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Netherlands: Amsterdam, Delft, Edam, Haarlem, Madurodam, Marken, The Hague, Volendam, Zaanse Schans
Edam, the Netherlands: More than cheese
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
The most obvious association with the name ‘Edam’ is its cheese. For centuries the well-known round Edam cheeses have been sent from this town to all corners of the world. The cheese market, once again restored to its place of honor, is enacted weekly during the summer months. And nearby cheese warehouses keep alive the memory of a colourful past.
I was in Amsterdam for a few days. On one of the mornings, I made a trip to Zaanse Schans. Once I was back at Amsterdam Centraal station, I was ready to explore more of the many Holland villages. Edam was one of them.
I took a bus from Amsterdam Centraal station. The return ticket for the journey was Euro 10. Driving along canals and lush meadows, I was in Edam in just about 40 minutes.
Edam is a city with a rich history. It began in the 12th century, when farmers and fishermen settled along the little Ye river. With that came the name,‘Yedam’. This primitive settlement developed into an increasingly prosperous town well into the 17th century. Shipbuilding played an important role in this growth. Once upon a time Edam had 33 ship-yards that built many famous ships. A good example is the ‘Halve Maan’, the ship that the Englishman Henry Hudson sailed in 1609 when attempting to discover a northern route to the East Indies. A futile attempt in fact, because he ended up on the island of Manhattan!
Beside shipbuilding, commerce was a major contributor to the thriving development of Edam. Together with Amsterdam, Hoorn and Enkhuizen, Edam was one of the most important commercial towns in Holland. Today Edam is a town with authentic 17th century architecture, convincing proof of its rich past. When walking (I did that for about an hour) along the old streets and quiet canals, one can easily imagine how it was in a Dutch town centuries ago. Well preserved gables, squares, bridges and monuments are pretty captivating.
Now it was time to visit Volendam – another pretty seaside village. It was only a 15-minute bus ride from Edam.
Edam Image Gallery Photo viewer
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