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Netherlands: Amsterdam, Delft, Edam, Haarlem, Madurodam, Marken, The Hague, Volendam, Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans, the Netherlands: Holland in a nutshell
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
The Zaanse Schans is an open air conservation area and museum, on the bank of the Zaan River, north of Zaandam in the Netherlands (Holland to many). It displays the traditional architecture of the area (typical green wooden houses) and has several functioning windmills and craftsman's workshops, which are open to visitors.
Mere mention of the name Holland, conjures up images of windmills, cheese, clogs and canals. For those who have just a few hours on hand can make a trip to Zaanse Schans to capture the spirit of Holland. Itís an open air museum, but will appear to you as a village. Paved roads along canals flanked by houses, windmills, cheese making units, craft workshops, curio shops, restaurants, et al add up to take you back in time.
I was in Amsterdam for a few days. On one of the mornings I set out to explore Zaanse Schans. Thereís a boat and also a bus that can bring you to the small town of Zaandjik. However, I preferred to take the train leaving from Amsterdam Centraal. The nearest station to get to Zaanse Schans is Koog Zaandjik. Itís just a 4-station, 20 minute train ride. The return ticket is Euro 6.50.
From the Koog Zaandjik station, Zaanse Schans is nice 15-minute walk. Just follow the signs. As soon as you come near the bridge, the windmills come in sight. And you are there. Thereís a name for each of the 5 windmills. Namely, Het Jonge Schaap ("the young sheep"), De Zoeker ("the seeker"), De Kat ("the cat"), De Gekroonde Poelenburg ("the crowned poelenburg") and De Huisman ("the houseman").
Entrance to the village is free. However, thereís a small fee to visit the windmills within. For the next two-hours or so I just walked the neighbourhood exploring the finer nuances of the world gone by.
Zaanse Schans Image Gallery Photo viewer
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