Zaandam is a city and a former municipality in the province of North Holland. The city has 78,820 inhabitants (January 1, 2020). In terms of population, it is the largest town within the municipality of Zaanstad, where Assendelft has the largest area.
Zaandam is located on both sides of the Zaan. The
core is formed by two parallel dikes on either side of the Zaan:
East side and West side. Later on, paths were built at right angles
to this, into the field where the mills were. Some center formation
has taken place, especially in the vicinity of the Oostzijderkerk.
In the 19th century, further center formation took place along the
Gedempte Gracht and some streets running parallel to it. This center
has now been given structure by means of the Inverdan plan, a
project in which the center and the station area have undergone a
Mayor In 't Veldpark
The Burgemeester In 't Veldpark is the largest city park in Zaandam and in the municipality of Zaanstad. It covers some 21 hectares and was created in the 1950s. The park owes its name to Joris in 't Veld (1895-1981), mayor of Zaandam from 1937-1948. The park also has a 2-hectare Heemtuin.
The Zaanse Schans is a neighborhood in Zaandam, located on the east bank of the Zaan, in the Kalverpolder. It is a well-known open-air attraction with hundreds of thousands of visitors annually (1.9 million in 2015).
The Zaanse Schans is not a museum, but a freely accessible area that originated in the early 1960s. Due to urban renewal and factory expansion, many historic, mostly wooden buildings were in danger of being demolished. The idea arose to develop a reserve for the endangered buildings and thus preserve the specific Zaanse timber construction for posterity.
As the area gradually began to appeal to visitors, it unintentionally developed into a major tourist attraction. This was responded to by establishing small-scale museums in a number of historic houses and warehouses (including the Nederlands Uurwerken Museum, Bakery Museum In de Gecroonde Duyvekater and a replica of Albert Heijn's first grocery store). In addition, the Zaanse Schans is home to a clog factory annex museum, a cheese factory, a cooperage, a tin foundry, restaurants, souvenir shops and a bed and breakfast. The Zaans Museum is also located at the Zaanse Schans. This contains cultural-historical and regional collections on the residential and industrial culture of the Zaan region. In 2009, Queen Beatrix opened the Verkade Pavilion in which the collection of this Zaandam company is shown, complete with a few working production lines. In addition to the residential and warehouses, a number of industrial mills are also part of the Zaanse Schans: a spice mill, a paint or chalk mill, two saw mills, two oil mills and a slat saw. There is also a flour mill and an oil mill in the immediate vicinity.
Zaandam has dozens of national monuments.
Zaandam has four 17th century churches:
The Oostzijderkerk stands on the site of a Roman Catholic chapel in the Middle Ages. This was later converted into the current church. The church was again considerably modified in 1846, with the northern side aisle of the church removed. The church tower now stands here. The old church tower, which stood on the facade, was then removed and the facade was completely renovated. In the church a large painting reminds us of the flood disaster of 1825 when cattle, among other things, were offered a safe shelter in the church. The church has six stained glass windows and copper crowns from the 17th century. In 1861 the organ builders Flaes-Brunjes built one of their largest organs in the church.
The Westzijderkerk or "Bullekerk" (1638-1640, expanded in 1672 and 1680) has a wooden spire, a Duyschot organ (1711) and a few stained glass windows. The church owes its nickname to an event from 1647 in which a pregnant woman was taken on the horns by a bull. The child was born intact, the woman died. A monumental painting in the church and a bronze statue in the church square remind us of this event.
The Mennonite Church or 'Reminder' (1686) on the West side. Wooden hall church with the appearance of a warehouse.
Old Catholic Church (1695), dedicated to Mary Magdalena on the Papenpad. Originally a hidden Roman Catholic church. Rich baroque interior.
The Evangelisch-Lutheran Church on Vinkenstraat is a rectangular building from 1699, with a gable roof between two gables and a wide front facade. The Evangelical Lutheran congregation was founded in 1642 because of the stay in Zaandam of merchants from Denmark and the Baltic States. The interior contains richly carved woodwork from the eighteenth century. This church was not built as a hidden church, which is unique for that time. The organ contains an organ case by Christian Müller from 1737. The interior dates from 1900 and is by Michaël Maarschalkerweerd.
Roman Catholic Church on the Calf (1887) dedicated to Mary Magdalene. Neo-Gothic, stained-glass windows (by Joep Nicolas, among others).
The Saint Boniface Church. Neo-gothic, three-aisled church
building with a very rich and complete interior. Built in 1899-1900.
Several stained glass windows, a Mitterreiter organ (1786) and
stations of the cross by Jan Dunselman.
The Jozefkerk (RK) in Kogerveld, with monumental stained glass work by Marius de Leeuw.
The building of the Apostolic Society, a national monument from 1860, restored in 2005. Originally a Mennonite church.
The Serbian Orthodox Church (Heilige Nikolaaskerk), formerly the Reformed Church, on Stationsstraat. The organ probably comes from Germany and was installed in 1887. It was restored by Flentrop in 1940, 1975 and 1985. In 2009 it was taken into use in the reformed church of Nieuw-Loosdrecht.
Many villas were built on the East and West sides, especially in the second half of the nineteenth century. On the East side, almost all of these have been demolished for the factories of Albert Heijn, among others, but on the West side there are still many. The villas have different architectural styles; some are built in an Italian style, such as Westzijde 39. Many of the detached houses on the West side have been converted into shops or offices, so that gardens and doors have often disappeared. Westzijde 38, built around 1730, is one of the few remaining exponents of rich, stone-built merchant houses in Zaandam.
Bakery Museum In the Gecroonde Duyvekater
Museum shop Albert Heijn
Dutch Clock Museum
Czaar Peter house
Zaans Museum, with Verkade Pavilion
The 1994 Sultan Ahmet Mosque is a Turkish mosque with an area of 1500 m². The mosque is located in the Poelenburg district and was commissioned by the Islamic Foundation Netherlands. The building is constructed of sand-colored concrete stone. The mosque has three floors and two minarets with purple eaves. In the prayer room, the colors turquoise and green predominate. There is a fountain in front of the mosque.
The building of the Freemasons Lodge (1883) "Anna Paulowna" at Stationsstraat 61, one of the few lodge buildings in the Netherlands that was built especially for this purpose and is still used.
The Mennonite Orphanage on Stationsstraat was a Mennonite church or 'exhortation' from 1649 on what was then the Stikkelspad, in which the Zaanse Mennonite group De Vlamingen used to attend. In 1687 a merger with other Mennonite groups took place, after which the building on the Stikkelspad was no longer in use as an admonition. It became a warehouse, but in 1699 the building was temporarily made available to the Evangelical Lutheran congregation. In 1713 it was decided to convert the building into a Mennonite Orphanage, as it would then be possible to obtain an exemption from tax (if the orphans were housed in families, there was no exemption). The orphanage was completed in 1714. In 1911 the building was converted into a sexton's house, but during the First World War it also housed Belgian refugees. Some refugees also found shelter here during the Second World War. Emergency church services were also held in times of fuel shortage. In 1947 the building was restored and the Menno Hall was added, which for a short time served as an emergency wedding hall. Another restoration took place in 1995. The building is now owned by the Friends of the Mennonite Orphanage Foundation. Part of the former orphanage is used as a sexton's house, but part is also rented out to private individuals and companies.
De Held Jozua is a sawmill in the middle of the Westerwatering district. The paltrok mill was built around 1719, was thoroughly restored in 1994 / '95 and is now in the middle of a new housing development.
Albert Heijn head office. A modern office building on the southwestern edge of the city, which, in addition to Ahold, also houses the operating companies Albert Heijn, Etos, Gall and Gall and Albert.
Traffic and transport
Zaandam is accessible via various motorways, including the:
A7 Zaandam - Purmerend - Hoorn - Afsluitdijk - Sneek - Joure - Heerenveen - Drachten - Groningen - Germany
A8 Zaanstad - Amsterdam
Zaandam has two railway stations: Zaandam station and Zaandam Kogerveld station. City and regional transport is provided by Connexxion.
Zaandam was created in 1811 by merging the places Oostzaandam, which was part of the banne Oostzaan (and was itself an independent municipality between 1795 and 1811), and Westzaandam, which was part of the banne Westzaan. By Imperial Decree of October 21, 1811, Zaandam was elevated to a city by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte on January 1, 1812.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the place was closely associated
with whaling. This is referred to in the coat of arms of Zaanstad,
which has two whales as shield holder. In the same period, Zaandam
had about 50 shipyards that built dozens of sea-going vessels per
year. Because a large part of the wharves was located on the
Binnenzaan, an overtoom (the largest in the world) was constructed
on the Hogendam, which pulled the ships to the Vooraan. Zaandam
shipbuilding was famous; Tsar Peter the Great of Russia visited
Zaandam in 1697 and 1717.
In Zaandam and the Zaan region, a lot of activity has traditionally been established on the banks of the river Zaan. Various industries such as the food industry and paint chemistry have chosen their location here. In the course of the 19th century many industrial companies settled along the Zaan, which were based on steam power instead of wind power, and which have partly become an industrial monument again. Before that, from the beginning of the 17th to the third quarter of the 19th century, the Zaan region was an enormous industrial mill area. Hundreds of windmills sawed the wood from Scandinavia, the Baltic Sea region and Germany, mainly for shipbuilding, but also for homes, mills and warehouses. In addition to the sawmills there were dozens of other mills: peeling mills, paper mills, oil mills, paint mills, snuff mills, spice mills and full mills. From about 1850 onwards, the wind force was displaced, initially slowly, by steam force.
Zaandam was a very important timber port until the second half of the 20th century. For centuries, the island in the Vooraan and Westzijderveld were the domain of timber companies (such as William Pont) and the wood processing companies of Bruynzeel were located along the North Sea Canal to the west of the former Hembrug. Zaandam is also known for its cocoa processing industry. Verkade is still one of the leading chocolate factories in the Netherlands. Throughout the 20th century, Zaandam also housed the Artillerie-Ininrichting company that made firearms, artillery and ammunition for the Dutch Army and the Royal Dutch East Indies Army.
In 1974 Zaandam was merged into the municipality of Zaanstad and since November 14, 2011 it has been its main town.
Since 2008, Zaandam has been redesigning the center. Part of the project, called Inverdan, was the realization of a new town hall, which has replaced the old town hall De Bannehof in Zaandijk since January 2012. The shopping area has been expanded and new homes (apartments) and a cinema have been realized. The opening of the Inntel Hotel Zaandam in March 2010 attracted worldwide attention.