The Zaanse Schans is a residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life.
Stroll past the bakery museum and enjoy the smell of fresh cookies, or take a look at the warehouse where clogs are made. You should be sure not to miss the cheese factory, pewter foundry and the various windmills. The Zaanse Schans is a unique part of the Netherlands, full of wooden houses, mills, barns and workshops. Make a cycling or sailing trip, browse the shops or treat yourself at the pancake restaurant. A day out at the Zaanse Schans in North Holland is fun and educational.
Looking around you at the Zaanse Schans, you will see nothing but history. A feeling of nostalgia, no, more than that, a slight feeling of homesickness will strike you when you see the wooden facades, the slit windows and the low doors. Here, centuries of memories are like footprints of history resounding in each chamber. Hundreds of years ago, people slept, cooked, laughed, cried, loved, argued, were born and died within these walls. And still the Zaanse Schans lives on, because all premises are lived in. We will be pleased to share with you the stories connected with these special places.
From a distance you can already see the sails of the windmills slowly turning, with extensive meadows in the background. It’s a serene image, but hard work is going on inside the mills. The creaking, toiling wood and all moving parts in the belly of the building make up an imposing spectacle in which wood is sawn, or oil, flour, spices and pigments are milled. Climb up to the deck of the mill via the narrow stairs, enjoy a beautiful panorama and see how the industry developed in the wider area.
We could talk for hours about the history of the Zaans, but the stories are only truly brought to life when you can see them, hear them, taste them and move around in one of the museums on the Zaanse Schans. Learn how raw materials were processed, how products were made and how they used to be transported. Operate the chocolate wrapping machine or submerge yourself in the world of watchmaking at the Zaanse Time Museum. Do you visit a lot of museums? Then you’ll save a lot of money with a Zaanse Schans Card
The characteristic clatter of wooden clogs on cobblestones would never have existed without the artisans who crafted this unusual footwear. The Old Dutch handicrafts have also brought us the typical Dutch cheeses
and the Delft Blue decorative style. You’ll encounter various different artisans as you stroll through the Zaanse Schans. Feel free to look over their shoulders; they’ll be happy to show you where their particular products come from. There’s a great range of products available in the craft shops, for a wonderful souvenir of our special past.
Other windmills sites in Holland
Are you planning to visit the best (flower) activities in Holland? Make sure to check out our most populair articles: