De Zaanse Schans
With its traditional green painted houses, warehouses and windmills the Zaanse Schans gives the feeling of having stepped back into the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries.
The Zaanse Schans Information Desk is situated in the reception area of the Zaans Museum and is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. The Zaanse Schans is open daily throughout the year. There is no entrance fee, however some of the attractions charge an admission fee.
During the winter months some of the attractions are only opened in the weekends. For further information please contact the Zaanse Schans Information Desk or the opening hours on the website.
A visit to the Zaanse Schans would not be complete without the opportunity to explore a genuine working windmill!
The cunning application of the crank shaft revolutionised the development of industrial windmills in the Netherlands. Cornelis Corneliszoon or Uitgeest, an inventor at the beginning of the Golden Age the principle applied for the first time with a floating sawmill in 1592. This process was so successful that timber production in the area rose by 3000 percent. With an abundance of wind and water and the close proximity of Amsterdam's important, global, commercial center the stage was set for the Zaan region to become the first industrial area in the world.
Of the thousand industrial windmills ever built along the banks of the river Zaan thirteen remain. Six can be found at the Zaanse Schans.
Please note that during the winter months November and February, unless by prior arrangements, most of the windmills are open at weekends only, with the exception of the Young Sheep, open daily.
Dutch traditional crafts are still in daily practice at the Zaanse Schans. With its historical atmosphere appropriate surroundings, what better place is there to see time-honoured skills as making wooden shoes, cheese or pewter. There are craftsmen still at work in the windmills at the Zaanse Schans demonstrating ingenious, centuries-old techniques. The possibility of witnessing the ancient production of oil, making pigments for paint, or wood being windmill-sawn is an unforgettable experience. Daily demonstrations take place in authentic Dutch barns and picturesque windmills. The Pewter Foundry is situated in a charming teahouse. Ships company De
From the jetty 'Aan 't Glop', an open area by the river used in the past for loading, unloading and storing cargoes, situated next to the Mustard mill, river cruises depart daily in the summertime. Cruise past the fascinating houses and windmills of the Zaanse Schans, the beautiful merchants'houses of the Gortershoek opposite and past some modern day industrial activity along the Zaan. The captain has a mine of information to pass on about the houses, the windmills, their characteristics and points of interest. The boats leave on the hour and trips take 50 minutes.
The Zaanse Schans offers a variety of fascinating museums. The Zaans Museum houses a magnificent collection of regional artifacts and presents an innovative variety of exhibitions. The museum offers a complete historical picture of life in the Zaanstreek combined with stunning views over the Zaandam landscape.
Small, specialized museums situated in heritage buildings in other parts of the Zaanse Schans to help bring to life the impressive history of the world's first area of industry.