The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


Hindeloopen is a small Frisian town by lake IJsselmeer, with a unique culture. This originates from its past as merchant town and harbour. The decorative paintwork, its own different dialect, the colourful traditional costumes and ice-skating culture are examples of this. Hindeloopen paintwork is world-famous. It is a technique to decorate furniture and other useful objects with elegant flowers, leaves and curls. Common colours are reddish brown, blue, white or green as background and ochre hues, white, blue and red for the decorations. The ‘Hylper’ dialect, with its typical rising diphtongs, is quite different from normal Frisian and is still spoken in Hindeloopen. The cultural uniqueness of Hindeloopen is also quite visible in the traditional costumes, characterised by the combination of chintzes with East-Indian coloureds, checkered fabrics. Chintz is a colourful, flowery painted fabric, originally from India. Hindeloopen is of course known as one of the Frisian Eleven Towns. Other forms of ice-entertainment are known in Hindeloopen, like ice sledges racing, with a kind of small barge that is propelled across the ice with two poles.



In 2011 the Stichting tot Behoud van Immaterieel Erfgoed Hindeloopen (Foundation for the Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage Hindeloopen) was established. Various local parties are engaged in the foundation: the workshops for Hindeloopen paintwork, vocal and dance group Aald Hielpen, the Museum Hindeloopen, the Ice-Skating Museum and social-cultural organisations. The large majority of the inhabitants of Hindeloopen has contributed to the establishment of the foundation.



In 1225 Hindeloopen acquired town privileges. Prosperity and character of the small town were mainly determined by trade and its location by the Zuiderzee. Sailors from Hindeloopen sailed to the Baltic States and sold products like gin and woollen fabrics there. From the Baltic Sea area they transported wood to Amsterdam and the Zaan region. The Hindeloopen culture was strongly influenced by these contacts with Amsterdam and the Zaan region. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century the people from Hindeloopen encountered fabrics from India, brought to Amsterdam by ships of the United East-Indies Company VOC. Hindeloopen developed its own colourful traditional costumes. Hindeloopen paintwork originates from the same period 1650-1790. Little has changed within the Hindeloopen dialect, because the inhabitants had relatively few contacts in the Frisian hinterland. At the end of the eighteenth century an economic regression put a stop to the flourishing trade. Hindeloopen became primarily a fishing town. In the twentieth century Hindeloopen turned into a tourist town. This resulted in national and international influence on the local culture. Still it retained its strong individual character.



Stichting tot Behoud van Immaterieel Erfgoed Hindeloopen
Oude Weide 22
8713 KX