JULY 14, 2016

Zaanse Schans

The Zaanse Schans is an open air conservation area and museum, on the east bank of the Zaan River, north of Zaandam in the Netherlands. It displays the traditional architecture of the area (green wooden houses) and has several functioning windmills and craftsman's workshops, which are open to visitors. Located next to it is the regional museum, the Zaans Museum.

Zaanse Schans is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Netherlands, being very close to Amsterdam. Since it is a fairly large site, it does not feel very crowded, even in the high season. The buildings, most of which have been transported here from elsewhere in the region, have all been meticulously restored, making it a very pretty site - but at the same time it's not very authentic: it is an idealized re-creation of a Dutch village from the late 19th century.

(Source: Wikitravel)

Volendam is a town in North Holland, 20 kilometres north of Amsterdam. Sometimes called "the pearl of the Zuiderzee", this place is a highly popular tourist destination. Here, you'll find many Dutch clichés, including the traditional costumes and wooden shoes. Most of them, however, have a lot of historic truth to them.

Its rather isolated location and the character of its inhabitants have given Volendam a very specific atmosphere. It used to be a Roman-Catholic enclave in a largely protestant region; and the locals' distrust of inhabitants of the nearby town of Edam is almost proverbial. The dialect spoken in Volendam is very particular and difficult to understand for speakers of standard Dutch. Volendam has always been a fishermen's village, and even though since the closing of the Zuiderzee in 1932 the fishing industry is not what it used to be, the bustling harbour area with its many boats is still a major attraction. From the 1880s on it was a popular resort for artists, who found that the town seemed hardly touched by time. They captured its characteristics in many paintings and other works of art.

Volendam's traditional costume is one of the best known examples of ancient clothing (klederdracht) in the country. Only a handful of people wear it in their daily lives today, but as the locals have recognized its value for tourism you will probably still run into it here or there. In the Netherlands, Volendam is famous for its singers and musicians. There is a vibrant Dutch music scene based in Volendam, producing a style of music that is colloquially known as palingsound, and several of the most popular Dutch singers originate from the town.
(Source: Wikitravel)


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