Originally a chapel for the Holy Ghost, this 14th century building was converted to a weigh house in 1582. Today it houses the Kaasmuseum (Cheese Museum) and is the backdrop for the cheese market on Fridays (10am – noon), April through August.
The famous Cheese Market is every Friday from 10:00 till 12:30 at the Waagplein, starting the first Friday of April until the first Friday of September.
A speaker announces what is happening and tells a bit about the history of the cheese market in Dutch, English and German.
It gets very busy!
The weigh house here beside the canal, with its Renaissance facade, was originally a chapel and converted in 1582.
Each Friday during summer, early April to early September, the cheese market is held in the square next to here and porters in their colourful hats and white costumes carry the cheese laden sledges into the weigh house for weighing.
As written earlier youre able to come into the area where the cheese is weighed and the porters were also welcoming the children into to see what they were doing, invitiing them to lift the heavy lead weights!
Also, rather fitting!, located here is the Cheese museum/Kaasmusueum which shows both modern and traditional methods of dairy farming.
Just behind the Weigh house is the tourist information office.
as per tradition the cheese is weighed with lead weights and then 'auctioned'.
This Friday cheese market still draws the crowds and its great that we travellers can still get the chance to see these famous round cheeses in the traditional setting.
it was great to see that children were very welcome inside the cheese weigh house and allowed to get up close and personal, with the guys happy to interact with the kids what goes on with the cheese!
The Dutch love their cheese and Alkmaar is famous for having one of the few remaining cheese markets in the Netherlands. Every Friday (10am – noon), April through August, the Dutch put on traditional dress for the region and demonstrate how a merchants’ market operated in the past. Strangely, you can not buy cheese at the market, but nearby stalls allow you to acquire any souvenirs you might like.
there were two companies - both with loud speakers! - attracting visitors to the rather low priced and good valued tours - i opted for the open top boat as it was rather hot and preferred not to sit under a see through but enclosed plastic canopy. That one was only 5 euro and mine was only 4.75 euro for a tour lasting one and a quarter hours.
the other tour was for an hour and a half and was heading out to the countryside around alkmaar.
they both were both available quite frequently - the one around the canals and town of almaar more frequently with 15 minutely departure it seemed. great for a rushed trip or the time conscious.
Each Friday during the summer, bringing lots of tourists to the pretty town centre of Alkmaar.
But those in their colourful outfits were happy to involve what they were doing with the visitors, especially the children.
The Alkmaar Cheese Market takes place in Alkmaar's main square (Waagplein) every Friday at 10 a.m., from the second Friday in April to the second Friday in September. The tour groups arrive early, so try to be there between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m.--especially if you would like to take pictures or make a video.
It is a fantastic sight - do have a look at my travellogue for more pictures!
During summer season there's the famous cheese market, every friday morning. Be very early to ensure a place where you can see the whole thing, because it's a busy tourist attraction. As a small 12 year old I was there but couldn't see because of the tall people all around me. I had a second chance some 12 years ago. We booked a hotel on the market square and guess what: we overslept!
In September 2006, during our conference, we've arranged that all participants will get a VIP view of the event. So I guess I'll get lucky then!
Hence no photo. So I put up a modern cheese trader: the cheese shop!
Although year of 1622 is officially named as the origin of the cheesemarket in Alkmaar, it is known already in 1365 the city ownes a cheesebalance. Cheesemarket is being held on Friday mornings between 10 and 12.30 from April to September. The cheeses are sold by dealers on a clap of hands.