May 8, 2018
Next stop learning about traditional Dutch culture in North Holland about 1.5 hours north of Breda and about 30 minutes north of Amsterdam.
Zaanse Schans (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈzaːnsə ˈsxɑns]) is a neighbourhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk, Netherlands. It is best known for its collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses. It’s an open-air museum which is a free outdoor park with a collection of historical windmills. You can also find the very first Albert Heijn grocery store in the Netherlands. This monumental building is now a museum complete with the original furniture and fixtures from 1887.
There is a wooden shoe workshop at the Zaanse Schans where we got to see the clog makers make clogs and learn about the history of wooden shoes.
We also got to go inside a real working windmill.
In de Gecroonde Duyvekater Bakery Museum is located in a charming house dating back to 1658. The bakery is decorated in 19th-century style and features an authentic oven from that time. The bakery got its name from a type of sweet bread that is still made in the Zaan region.
Kuiperij in Zaanse Schans is where barrels were made to transport goods. The historic family business has been preserved exactly as it was during the cooperage heyday and is now managed by the Zaans Museum. The Zaans Museum tells the story of daily life in the Zaan region over the centuries. The Zaan was one of the oldest industrial areas in Europe, and wind and water played an essential role in its success.
The Catharina Hoeve is an authentic 17th-century cheese farm where you can attend a cheese making demonstration, as well as tasting the various products and exploring the gift shop, where you’ll find a wide variety of cow, sheep and goat products.