The various windmills at the Zaanse Schans
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.
The 18th and 19th centuries come to life at the Zaanse Schans
You shouldn’t only read about the heritage of the Zaan district, you have to experience it! This is what architect Jaap Schippers must have been thinking when he came up with the plan for the Zaanse Schans in 1946. Starting from 1961, several buildings were transported to the area by road and water. The Zaanse Schans, with its windmills, museums, nature and culture has become a popular attraction where you can experience up close the industrial history of the Netherlands.
Timeline: what’s the history of the Zaanse Schans?
The mid-19th century saw the start of the industrial revolution in the Zaan district. What you see today on the Zaanse Schans is how a living and working community in the Zaan district looked back then: farmsteads, paths, wooden houses, warehouses and windmills, ditches and fields. Read here about the evolution of this special spot in the Zaan district:
Dive into Dutch history and learn more about how we used to live.
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 card can be bought at the information centre in the Zaans Museum, the Weaver’s House and at the Zaanse Time Museum.
Zaans Museum and Verkade Experience
The history of biscuits and chocolate is brought to life
Together, the Zaans Museum and the Verkade Experience make up the most delicious museum in the Netherlands! The collection is extremely diverse, presented in a highly modern way and includes utensils, clothing, paintings and factory materials from the food industry. You can press buttons on the interactive displays and try to pack as many biscuits or bonbons as you can in a fun computer game! The factory – where the authentic machines still operate to this very day – takes you back in time to the early 20th century. The history of biscuits and chocolate is brought to life in the place where the famous Verkade girls used to produce their tasty treats. In the Verkade Experience, you can also arrange children’s parties or tours. There is also room for workshops, lectures, meetings, business trips and tailor-made packages.
Albert Heijn Museum Shop
Walk into the birthplace of Holland’s most famous supermarket chain.