Cycle route The Zaanse Schans
Zaandijk, Koog aan de Zaan, Zaandam
The Zaanse Schans in North Holland is a complete day out! It is an area that every tourist should visit to get a taste of old Dutch life. It breathes the atmosphere of life in the 18th and 19th centuries. The wooden houses, barns and workshops make it a unique village in the Netherlands. But the many windmills are the showpiece of this region!
In the 18th and 19th centuries, industry flourished in the Zaanstreek. This was a direct result of the glorious trade during the Golden Age in the 17th century. At that time, there were about six hundred windmills here, all working at the same time. The Zaan entrepreneurs were creative and created all kinds of products with the industrial mills. Thanks to the Zaan invention of the crankshaft, the mills were able to saw wood. Shipbuilding played an important role: in the Golden Age, there were no less than 26 shipyards that launched more than a hundred ships per year. The wealthy mill owners and traders in the Zaan region had beautiful, colourful wooden houses built with both a beautiful front and rear façade as status symbols. You will encounter many of these houses during this cycle tour, with the stacked houses in Zaandam as the highlight.
On the Zaanse Schans, you can explore numerous old crafts. The smell of fresh biscuits wafts into your nose when you walk past the Bakery Museum. At the warehouse, you can see how clogs are made and also visit the cheese dairy and the tinsmith's shop. From the Zaan, you have a wonderful view of the unique row of windmills next to each other. You will not only see windmills here, but also if you continue cycling towards Koog aan de Zaan and Zaandam, you will encounter many more windmills!
Enjoy this nostalgic cycle route along cultural heritage. But the houses on the Zaanse Schans are still inhabited, the residents would appreciate it if you would bear this in mind.
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