11th century, Franeker developed into the administrative center Westergoa.Franeker received city rights in 1374. In the 15th century, Albert, Duke of Saxony established himself in Franeker. The city appeared for a time to be growing into the primary city of Friesland, but was eventually overshadowed in this role by Leeuwarden.During the period of the Dutch Revolt, the town sided early on with William I.From 1585 to 1811, the city housed the University of Franeker, which was the second protestant university in the Netherlands. It was closed shortly after the incorporation of the Kingdom of Holland into the French Empire. A successor institution, the Rijksatheneum, was founded in 1815, but in 1847 it, too, closed.
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