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Zaanse schans: historical village with working windmills and handicrafts

At the Zaanse Schans, there are eight working windmills
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The Zaanse Schans has done everything to give a good impression of what life was like in the old days. Traditional craftsmen are still at work every day, making cheese, wooden shoes or pewter. They welcome you in their workshops, while they show how these traditional items are made. To make the Zaanse Schans more lively and real, many of these people actually live here – the Zaanse Schans is definitely not an open air museum in the traditional sense.   

The houses in the village are relocated from all over the region, so there is great variety in architecture, but they all have that typical Dutch touch: wooden, smaller houses, often in green or blue color combined with white. In the museums, you will find a large number of original artifacts like costumes and clocks. Try a pancake in a traditional pancake bakery. Yum!

The Zaanse Schans offers a great opportunity to visit a working windmill, of which there are six: a mustard mill, a paint mill, two oil mills and two saw mills. You can go inside them and see how they grind the materials.  In addition, there are two smaller windmills, which you cannot visit on the inside, but are still impressive. These are a sandstone and whetstone pounding mill and a pasture- or meadow mill.       

To finish your stay, walk around the outskirts of the village and enjoy the remarkable Dutch landscape. Or take a boat tour and see the village from the water. If you would like to see more traditional houses, visit one of the neighboring villages, like Marken or Edam. The Zaanse Schans is open every day from 9 to 5. For 9.50 euros you have entrance to the village and to all the mills. It is easiest to get there by car. If you go by train, it will take you approximately 30 minutes from Amsterdam.