De Zaanse Schans English

The windmill the crowned Poelenburcht in marriage decoration

The saw windmill the crowned Poelenburcht in Marriage decoration

This is the english Zaanse Schans page.

introduction to the zaanse schans

On the east bank of the river the Zaan in Zaandijk the Zaanse schans is located. T

A lot of the sights on the zaanse schans can be seen on this page. Print it out and use it as an extra guide on your trip!

The area was named ‘De Zaanse Schans’ after an entrenchment which was erected in 1574 to hold back Spanish troops at the beginning of the Eighty Years War between the Netherlands and Spain. People work and live in the Zaanse Schans: they feel at home in the area and keep alive the glory which this industrial district saw in the golden age. Visiting the Zaanse Schans, you will see a situation characteristic of the landscape of that district until late in the nineteenth century. The dikes were probably built as early as the thirteenth century, the first villages were built along these at a later date. Until late in the last century these were typical ‘dike-villages’.

Information Centre

phone (31) 75 – 6168218
fax (31) 75 – 61769801, SCHANSEND
1509 AW Zaanstad
This Information Centre is situated in a former warehouse for corn and rice dating back to the beginning of the 18th century and all the information on the Zaanse schans, the windmills, the museums, the workshops and the restaurants can be obtained there. On the first floor you will find a comprehensive exhibition on the history and the background of the Zaanse schans. Guided tours and pre-made arrangements are also available from the visitor’s centre.

In de Gecroonde Duijvekater


The first house at Zeilenmakerspad (Sail-maker’s path) is the bakery-museum, called ‘In de Gecroonde Duijvekater’. It was built as a private house in 1658 and converted into a bakery in I753. It was moved to the Zaanse Schans in I970. The ovens were in use until 1956. Up until the First World War the fire was fed with saw-dust. The saw-dust box, the flour-store and the authentic toilet are on the ditch at the back of the bakery. The floor in the shop has been painted to give a ‘marbled’ effect. Over the front door is a wooden ‘duijvekater’, a popular sort of sweet bread from the district and the museum was named after it. In pagan times black cats were sometimes sacrificed to lay evil spirits. Later these ‘duijvelkaters’ (devil-cats) were replaced by loaves shaped like a shin. In Christian times the duijvekater became a delicacy, baked especially for Christmas and Whitsun.

Het Jagershuis


The trademan’s house next to the bakery-museum was built at the end of the seventeenth century. The interior still has its original division and panelling. During the floods in 1916 the house subsided, but was completely restored. A motto was painted over the door: ‘Have faith, all will be well’.

Molen ‘De Huisman’


The windmill ‘De Huisman’ was built in 1786 in Zaandam. Originally it was a snuff-mill. Later it was fitted out as a mustard-mill as well. In 1956 ‘De Huisman’ was moved to the Zaanse Schans. Nowadays the mustard, which is sold in the mill, is made with the help of electrically operated machinery.

Het huis van ‘Juffrouw Albestel’


This merchant house, built in the early part of the eighteenth century, has been altered many times. In the beginning of the nineteenth century a lady, nick-named ‘Mrs. Busy-body’ lived here. She had so many whims and was so meddlesome that people made a lampoon of her, consisting of 130 staves. When the house was being restored, for example, five wooden partitions were found between a cupboardbed and the passage. The house was converted into two separate apartments. Cupboards, cupboardbeds, passages and staircases were interchanged. Four cellars were found under the house. In the early part of this century much of the house was again converted, but among the things to be preserved were a carved Louis-XVI door with the emblem of Mercury over it, a well-made doorstep, linen hangings with wallpaintings and the front which dates from 1770.

Galerie ‘Aan ‘t Glop’


On the river Zaan you will see an open area. From May up to and including September, a touringboat leaves from this open space every hour. Large open areas such as these used to be used as storageyards for cargoes. The building at the south side of this ‘glop’ used to be a bookshop – this was built in the nineteenth century. The entrance hall dates from about 1630. The leaded windows over the deathdoor and the timber front are typical for this period. The roof is, for the greater part, still supported by the bent trunks of oak-trees. The low, oblong livingroom is a copy of an eighteenth-century summerhouse. At that time, merchant families used their summerhouses mainly for relaxing during the summer. Part of the building is now used as a gallery.

Koopmanshuis ‘d’Mol’


On the other side of the road-ditch, at 8, Kalverringdijk, you can see a simple merchant house, built in the seventeenth century. It is surrounded by water. Large parts of the interior are still in the original condition. The walls of the front room are tiled, the house has an open spiral staircase and the cupboardbed in the back room is still in use. The old merchant house ‘d’Mol’ (The Mole), at 19, Kalverringdijk, was built in the seventeenth century. d’Mol, named after the Mol family who used to live there, has been restored to the condition it was in after an alteration about 1795. Over the front door you can see the family arms, showing a mole. d’Mol has the longest summerhouse of the Zaanse Schans. Early in the twentieth century d’Mol was joined to the neighbouring house at number 17.

‘Van ouds het Noorderhuis’


The rooms of this merchant house, which was built in 1670 and enlarged in 1800, are open to the public. In the small front room, the best room, is a tiled picture showing the herringcatch. In the passage is a painting of the river Zaan in 1800, when over 700 windmills were working on the riverbanks. When the emperor Napoleon, who visited the district in 1811, saw all the windmills working, it seemed he called out: ‘Sans pareil’ – unparalleled! In the living-room, in Empirestyle, you can see a young mother in the cupboardbed, breastfeeding her baby. In the back room you win see a group of people, trying the clothes on for a play called ‘The flower of Zaandijk’, which was first performed in I 894. The action takes place at the end of the eighteenth century. As a whole the group gives a good idea of how people in the district dressed at the end of the eighteenth century. The two elderly people are dressed in clothes dating from the end of the last century.

De Hoop Op d’Swarte Walvis


As a regular guest to this restaurant I can advice you to go have a nice lunch or dinner here. Best

food in town!

The front part of this restaurant used to be an orphanage and was built in 1717 in the village of Westzaan. The big fire-place is lined with tiles. The purple tiles in the middle show a picture of Solomon’s judgement. The old orphanage has been joined with a nineteenth-century house, now accommodating the kitchen and the office of the restaurant, and with an eighteenth-century store-house, originally used for storing whaling gear. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century whaling was an important way of earning a living. In the trustee’s room, the ‘blue room’, there are engravings depicting the falling of the church- steeple on the orphanage in 1843. This happened after the orphanage had been extended.

De Overtuin


Merchants who lived on the river Zaan often had a garden on the opposite side of the road: this ensured that they had an unobstructed view of the landscape, but it was also used as an ornamental garden. Landscape gardening was influenced by the French style. A statuette of ‘Fame’, the angel with the trumpet, and a sun-dial were favourite centrepieces in these gardens.

Museum shop Albert Heijn


This museum-shop is composed of two houses, built about 1820. The shop in the front part is characteristic of a nineteenth century shop and gives a general idea of what the simple timber houses that were built in that period looked like. The shop equipment from the old grocery- shop of Albert Heijn – now a large supermarket-chain – has been selected with great care. Among other things, the shop has a wooden counter, a large coffee-grinder, brass scales, wooden containers for storing loose commodities like peas and beans, and coloured drums for colonial groceries. Butter was sold by the cup from the barrel and dry goods were put in paper bags in the old-fashioned way. The shop is full of interesting smells which remind one of days gone past. At the back of the premises are the living-quarters which are in use today.

Zaans Uurwerkenmuseum


In this seventeenth-century building, which was originally an industrial building and later a private house, you can see a unique collection of clocks. The clocks give a good idea of almost five thousand years of timetelling. The museum contains Egyptian sun-dials and water- clocks, table-clocks and grandfather clocks, wall-clocks and last but not least a number of clocks that are characteristic of the Zaan-district. The Zaan-district played an important part in Clock manufacturing.

De Theekoepel


On the left-hand side of the Clock-museum is a small tea-room. In the eighteenth century many merchants had tea-rooms like this at the back of their houses on the river Zaan. During the summer it was used for drinking tea and relaxing. This tea-room has Rococo-ornaments. The spade on the arms is the symbol of the family who first owned this building. The garden, in the French style, gives an idea of a back-garden of a merchant house in the Zaan-district.

De Harenmakerij


The house attached to the workshop dates from 1743. The façade at the side of Kalverringdijk (on the road-ditch) is built in the Louis-XV style. The lower part of the building, viewed from Zonnewijzerspad (Sun-dial’s path), was built in the seventeenth century. This used to be the workshop, in which the ‘hairs’ for the oil-mills were made. A ‘hair’ was a horse hair mat in a leather cover. The crushed, heated seeds were pressed between the mats into oilcakes, during which process the linseed or rapeseed oil was forced through the fabric. About 1930 the workshop closed down and nobody knows nowadays how these hairs were made. The oil-mill ‘De Zoeker’ therefore uses a new fabric. The Haremaker family, named after the occupation, used to live in the house. It was altered about 1800 but the Empirestyle is distinguishable in places.

Scheepswerf / shipyard


The path leads through the marshy polderland, over a narrow bridge, to the ship-yard. A ship’s carpenter is at work here. Beyond the barn is a small wind-mill ‘De Windhond’. This used to be a crushing-mill, used for pulverising old millstones.

De Klompenmakerij


In the klompenmakerij – the wooden shoes factory – at regular times you can enjoy live exhibitions on how wooden shoes actually are carved from wood. This is a must see event in your trip.
Through the meadows, over a small bridge, the path leads you back to the starting point, the old storehouses ‘De Kraai’, ‘De Bezem’, ‘De Lelie’ and ‘De Vrede’. The ‘Vrede’ warehouse is a former storage shed for grain and snuff. Part of the warehouse has been set up as a wooden shoe-museum, with one of the largest collections in Holland and now it accomodates a clog workshop, where the handmade clogs and other souvenirs are sold. Quite often, you can see the clogmaker at work. Storehouse ‘De Bezem’ accommodates a shop and the office of the Zaanse Schans Foundation.