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Yesterday we visited the pharmacy in the Zuiderzee Village Museum in Enkhuizen. Today I’m taking you further into this fishing village and we’re going to tour a real home just as it would have looked back when the village was active and buzzing with activity.
When our ferry arrived at the village entrance, this was our view. These waters were once salt water but now this is a fresh water lake called the IJsselmeer–more on that in a sec. I could have stood in this spot for hours gazing out at the boats. It was so beautiful and serene!
Notice how the sky is mostly blue. The Holland skies were constantly changing the first 7-8 days of our trip. One minute the skies would be dark and it would be pouring rain and then they would change to blue for a few minutes, sometimes only for 5 minutes, then the rains would return. The weather was crazy until a couple of days before the end of our trip, then the blue skies came and finally stayed.
Once this body of water was the Zuiderzee and was a part of the North Sea. Unfortunately, the village here flooded 38 times (think that’s the number our guide said) so eventually it was decided that a dam must be built. This area below is an area in the village where they attempted to depict the damage done to the village each time it flooded. Very dramatic to see!
When the Afsluitdijk (Barrier Dam) was completed on May 6th, 1932, it split the Zuiderzee into two parts. The waters below the Afsluitdijk are now called the IJsselmeer and the waters north of the dam are now known as the Waddenzee. The village we’re touring today is on the IJsselmeer, a fresh water lake since it’s no longer connected to the open sea. Enkhuizen was a thriving fishing port for centuries until the Zuiderzee was closed off in 1932 by the construction of the dam. Sounds like the cure was as bad as the disease, doesn’t it?
When you’re standing along the shore looking out at the boats, behind you is this wonderful old windmill. The one thing you hear about a lot when touring Holland is how this area has been fighting the battle of the water forever. The seas are always creeping in and the residents of this area have to continually pump the water back away to keep it from invading their villages and homes.
The guide said people often ask her why the folks who live so near the water in Holland, don’t just move. She said it’s their heritage and they love where they live so they carry on fighting the water. Of course, the fight has gone high-tech these days with modern wind turbines.
To honor this area’s history as a prominent fishing village, the homes that could be saved and restored were kept, and additional homes/buildings (either donated or purchased) were brought in from surrounding areas where they were no longer wanted and were headed for demolition.
The trees pictured below in front of the houses are Linden trees, and they are kept pruned this way. Kind of reminds me of the Crepe Murder often committed on innocent Crepe Myrtle trees here in the south. We saw tons of these trees cut in this “espalier” method during our trip. I’m not sure why they are cut this way unless it’s for an artistic effect. One of the guides said that they are encouraging folks to stop trimming them this way. I think she said it weakens the tree.
As we walked through the village, we came across beautiful gardens.
This one had a chicken coop with real chickens running around inside.
There were also sheep grazing in different areas. There are two houses that are still being lived in and those folks have been permitted to stay here for the rest of their life.
There’s a church in the village and we briefly went inside.
A small cemetery was beside the church. I’m guessing those graves may be original to this area.
Of course, the village had a school. When we entered inside, we saw all the wood shoes lined up along the wall just as they would have been back in the day. Children weren’t allowed to wear their shoes into the classroom because the wood shoes made too much noise on the wood floors.
A classroom inside the school…
Our guide used an old map in one of the classrooms to explain about the relationship of the village to the water.
The village has a basket weaver. There was also a bakery, a pharmacy and several other buildings/shops.
This house was actually open for tours.
Just outside the home, this Dutchman was making fishing nets as they would have been made so many years ago.
As we entered the home, we walked down a short dark hallway and into this room. Notice the beautiful tile work around the fireplace.
We passed from that room into the kitchen where it was nice and warm. I think this is where the family would have lived for much of the winter since it was such a warm, well-heated area.
I’m not sure what fueled this little heater in the corner, but it really warmed up the kitchen. Have you ever seen a heater like this?
Update: Thanks so much to Liz who left a comment explaining about the little thing in the corner that I thought might be a heater. It’s actually used for cooking. Liz said, “The reservoir was filled with petroleum with wicks. My grandmother and even my mother used them for stewing meat for hours.”
Herring was a big source of food here before the building of the dam. Once the dam was built and the surrounding water became fresh water instead of ocean water, the fishing changed from herring and anchovy to eel, smelt and red perch.
Across on the other side of the room was the bedroom, do you see it?
Doesn’t this look cozy? It would be a pain to crawl inside and then realize you needed to go to the bathroom, wouldn’t it? I bet they had steps to aid in getting in and out.
Hope you enjoyed this tour of the Zuiderzee Outdoor Village Museum. See you tomorrow for Tablescape Thursday!