The renovation of the three-bay ‘De Vrede’ (‘Peace’) warehouse which houses the wooden shoe workshop
In the 19th century, industrialization and increased prosperity caused a decline in the demand for wooden shoes, especially in urban areas. This meant that the number of wooden shoe makers also declined. More than 8,000 people worked in the wooden shoe making industry over a century ago; now there’s only a dozen left. Luckily, Jaap and his son Willem Kooijman managed to save several old wooden shoe making machines from being thrown out as junk.
“The art of wooden shoe making has been passed on to a new generation of wooden shoe makers who demonstrate and explain their trade in as many as eleven languages, free of charge”
Using antique machines, we demonstrate how we still make wooden shoes in the same way as they were made over a hundred years ago. This craftsmanship has been passed on to a new generation of wooden shoe makers who demonstrate their trade free of charge to our many visitors, preserving it for future generations to learn and enjoy. An interesting explanation is given in the visitor’s own language whenever possible, from Dutch to Chinese. Our demonstration continues to be a fascinating spectacle for young and old alike!