Friday, August 22, 2014

The Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen, NL

Put on your seatbelt because this one is quite the ride, which I want to keep together in one post.

This past Sunday Astrid and I drove 135km north to Enkhuizen to visit the Zuiderzee Museum on the shores of the IJsselmeer.  We had already visited the harbor briefly back in 2010, so I remembered it, but this time we were on a mission and we took Margreeth and Natascha with us.  Remember that they were the ones who encouraged us to buy the annual museum card, which we did.

So, here goes....

You enter the building, fetch your tickets, and grab the next boat to the open-air museum.

On that 15-minute boat ride, you pass the magnificent harbor of Enkhuizen, part of the museum fee.

And you end up at the chalk-factory chimneys, to start your open-air museum experience.

Before going off into the museum's town, we stopped at the bronze-age display near the chalk factory.

That's when I realized this museum was a lot about interactive play for kids of all ages.
That's the kind of museum I LOVE.

From the bronze-age site we walked along the shore to the museum's open-air village.
What you could see from the shore was its own special "museum."

But before we did anything else, we stopped at this darling café for koffie,
and to get our bearings (on a very off-n-on blustery, rainy day).

After koffie, first up was the fishing village.
(The Dutch use underground telephone lines today.)

The fun thing was to walk into the houses and see how they lived back then.

 And since it was the fishing village, we saw the fishing nets out everywhere.

Even real fish were being dried...which I wished I could have tried.

The windmill was nearby in the polder, where Astrid could demonstrate the drill for pumping out water.

As you'd guess, the animals were right at home, never guessing this was a museum.

 From the polder and fishing village we entered the Town Canal.
I just LOVE the little pedestrian bridges of the Netherlands, don't you?

I fell in love with all the boats everywhere within this open-air museum.
I love the Dutch harbors but canals are so cozy.

From that point we walked back-n-forth between the Town Canal and the Church Quarter.
After awhile my images started running together, but it doesn't matter.

We spent a lot of time in this man's sign/calligraphy shop.
It's a dying art and Astrid spent time talking to him intelligently about his profession.
She knows how hard it is because she once dabbled in it!

In fact, there were many professions/trades to see or watch in action.

I'm a sucker for tools of the trade, as you know by now.

 There even was a school where you could practice your penmanship skills.
See what I mean by interactive?!

Remember that this is an open-air museum.  It could be a real village!

 And just like everywhere, you had a chance to play.

The kids could even dress up from the dressing-up chest.
Doesn't this remind you of Humans of New York:  Microfashion!

 I don't think it gets better than this for an interactive museum.

Speaking of dressing up, there was even a room where you could find your shoe size
and try to walk around in wooden clogs.

You know the Dutch and their wooden shoes, of course.
They're everywhere, even if only for show.

 I told you this would be a ride!  There was something for everyone.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

As an aside, you may recall that we started our museum card in early May at another open-air museum, in Arnhem, NL:  the Openluchtmuseum.  I didn't think anything could get better than that.  But it did, with this Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen.  There are many similarities but also many differences.

Both museums have got to be right up at the top of the list of all open-air museums anywhere!


  1. It was a perfect day, lots of wind, a little rain, but with great company, who cares.
    It is amazing how many things we could do. A perfect museum to visit with the whole family. Absolute fabulous pictures. Boats, I never get bored with them. I love to see 'how they lived 50 years ago'.
    Wonderful collages to show what a beautiful country we live in. You made us look proud with your pictures.
    Thank you. IHVJ.

    1. I still can't get over how wonderful the place is, MLMA. It's beyond amazing to me. And we didn't even go into the INDOORS part of the museum. Maybe we can do that when we're in the neighborhood again. It was so fun to have Margreeth and Natascha with us. We all fit together so well! :)

  2. This outing is incredible, entertaining and educational. I'm glad you now live there to be our eyes and ears to Netherlands :)

    1. You have no idea, Maria, what this country does to me. I think it's my next step to heaven. :) Thanks for always coming along for the rdie.

  3. Now this is a "museum" that even I could love! Fabulous...all of it!

    1. You would indeed love it, Robin. So much to see of Dutch life in one swell foop! :)

  4. So much to see in such a short time...I love these types of museums where you are right there experiencing history....

    1. I totally agree, Donna. This may be the best open-air museum I've ever seen anywhere!

  5. This museum is incredible. The photos are fantastic. I love all the wood, brick, pottery, everything. It looks huge compared to our Windmill Village in Holland. Did you and Astrid go there? By the way, Inge's and my friend German friend Lo has a condo overlooking Windmill Island.

    Thank you for this in depth tour. I find it inspiring.

    1. You and Don would go crazy here, Ruth. Seriously. Everything you'd ever want to know about how the Dutch do things is there, ready for you to watch...or ask any questions you might have. It's very inspiring, indeed!