Leeuwarden is a city and municipality in Friesland, the Netherlands. It is the provincial capital and seat of the Provincial Council of Friesland. The municipality has a population of 122,293.
The region has been continuously inhabited since the 10th century. It came to be known as Leeuwarden in the early 9th century AD and was granted city privileges in 1435. It is the main economic hub of Friesland, situated in a green and water-rich environment. Leeuwarden is a former royal residence and has a historic city centre, many historically relevant buildings, and a large shopping centre with squares and restaurants. Leeuwarden was awarded the title European Capital of Culture for 2018.
The Elfstedentocht, an ice skating tour passing the eleven cities of Friesland, started and finished in Leeuwarden.
The following towns and villages within the municipality have populations in excess of 1,000 people: Leeuwarden, Stiens, Grou, Goutum, Wergea, Jirnsum, Reduzum, and Wirdum. The municipality is governed by the mayor Sybrand van Haersma Buma and a coalition of the Labour Party, Christian Democratic Appeal, and GreenLeft.
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