Wouldn’t you like to go back 100 years in Dutch time for only a few hours? I found out recently that is it possible! I am so excited to tell you all about my latest discovery.
Situated 65 kilometres north of Amsterdam by car – which takes you about 1 hour - the lovely city of Enkhuizen by the Ijsselmeer lake hosts a lovely historic museum of which the unique open-air museum is opened from March to October. The conglomerate of 142 houses, most of which are authentic, lets you emerge in the life of a beautiful Dutch fishermen’s village in the period between 1880 and 1930, when the Ijsselmeer was still called the Zuiderzee, before the latter was cut off from the North Sea in 1932 by a 33 km dam or dyke called the Afsluitdijk, one of the most prestigious Dutch civil constructions in the previous century, which is still the longest one in Europe.
Typical old fishing village crafts are being demonstrated by people in traditional outfits, such as booting and tanning of fishing nets, fish smoking, making wooden barrels, weaving baskets, doing laundry without the modern machinery ...
Wouldn’t you like to try booting a net? I wish I could have given it a try! For some obvious reason I was not allowed to.
You can also admire how a bakery, an apothecary, a butcher, a post office or a candy store looked like in those days. All houses and buildings are meticulously decorated with furniture, household appliances and products typical for that specific period in time, making it so much livelier and more realistic.
I am so grateful to mummy that she is taking the time to get me acquainted with the Dutch history before I am born. After all, in spite of the fact that I have plenty of time to read about Dutch history here in my safe though somewhat confined motherly space, experiencing history “in real life” is the real deal. Seeing with your own eyes how this Dutch fishermen’s village looked like and how its citizens were living and working, makes history so much more “alive”. Especially for us kids, who cannot yet see history in perspective, this is the ideal way for us to learn. Learn through play is definitely effective, I reckon.
The museum attracts people of all ages, but according it is highly attractive for children. Children are invited to make a boat clog, fabricate their own soap or try on authentic traditional clothing, while playing traditional games. Fun for the entire family guaranteed!
Hopefully my parents will take me there again when I will be able to try it out for myself. For the time being, I’ll content myself with the lovely pictures that I took.
I hope you’ll like them too!
Some practical information
Should you like to visit the museum, here is the address:
1601 LA Enkhuizen
The Zuiderzee Museum has two locations: an Indoor and an Outdoor Museum. If you come by car, the museum suggests you use the car park near the entrance pavilion as indicated in the above website link. There you take the Museum ferry to the Outdoor Museum. The Indoor Museum is located opposite the Outdoor Museum.
For more specific information: https://www.zuiderzeemuseum.nl/?lang=en