On a quiet morning, you feel like you are in a different time. In the old port area around the Zuiderhaven and Noorderhaven in Harlingen, the monumental canal houses sometimes literally lean against each other. The Zuiderzee town has a history dating back to the year 1234. The stately buildings tell the story of shipping, trade and fishing, of hard work and great prosperity. To this day, this sailor’s romanticism still determines the atmosphere in and around the characteristic port area. Classic sailing ships, slender yachts and sturdy motorboats are moored side by side at the docks. Especially in summer, the dynamics are great – a continuous coming and going of everything the Wadden Sea brings in and out. Harlingen welcomes the visitors with open arms, a beautiful atmosphere, six hundred monuments and many cafés, restaurants and terraces.
Once you open the front door of the early eighteenth-century canal house at Noorderhaven 33, you literally step back in time hundreds of years. Visually, at least. Five years ago, the current owners renovated the property – with a living area of 450 m² spread over ten rooms – from head to toe. No expense was spared to preserve the authenticity and enrich it with contemporary comfort under the supervision of Monumentenzorg. The result is glorious. We are almost immediately face-to-face with the bust of a naval admiral, who occupies a prominent place in the hall. According to the chronicles, the chic building has an admiral among its former occupants, but not necessarily this gentleman. The bust is decorative with a playful wink to the past. What immediately stands out are the 4.30-metre high ornamental ceilings on the ground floor and first floor. They give the rooms a special spaciousness. But so does the light, which flows into this detached house from all sides. The renovation is a respectful continuation of the initial style of the house. Marble floors in the traffic areas and glowing oak in the living areas, the opulently decorated wooden wall panelling in the original colour dark green, larded with gold decorations and beautiful mirrors above marble fireplaces. Even the Bakelite switches show up as a prop from the past, but turn out to be carefully made replicas and are therefore brand new. After all, dimmers were not around in the eighteenth century. The tall square windows offer a fascinating view of the Noorderhaven, the ships and the crowds on and around the water. A spectacle that never bores. And also for the outside world, there is a lot to enjoy in the appearance of this proud, richly decorated building.
A long, marble corridor connects the entrance hall with the garden side of the house. At the front right, there is a classic and very representative reception room with beautiful panelling, beamed ceiling, marble fireplace, windows with interior shutters and a herringbone parquet floor. The living room with fireplace is located at the rear of the house and is in the same style. One of the deep cabinets houses a food lift to the kitchen in the basement, so you don't have to take a high tea up the stairs. The living room overlooks the walled courtyard garden. The glass orangery, which was built at the time of the renovation, can be reached via a bridge over the rectangular swimming pond. A wonderful place to be on summer evenings. To the right of the garden is a beautiful coach house with space for three to four cars and a workshop. From the coach house, there is a covered path to the back entrance of the house.
On the first floor around the central hall are the master bedroom with adjoining luxury bathroom with whirlpool, double sinks and a separate shower room with Dornbracht ceiling shower. There is a laundry and dressing room and, at the front, a spacious, double room with fireplace which is currently used as an office. On the second floor are three more bedrooms, a bathroom with toilet and shower, gym and a storage attic. The big surprise here is the large, overhanging dormer at the back of the house with a cosy room that offers a fabulous view over the harbour and the Wadden Sea with Terschelling and Vlieland on the horizon. Truly an ample lookout.
The kitchen in the basement is an absolute dream for connoisseurs and lovers of cooking and conviviality. Beautiful wall cabinets, antique tile pictures and floors, a sturdy beamed ceiling, views over the garden, a storage cellar and all the cooking needs you could wish for. All in all, Noorderhaven 33 is an exceptional monument. Thanks to the radical and extremely tasteful renovation, the house is in ‘new condition’.
The Noorderhaven is a protected cityscape and is also one of the most beautiful places in Friesland. The historical ambiance in and around the house, the cosiness and the connection with the water make living here an incomparable pleasure.
Including garage 58 m2.