Drachten is the seat of Smallingerland municipality, Fryslân province.
Drachten was formed in the 17th century from the two villages North and
South Drachten. The two villages were separated by a canal, but the canal
was reclaimed early in the 20th century to facilitate transportation between
the two parts. Drachten has grown from 10,000 inhabitants in 1950 to over
40,000 inhabitants now. Smallingerland has a population of over 50,000.
Drachten has grown into an important centre with city-like characteristics
for a large area. The natural surroundings include a unique combination
of landscapes with lakes, woods, and grasslands.
The older part of Drachten has been renovated recently to represent
the original style from 1921. This neighborhood is called
"Papegaaienbuurt" (Parrot neighborhood), because of all the
bright colors. <and probably because there's some gossiping going on
:-)> The main reason for its growth is the Philips filial; unlike Stadskanaal
Drachten has attracted many more firms and is not as dependent on one firms
Nicknames: "Turven" (peat-blocks); "kjeallesturten" (calf's
tails); "boltsjes" (small loaves); "bôllen" (loaves).
Drachten was in a peat-digging area; On the old church is still a wheathervane
charged with three "turven". "Drachtster turf" is a
chocolate delicatesse. At the Stationsweg in Drachten is the pub "De
Drie Turven". Therefore the nickname became a
Calf's tails symbolize people who are not to clever, but apparently
The loaves represent the richess of the inhabitants in a generally
Drachten Coat of Arms: silver with three black peatblocks placed 2,1, with on
top a "vlekkekroon". This is derived from the wheathervane on the
At the request of the foundation "it Drachtster skûtsje "De
Twee Gebroeders" a flag has been designed based on the wheathervane.
Description: two equally long vertical stripes; the red hoist with
the yellow wheathervane, to wit: three peatblocks with on top a crown of
three leaves and two pearls, all connected by ribbons in "regence"-style;
the fly with seven equally wide stripes of white and black.
Design: Fryske Rie foar Heraldyk.
Source: Genealogysk Jierboekje 1986.
Groot Schimpnamenboek van Nederland, by Dirk van der Heide, 1998.
Jarig Bakker, 3 Oct 2003