Stavoren lies within the municipality of Súdwest-Fryslân. Stavoren was granted city rights in 1118, making it the oldest city in Friesland. It is also one of the stops on the Elfstedentocht, (literally, 'eleven city ride'), an ice skating contest/event which occurs when the winter temperatures provide safe conditions.
A ferry for pedestrians and cyclists operates between Stavoren and Enkhuizen, with increased trips during summer months.
The town is the scene of the action of a Dutch Renaissance folk-tale, that of the mythical Lady of Stavoren. The tale is a reminder of the maritime wealth once enjoyed by the town and its merchants.
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