Take A Tour of a Historic Dutch Home on the Zuiderzee in Enkhuizen

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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.

Zuiderzee Museum Village, Enkhuizen, Holland, Netherlands 02_wm


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!

IJsselmeer with Sailboats


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.

Zuiderzee Becomes IJsselmeer in 1932


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!

Flood in Zuiderzee, Enkhuizen, Holland


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?

Zuiderzee Museum, Enkhuizen, Holland, Netherlands_wm


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.

Zuiderzee Museum Wind Mill, Enkhuizen, Holland, Netherlands


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.

Zuiderzee Museum Village, Enkhuizen, Holland, Netherlands 10_wm


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.

Zuiderzee Museum Village, Enkhuizen, Holland, Netherlands 11_wm


As we walked through the village, we came across beautiful gardens.

Zuiderzee Museum Village, Enkhuizen, Holland, Netherlands 05_wm


This one had a chicken coop with real chickens running around inside.

Zuiderzee Museum Village, Enkhuizen, Holland, Netherlands 01_wm


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.

Zuiderzee Museum, Sheep Grazing


There’s a church in the village and we briefly went inside.

Zuiderzee Museum Village Church, Enkhuizen, Holland, Netherlands_wm


A small cemetery was beside the church. I’m guessing those graves may be original to this area.

Zuiderzee Museum Village, Enkhuizen, Holland, Netherlands 07_wm


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.

Wood Shoes, School House, Enkhuizen, Zuiderzee Museum_wm


A classroom inside the school…

School, Enkhuizen, Zuiderzee Museum_wm


Historical School Room, Enkhuizen, Zuiderzee Museum_wm


Our guide used an old map in one of the classrooms to explain about the relationship of the village to the water.

Historical School House, Enkhuizen, Zuiderzee Museum_wm


The village has a basket weaver. There was also a bakery, a pharmacy and several other buildings/shops.

Zuiderzee Museum Village, Enkhuizen, Holland, Netherlands 08_wm


This house was actually open for tours.

Zuiderzee Museum, Historical House Tour, Enkhuizen 1


Just outside the home, this Dutchman was making fishing nets as they would have been made so many years ago.

Making Fishing Nets, Zuiderzee Museum, Enkhuizen


As we entered the home, we walked down a short dark hallway and into this room. Notice the beautiful tile work around the fireplace.

Zuiderzee Museum, Historical House Tour, Enkhuizen 2


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.

Zuiderzee Museum, Historical House Tour, Enkhuizen 5


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.”

Zuiderzee Museum, Historical House Tour, Enkhuizen 6


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.

Zuiderzee Museum, Historical House Tour, Enkhuizen 8


Across on the other side of the room was the bedroom, do you see it?

Zuiderzee Museum, Historical House Tour, Enkhuizen 7


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.

Zuiderzee Museum, Historical House Tour, Enkhuizen 4


Hope you enjoyed this tour of the Zuiderzee Outdoor Village Museum. See you tomorrow for Tablescape Thursday!

Zuiderzee Museum, Enkhuizen, Holland, Netherlands_wm

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  1. Very interesting place! I love places with living history museums. Those trees looked strange.. I like mine full and green!

    • lol Me, too! They are probably really pretty once they green up, but they look knobby (is that word?) and pretty rough right now.

  2. Linda Page says

    Fantastic pictures. I especially like the fisherman weaving the net. Glad you had some Sun.

  3. Theresa says

    Very nice tour . Thank you

  4. Oh, Susan, your photos capture the area so well. It is so lush and green. CA is so brown (things are improving, but VERY slowly) and it’s such a treat to see these photos. Many, many thanks for sharing your trip so faithfully, and guiding us through all the info you learned as well. I honestly feel like we’ve been on the trip with you! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  5. This was absolutely fascinating!! This trip is now on my bucket list. Thanks for your wonderful pictures here and on Instagram, Susan.

  6. Patricia says

    Loving these pictures. Those wooden clogs remind me of the “little Dutch girl”. Baskets are a weakness- I would have been so tempted by those.

  7. Regality (aka The Quing) says

    When you were there, did you notice how tall the Dutch people are? I’m not short, but I was constantly looking up to talk to them.

    The pruning technique used on the trees is called pollarding, I think. Here they do that to fruitless mulberries, simply because people think that’s the way they have to be pruned. Some people live with these “amputees” 3/4 of the year. OOGLY!

  8. What an amazing place! That was never on my “visit” list but it sure is now. I see the old fisherman wearing the wooden shoes, they just might be comfortable, have you given them a try? I love it all especially the basket making. I have seen those heaters in antique stores before….don’t know much about them though. Thanks so much for sharing your trip! Enjoy yourself Lisa@ Sweet Tea N’ Salty Air

  9. Marlene Stephenson says

    I know it had to be very interesting and the color of blue they used in the house was a beautiful shade. I think I would get closer phobic. Thanks that was very interesting.

  10. I’m sitting here oohing & aahing out loud! I am adding this trip to my bucket list. Your pictures are fabulous ❤️

  11. Thankful for the great tour! Loved it!

  12. What an interesting post! Susan, I also love to travel and like to do my homework before I leave home, just like you do. Looks like it was a fantastic trip! Thanks for sharing!

  13. I loved to read about your tour in the Zuiderzee Museum! About the heater: it’s called a ‘petroleumstel’. It wasn’t actually a heater, although it gives it share of warmth, but a cooking set. The reservoir was filled with petroleum with wicks. My grandmother and even my mother used them for stewing meat for hours.

    As far as I know the trimming of the lindebomen (the linden-trees) is just decorative.

  14. I love to read about your tour to the Zuiderzee Museum!

    About the heater: it’s called a ‘petroleumstel’ and isn’t actually for heating, although it gives its share of warmth, but for cooking. It’s filled with petrolium and wicks. My grandmother and even my mother used it for stewing meat for hours.

    As far as I know the trimming of the lindebomen (linden-trees) is pure decorative.

  15. Judith L says

    Thanks for the tour. It looks like you really captured the feel of this beautiful town!

  16. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures. I love your blog.

  17. I enjoyed this so much, Susan. This post brought back memories of a favorite book I read as a child….Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates.

  18. Charlotte says

    I love this tour! I am enjoying every minute of your trip! The village is so charming. The Linden trees remind me of the tree design on the Blue Willow china pattern and a few other that I can’t remember the name of. I also did not know they used red roof tiles in Holland, I always think of Thatched roofs. I have a lot to learn!

    • Oh, that’s so true about the trees…hadn’t thought about that. It makes me like them a bit more now. lol
      Yeah, they told us they used to use thatch a lot but as the roofs wear out and need to be replaced, they are going with tile because it’s less expensive in the long run and lasts a lot longer. We were told that they have a lot of clay soil over there (sounds like the State of Georgia!) so clay is plentiful for making roof tiles. I think they told us that it’s very labor intensive to thatch a roof, so very expensive. I bet insurance companies don’t like it, either…fire hazard, I would think.

  19. Darlene Gardner says

    Thanks Susan for sharing this and your other trips. I get to travel the world through your adventures. I am guessing that is was chilly because in all your pics, everyone is wearing a warm coat. When does it actually get to be spring there?

    • Darlene, you don’t ever want to go on any trip I’m on because I’m a jinx for weather! The same thing that happened when I went to Italy, happened in Holland and Belgium. We were continually being told that “it’s never this cold or rainy here this time of year.” No, the weather waits to hear that Susan is on the way and decides to go rogue! The high each day was in the 40’s and we got tons of rain. Finally, it cleared up the last two days and was sunny, warm and gorgeous…just in time to tour the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens. I think if I ever get a chance to go back, I’d try to go in May or June, unless of course it’s to see the tulips, then you have to go during April to the first week of May. They were late blooming this year but our timing was great to see them. They told us all the cold weather held them off for our arrival. lol

  20. I didn’t realize that they continue to fight the water invasion. Any mention about rising sea levels, global warming etc. since they must be ramping up efforts already? The home and school tour was a great peek into former life styles.

    • Yep, they talked about that a good bit. They are taking steps now to prepare. In Antwerp, they are doubling the height of a the sea wall that runs along the port. So they are worried about it. Yeah, the water issue is a constant problem. There are whole areas built upon land that was once underwater and they’ve reclaimed it to use. Seems like a lot of work but they don’t seem to mind.

  21. Thank you for sharing all these and other photos. It has been a trip down memory lane for me. When stationed in Germany we would drive “over the border” for lunch plus take longer trips as well.

  22. Those lawns are the perfect emerald green!! franki

  23. Those trees are amazing! I love seeing your travel pictures and finding out the details about them. The clogs remind me of the field trips we used to take to Holland, MI when I was in junior high. Lot of fun memories!

  24. Theresa says

    My Grandfather cut his trees like that he was from the “old country” and had a green thumb. They grew back and were beautiful. I haven’t thought about those trees for a long time. Thanks for the memory.

  25. Very interesting read! Susan, you have a painting on your hands with that photo of the sheep. You should blow it up and send it to all your bloggers for Christmas this year!

  26. bobbi duncan says

    Just have to go to Holland now–looks like a fairytale land. The story of why the residents choose to live so near the water reminded me of folks whose homes are swept away by hurricanes, yet they rebuild by the water again. Oh, the lure of the sea. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures–so enjoyed the armchair trip.

  27. I really appreciate your wonderful tour of a place I would never have seen but for your post. In all of my watching travel channels etc. I have never seen this area featured and at 76 and my Husband 80 and with Alzheimers I know My travel days are past. But your post really was like being there , very well written and personable. Thanks again.

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