Local Heart, Global Soul

February 21, 2014

History Relocates Itself To Zaanse Schans…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Mostly we like to take our visitors to the Netherlands off the beaten track, to places off the tourist trail, but sometimes it’s nice to see a little bit of a tourist spot because it gives an insight to the kind of “the Netherlands” tourists expect and want to see.

Zaanse Schans, located a short distance from Schipol airport is just such a place.

Wikipedia tells us:

Zaanse Schans is a neighbourhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk in the municipality of Zaanstad in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland.

It has a collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses; the circa 35 houses from all over the Zaanstreek were moved to the museum area in the 1970s.The Zaans Museum, established in 1994, is located in the Zaanse Schans.

The Zaanse Schans is one of the popular tourist attractions of the region and an anchor point of ERIH, the European Route of Industrial Heritage. The neighbourhood attracts approximately 900,000 visitors every year. The windmills were built after 1574.

In the Netherlands, sometimes if a small historic building semi-important for cultural reasons but is mill, farmhouse or the like and finds itself in the path of a planned motorway or city development, it is moved to another location rather than being lost to the bulldozers.  If it can be moved intact, then this is done, if not, the bricks and parts are numbered as it is painstakingly  disassembled and then reassembled in order on the new site.

The most famous place in the Netherlands where this is done on a large scale is the “Nederlands Openluchtmuseum” (Netherlands Open Air Museum) near Arnhem where the process has been going on since 1912, but here at Zaanse Schans it’s a smaller scale  attraction that was first established in the 1970’s.We arrive in the area that is the “main street” where examples of commercial businesses and large houses of the wealthy business owners are found. These building are more ostentatious than those of the labours cottages, giving me some beautiful architectural decoration to photograph and admire.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaanse_Schans

1 Comment »

  1. We went to Zaanse Schans but it was off season so several buildings were not open for visitors. We did enjoy the demonstration of how wooden shoes are made. I remember the air smelled like chocolate as there was a chocolate factory near by (I think this was at Zaandam but it’s been several years so I could be remembering wrong!)

    Comment by Carrie — March 2, 2014 @ 2:16 pm | Reply


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