This freely-accessible village of windmills gives a fantastic insight into Dutch history
Discover a world of craftsmanship and history
The Zaanse Schans is one of the most famous attractions in the Netherlands. Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the typically Dutch mills, houses, and trades.
The Zaanse Schans is located twenty minutes north of Amsterdam. Situated in typically Dutch surroundings, there is plenty to see and experience. Besides clog-making, there are a variety of other traditional skilled trades to admire. Take for example the pewter foundry De Tinkoepel which is one of the last of its kind in the Netherlands to produce a variety of pewter products by hand in the traditional way.
Four of the nine working mills are open to the public. De Zoeker, an oil mill built in 1672, makes oil in the traditional way by grinding seeds and peanuts. De Kat, a dye mill built in 1646, is the only mill in the world to still process raw materials such as chalk and wood into pigment for the production of paints and dyes. This way of making paint was used in Rembrandt’s time.
“Besides clog-making, there are a variety of other traditional skilled trades to admire.”
At the windmill Het Jonge Schaap, built in 1680, the logs are still pulled from the water before being sawn into large planks. The fully restored De Huisman spice mill which dates back to 1786 is where the authentic Zaans mustard used to be made. There is also a cheese maker’s selling all sorts of different cheeses. Diamonds are cut and Dutch pottery is painted by hand. There is even a traditionally distilled liqueur made here at the Zaanse Schans.
The supermarket chain Albert Heijn originated in a small grocer’s shop in Oostzaan. This original grocer’s shop has been moved to the Zaanse Schans, including the authentic layout and furniture. There is also the Zaanse Tijd museum which houses a unique collection of Dutch clocks. Along Zeilenmakerspad, you will find the bakery and museum ‘In de Gecroonde Duyvekater’ which takes its name from the duivekater, a popular sweet local bread. This authentic shop sells traditional Dutch bakery products and confectionary. There are also a number of restaurants and shops with something for everyone. It is easy to imagine you have stepped back in time as you walk beside and between the mills and green Zaan-style houses.
People live in the houses here, and there is the option of staying overnight at the Zaanse Schans’s Bed & Breakfast Heerlijck Slapen. It is also possible to go on a boat trip to see all the historical sites along the Zaan river. Watch the video below to get an impression of the Zaanse Schans.
A visit to the Kooijman Souvenirs & Clogs wooden shoe workshop and shop is a real day out and a great experience for young and old. We look forward to your visit!