University of Franeker

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De academia van Vrieslant (Friesland Academy), 1622 Universiteit van Franeker.jpg
De academia van Vrieslant (Friesland Academy), 1622

The University of Franeker (1585–1811) was a university in Franeker, Friesland, the Netherlands. It was the second oldest university of the Netherlands, founded shortly after Leiden University.

University academic institution for further education

A university is an institution of higher education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic disciplines. Universities typically provide undergraduate education and postgraduate education.

Franeker City in Friesland, Netherlands

Franeker is one of the eleven historical cities of Friesland and capital of the municipality of Waadhoeke. It is located north of the Van Harinxmakanaal and about 20 km west of Leeuwarden. As of 1 January 2014, it had 12,781 inhabitants. The Eise Eisinga Planetarium, established in 1781, is located in the city.

Friesland Province of the Netherlands

Friesland, also historically known as Frisia, is a province of the Netherlands located in the northern part of the country. It is situated west of Groningen, northwest of Drenthe and Overijssel, north of Flevoland, northeast of North Holland, and south of the Wadden Sea. In 2015, the province had a population of 646,092 and a total area of 5,100 km2 (2,000 sq mi).


Also known as Academiae Franekerensis or the University of Friesland, it was the stopover for many Puritans, such as Peter Stuyvesant, escaping the persecutions of Bishop Laud on their way to, eventually, the American Continent. It consisted of departments of Theology, Law, Medicine, Philosophy, Mathematics and Physics.

Peter Stuyvesant Dutch politician

Peter Stuyvesant ; in Dutch also Pieter and Petrus Stuyvesant); (1610–1672) served as the last Dutch director-general of the colony of New Netherland from 1647 until it was ceded provisionally to the English in 1664, after which it was renamed New York. He was a major figure in the early history of New York City and his name has been given to various landmarks and points of interest throughout the city.

William Laud Archbishop of Canterbury

William Laud was an English archbishop and academic. He was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633, during the personal rule of Charles I. Arrested in 1640, he was executed in 1645.

Theology Study of the nature of deities and religious belief

Theology is the critical study of the nature of the divine. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries.

Initially the university had an excellent reputation, attracting students from far and wide, but from 1700 its fortune changed. The university was disbanded by Napoleon in 1811, along with the Universities of Harderwijk and Utrecht. After the end of the French régime, the university was not restored. Instead, an Athenaeum illustre was founded, which did not have the right to issue doctoral degrees. In 1843, the Athenaeum itself was disbanded because of a lack of students.

Napoleon 18th/19th-century French monarch, military and political leader

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

University of Harderwijk university in Harderwijk, The Netherlands

The University of Harderwijk (1648–1811), also named the Guelders Academy, was located in the city Harderwijk, in the Republic of the United Provinces. It was founded by the province of Guelders (Gelre).

Today, Franeker has no institute of higher education, although postgraduate students from the University of Groningen are permitted to defend their thesis in the Franeker Martinikerk, provided they are Frisian or their thesis subject has a connection to Friesland.

University of Groningen university in the Netherlands

The University of Groningen is a public research university in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. The university was founded in 1614. Since its founding more than 200,000 students have graduated.

Notable professors and alumni

Jean-Nicolas-Sébastien Allamand Swiss-Dutch natural philosopher

Jean-Nicolas-Sébastien Allamand was a Swiss-Dutch natural philosopher.

Lieuwe van Aitzema Dutch diplomat, writer, philanderer and spy

Lieuwe (Leo) van Aitzema was a Dutch historian, diplomat, bon viveur, philanderer and spy.

William Ames English Protestant divine, philosopher, and controversialist

William Ames was an English Protestant divine, philosopher, and controversialist. He spent much time in the Netherlands, and is noted for his involvement in the controversy between the Calvinists and the Arminians.

See also

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Waadhoeke Municipality in Friesland, Netherlands

Waadhoeke is a municipality of Friesland in the northern Netherlands. It was established 1 January 2018 and consists of the former municipalities of Franekeradeel, het Bildt, Menameradiel and parts of Littenseradiel, all four of which were dissolved on the same day.


  1. A. C. Grayling, Descartes: The Life of Rene Descartes and Its Place in His Times, Simon and Schuster, 2006, pp. 151152.