Uniastate Bears – Bears, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura

Bears, Netherlands

Uniastate Bears

This steel frame is a skeletal mirage of a lost 16th-century stone building. 

This steel skeleton of a building is a striking feature of a centuries-old European estate. It stands as a modern tribute to a lost building.

The steel frame, located in the northern province of Friesland in the Netherlands, was built in memory of the stone building that once stood here. The modern frame almost feels like a mirage of the former structure.

The stone building the steel construction honors was built by the Unia family around 1530. (The term state or stins means “stone house” and was commonly used for stone buildings in the years after 1400). The estate passed through various hands over the centuries, with new buildings, including a gatehouse, being added.

In 1756, the old stone building was demolished. The property’s gatehouse was spared from a similar fate. Incredibly, the gatehouse was spared again in 1879 when the property and its remaining structures were sold to be demolished. Now, the old gatehouse and a smattering of other relics still stand, in company with the steel homage to the old stone house.

Know Before You Go

The visitor center is full of information about the local area. Brochures and tourist maps are available free of charge. See the website for information about various events. From April through September, it's open Tuesday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. From October to March, visits are by appointment only. 


The Visitors Center is located southeast from this steel homage structure, across a road and 270 feet (85 meters) away.


Visit Uniastate in the small village of Bears by foot, bike or boat. The Bearsterfeart canal is closeby and offers wide views of the Dutch landscape. Additional information about the estate can be found in the church of Bears.

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