Location: Wierdijk 12- 22, Enkhuizen    Map

Tel. 0228- 351111


Apr- Oct: 10am- 5pm daily

Nov- Mar: 10am- 5pm Tue- Sun

Closed: 1 Jan, 25 Dec

Official site


Description of Zuiderzeemuseum

Zuiderzeemuseum is a historic settlement in the town of Enkhuizen in West-Frisia region of Netherlands. The city of Zuiderzeemuseum used to be an important sea port, but after construction of Afsluitdijk causeway in 1930's it lost its importance. Zuiderzeemuseum consists of open air museum known as the Buitenmuseum and the Binnenmuseum that is devoted to shipping heritage, farming, fishing and general way of life. The Buitenmuseum consists of more than 130 different buildings, both residential and various workshops, that were brought here from all over the region. It was meant to represent traditional way of life that was common in late 19th century, although some structures date back as far as the 17th century. Residents of the Zuiderzeemuseum village also wear dresses that were common in the time period.


The impetus for founding the Zuiderzee Museum was an exhibition that was held around 1930 in the Wilhelminaplantsoen in Enkhuizen. In this Zuiderzee fishing exhibition, houses of cardboard were set up and original residents in traditional costume walked around from the real villages around the Zuiderzee. Due to the threat of war and the Second World War, plans for a Zuiderzee Museum were suspended.

On May 27, 1947, the Friends of the Zuiderzeemuseum Association was founded and on January 16, 1948, the Royal Decree was signed, officially giving the start to make the Rijksmuseum Zuiderzeemuseum possible. For a symbolic amount of one guilder, the friends of the Zuiderzee Museum obtained the warehouses of the seed trade Sluis and Groot aan de Wierdijk as accommodation. The government took over these buildings, restored them and has maintained them ever since. The buildings of the indoor museum are owned by the Government Buildings Agency. The buildings in the outdoor museum of the Domeinen Service.

The first director of the museum was Siebe Jan Bouma. In his period as director of the Netherlands Open Air Museum in Arnhem between 1942 and 1948, he was already working on plans for a museum where life around the former Zuiderzee could be remembered. With that in mind, Bouma actively searched for buildings and objects that could do justice to a museum. Bouma was unable to take the entire collection with him to Enkhuizen when he became director there. A description was drawn up of what Bouma could and could not bring from Arnhem. Buildings he had in mind or had already purchased remained in Arnhem. All other collected objects were allowed.

The Binnenmuseum of the Zuiderzee Museum was opened on 1 July 1950. The Peperhuis was the first of the row of buildings that followed later. Bouma was already looking further and wanted an outdoor museum to be realized in the long term. Shortly after the aforementioned Royal Decree had been received, a correspondence already started with municipalities that lie along the former Zuiderzee and where it was known that buildings would disappear from the cityscape.

In the municipality of Kampen was the neighborhood Brunnepe, which was made available to the former inhabitants of Schokland when they had to leave the island by May 1859 at the latest, and had mainly moved to the places Kampen, Volendam and Vollenhove. Kampen wanted to demolish those homes from the point of view of urban remediation. This was an opportunity for Bouma to acquire properties.

On May 6, 1983, Queen Beatrix opened the Buitenmuseum, which was added to the Zuiderzee Museum. The location where it was built was used before 1970 as a storage site for the Zuiderzee Works for the construction of the dike to Lelystad.

The first building to be built was the Gasthuiskapel from Den Oever, which was rebuilt in the same way as the church in Oosterend on Texel. The first building that already came into the ownership of the Zuiderzee Museum in 1948 was the dike house from Hindeloopen, which in 2016 houses a café along the dike of the Buitenmuseum. The interior of this dyke house has been exhibited in the Binnenmuseum for many years, featuring Hindelooper costumes that have their own style among the costumes around the Zuiderzee.

Around 1993 the museum became independent under the name: Stichting Rijksmuseum Zuiderzeemuseum.

Indoor museum
The indoor museum consists of, among other things, a ships hall with thirteen real ships that have sailed on the Zuiderzee, including three large fishing boats and, among others, the boeier Sperwer. way to do with the Zuiderzee. For example, there are ship models, costumes, paintings and utensils from the Zuiderzee area on display.

In the past there was also a whaling exhibition. However, this collection has been transferred to Het Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam.

Exhibitions (selection)
In addition to the permanent exhibitions such as the Schepenhal and the Sea full of stories, the museum also has changing exhibitions.

2009-2010 Zuiderzee in map
2010-2011 Home | Style
2011-2012 NIJVER | present
2012-2012 Year of the Water
2013-2015 The Netherlands in 7 floods - The Zuiderzee (in collaboration with NTR)
2014-2017 Design route
2014-2014 Smell the time
2015-2015 Travel rich
2016-2016 Wild van Water
2016-2017 10 Years of Thomas Eyck
2017 Handmade
2018 At the Table
2019-2020 Clothes make the woman


Outdoor museum
The Buitenmuseum is divided into five different neighborhoods. Central is a village, built according to situations of villages around the Zuiderzee with mainly authentic (and a few copied) buildings from the former Zuiderzee and Wadden area. The different areas are shown on the map opposite. Various old towns and villages on the Zuiderzee have been used as examples for the neighborhoods. Many of the buildings in the various neighborhoods also come from the village or city that the neighborhood represents. A nature area has been created on the grounds of the Buitenmuseum, this starts at the height of the lime kilns. Among other things, the contour of a Duck Decoy has been constructed in the nature reserve. Recognizable is the kooibos, the kooiplas, four catching pipes and a cage house. The other characteristic elements such as the screens, the trapping pens, etc. were never installed in and around the cage during the construction of the Buitenmuseum.


In 2007, a number of scenes from the Dutch feature film De Scheepsjongens van Bontekoe were recorded in the outdoor museum, in 1999 some scenes by Kruimeltje, as well as the Dutch youth film Apenreken from 2015 and the Sinterklaas film from 2011 entitled Bennie Stout.
The Suske en Wiske story The golden harpoon is partly set in the Zuiderzee Museum
The artist duo Bassie and Adriaan partly recorded their series of Songs from Grandmother's Time in the Zuiderzee Museum.