Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈzaːnsə ˈsxɑns]) is a neighbourhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk, Netherlands. It is best known for its collection of windmills and wooden houses that were relocated here from the wider region north of Amsterdam for preservation. From 1961 to 1974 old buildings from all over the region known as the Zaanstreek were relocated using lowboy trailers to the Zaanse Schans.[1] Two of the windmills in the Zaanse Schans are preserved in their original site where they were first constructed, and therefore don't make up part of the relocated structures. The Zaans Museum, established in 1994 near the first Zaanse Schans windmill, is located south of the neighbourhood.

Zaanse Schans
Windmills at Zaanse Schans
Windmills at Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is located in Netherlands
Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans
Location of Zaanse Schans in the Netherlands
Coordinates: 52°28′26″N 4°48′59″E / 52.47389°N 4.81639°E / 52.47389; 4.81639Coordinates: 52°28′26″N 4°48′59″E / 52.47389°N 4.81639°E / 52.47389; 4.81639
Province North Holland
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)

Etymology and historyEdit

Zaanse Schans derived its name from the river Zaan and its original function as sconce (schans in Dutch) against the Spanish troops during the Eighty Years' War of Dutch independence.

Aerial view of Zaanse Schans


Zaanse Schans is one of the popular tourist attractions of the Netherlands and an anchor point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH). The neighbourhood attracted approximately 1.6 million visitors in 2014. It is served by Zaandijk Zaanse Schans railway station, 18 minutes away from Amsterdam Centraal station.[2]

The Zaanse Schans houses seven museums — the Weavers House, the Cooperage, the Jisper House, Zaan Time Museum, Albert Heijn Museum Shop and the Bakery Museum. The whole neighbourhood is a popular tourist attraction and there is a debate in local politics on how to reduce overcrowding.[3]

List of windmillsEdit

The windmills were built after 1574.

Names of the mills from left to right: Het Jonge Schaap ("The Young Sheep"), De Zoeker ("The Seeker"), De Kat ("The Cat"), De Gekroonde Poelenburg ("The Crowned Poelenburg") and De Huisman ("The Houseman").


  1. ^ "History: Zaanse Schans brings Dutch history to life". Zaanse Schans. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-17. Retrieved 2015-07-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Too many tourists spoil the fun: locals call for action on overcrowding

External linksEdit