Leek ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a municipality and a village in the Groningen province in the northeastern Netherlands, bordering on the Drenthe and Fryslân provinces.
The village is approximately 20 km west of Groningen (city) on the A7 (E22) highway.
The village grew around a fortification that was constructed here during the Eighty Years' War with Spain. The name 'Leek' was derived from a brook, the "Leke". The town is sometimes also called "The Leek". In Dutch the people from Leek are called "Leeksters".
Every year around pentecost there is a fair (Pinkstermarkt), drawing thousands of people from the area.
Near the village is a shallow lake, called "Het Leekstermeer" (also called Zulthemeer), with recreational facilities. Actually, the lake is in another municipality and in another province.
Attractions in the Leek Municipality
The main attraction in the village is the "Nienoord" estate. The Nienoord estate was founded in 1508. After a destroying fire a new manor-house was build in 1887. The gardens and the shell-grotto were restored.
In this manor-house is situated the National Carriage Museum. In 1958 the National Carriage Museum rented the house and gardens. The National Carriage Museum presents an overal view of the various types of carriages and sleighs from the 18th to the 20th century. The 250 coaches in the museum’s collection were used by farmers, the common man, the nobleman and royalty.
In the estate is situated a recreation park (Family-park Nienoord) with model railways in several scales, including "live steam".
In Tolbert and Midwolde are churches from the 12th century. The churches are build in the Romano-Gothic style. Typical for this style are the walls and gables of brick that are richly decorated with recesses and patterns of bricks. In the Church of Midwolda is a tomb monument sculpted by Rombout Verhulst. Rombout Verhulst also decorated tomb of Michiel de Ruyter in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.
Enumatil, Leek, Lettelbert, Midwolde, Oostwold, Tolbert and Zevenhuizen.
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