At the end of the 17th century there must have been 600 mills working in this area. In total there have been over 1000 mills here. And only 12 of them made it till today. 7 of them are under care of the organisation 'the zaansche Mill' that looks after their maintenance.
On either side of the bridge that you'll cross when walking from teh trainstation, you'll find a mill. And then there are 4,5 mills standing along the waterfront in the Zaanse Schans. Waiting to be photographed and visited on occasions.
Until recently i always thought that the Zaanse Scahns was actually an open air museum. But it is not. Even there are many musuems and beautiful houses to be seen, its actual purpose is a place where people live.
In the 1950´s an organisation was established to saveguard an authentic quarter of the Zaanstreek. Buildings that were threathened to be demolished were transferred to the Kalverpolder. The current site of the Zaanse Schans.
Favorite thing: Walking trough Zaanse Schans it's easy to smell cacao flavour in the air...Just in front of the village there is the Droste factory....Who don't know about this chocolate and cocoa producer?And ....of course i bought a nice cacao box!...
The local information center in the Zaanse Schans is called Vrede, which is Dutch for peace. You can get information here on what there is to do in teh area, or buy a book with information. In the winter you can also rent skates here for the ice skating ramp.
Opened from 8 to 6 in summer and from 8 to 5 in winter.
Open: Thuesday till Saturday10.00 - 17.00 Sunday 12.00 - 17.00
Closed: 25 December January 1 April 30
Transport: Train Koog-Zaandijk. 10-minute walk
Entree: ?2 to 4 for the Museums. Many Museums are free if you have the Museumkaart.
Windmills entry around Eur2, discounts for group of 10 people Eur 1.50
At the Zaanse Schans it looks like time stood still. In the 18th century the area (Zaanstreek) was one of the first industrial areas of the world. In hunderds of windmills they made linseed oil, sniff tabaco, paint and mustard. But as times changes the windmills were no longer usefull. Other machines, not depending on wind, took over. The windmills were tore down. But luckely for us some were saved and became monuments.
The windmills of the Zaanse Schans belong to that catagory.
Windmills at the Zaanse Schans:
- mustard mill, De Huisman (before 1802)
- saw mill, De Gekroonde Poelenburg (1869)
- paint mill, De Kat (1664-1696)
- oil mill, De Zoeker (1607)
- oil mill, De Bonte Hen (reconstruceted 1975)
The ancient dutch polders with swampy areas and wet meadows is home to many birdspecies and special plants.
The are is mostly below sealevel therefor the ground is always wet.
Since the 17th century this area is important. Windmills for industrial use and to mill the water out of the polder dominated the skyline. Whalers left from Zaandam to the northern seas and merchants from all over came here in their boats to trade. In 1697 the Russian tsaar Peter the Great came to Zaandam to learn about shipbuilding.
Today there still is much industry here. But you can also enjoy the green wetlands. Tour the area by bike, or in a rowing boat, it is worth it!
Though it’s a very small spot you take a big memory card or lots of film to take photos since every corner you see it worth to take a pic. You'll want to have it in photos to remember it from time to time in the future and make sure it was not a dream.
Fondest memory: The whole place
In the old days it was very normal to have the toilet outside. It was mostly built over the water so the waste could wash away immediately.
Although this a good example it is no longer used.