canal view in heerenveen
This painting was made 200 years ago: rush hour at the drawing bridge in the town of Heerenveen. Several ships can be seen waiting to be let through, for example on the left the hektjalk, a common sailing barge in those days, carrying a load of peat. On the right you can see the mooring for the towing barge.
Canal view in Heerenveen, Dirk Piebes Sjollema, 1820-1830
Due to the many waterways, the towing barge was an efficient, affordable and popular means of transport in Friesland. This flat barge was drawn forward by a horse or a man walking on the towing path along the canals.
As a rule there used to be an inn near the mooring place, on the right in this painting you can see the Hotel Groen. A convenient location, as it provided waiting passengers with refreshments as well as shelter in unpleasant weather.