Springtime in Holland

Day 3 - Zannse Schans Open Air Museum


Old buildings from around Holland have been reconstructed here as a representation of life in a C19th village


This region of the Netherlands was once an important industrial area with hundreds of windmills which produced linseed oil, ground grain and spices, as well as pigments for paint and wood products. Others were used to scoop water into the dykes. Wind was the sole source of power until the steam engine took over in 1850. There were once over 10,000 windmills but now only 800 survive.

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Old houses from the area have been reconstructed here as an idealised reconstruction of a typical Dutch village from the C19th, with farmsteads, wooden houses, warehouses and windmills, canals, bridges, ditches and fields. Chickens scratch in the gardens and sheep graze on common land in the village.  Many of the houses are still lived in and have small gardens. Others are open as gift shops or workshops.

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Most of the houses are built of wood. Traditionally they were painted either black or green. The black paint was tar based and acted as a waterproof layer. Green was the cheapest colour paint available. The deeper the green, the more wealthy the house owner. They are all surrounded by a small garden with chickens and fruit trees.

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

In the main street there are some brick built houses. These are slightly later. Brick houses were a status symbol costing more than wood to build. They were also warmer.

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

The surrounding area is very wet, being reclaimed polders and is criss crossed with drainage ditches and dykes.

Zaanse Schans

The drainage ditches and canals are crossed by the typical white wooden bridges.

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

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