Why the Amsterdam windmills are more important than you think…
Windmills have been instrumental in the history of the Netherlands, although they’re probably not something you would think about whilst walking along the picturesque canals and historic streets of the city. The Dutch Golden Age saw huge changes in the country (during this period Dutch trade, science, art and their military and political strength grew to be among the best in the world) powered largely by windmills. This transition by the Netherlands from a wet agricultural region to the world’s foremost maritime and economic power was triggered by the world’s first industrial revolution, all powered by – you guessed it – windmills! With the age of exploration in full swing in 1650, the Netherlands were building a new ship every few days with the power of the country’s windmills! Even foreign leaders such as Tsar Peter the Great came to Holland to see how this small sea-faring nation was powering its way to dominance over the oceans through the production of the world’s finest ships at Zaandam.
200 years later, towards the end of the Dutch Golden Age, the Netherlands had more than 10,000 windmills in operation! Nowadays, the Netherlands is a modern country which, although still relying heavily on its global ports at Rotterdam and Amsterdam, is more focussed on importing and exporting commodities such as Cocoa and Metals than on exploring unchartered waters, but windmills can still be found dotted across the country’s famous polder landscape! If you’re looking to find out more about windmills, their history and their monumental impact on the Netherlands, read below about how to join an Amsterdam Windmill Tour!
See windmills, fishing villages and much more on a day trip from Amsterdam!
Although only a few examples of these iconic structures remain inside Amsterdam itself, Zaanse Schans is just a short journey outside the city and has a fantastic variety of windmills from the 18th and 19th centuries. The easiest way to visit is to join one of We Are Amsterdam’s tours. Their brilliant Amsterdam Windmill Tour takes you on a great day trip from Amsterdam around the Dutch countryside visiting Zaanse Schans, Volendam and Marken, allowing you to explore the beautiful Dutch countryside and Amsterdam windmills with a knowledgeable guide.
Why you should join a Zaanse Schans Tour and explore more of Holland!
Although many tourists visiting the Netherlands simply stay in Amsterdam, there is so much more to this country and getting out of the capital to explore the rest of Holland is a great way to get more of an understanding of the culture and history of the country. After all, Amsterdam is just one city in the Netherlands and is really quite unique when compared with the rest of the country. You can find out more about We Are Amsterdam’s Dutch Countryside and Amsterdam windmill tour here.
The role of Amsterdam windmills in the development of the Netherlands has been incredibly important and checking out these incredible structures against the stunningly picturesque and tranquil Dutch rural landscape is something that all visitors to the Netherlands should do! So next time you’re walking along a street in Amsterdam admiring the beautiful Golden Age architecture, eating a spicy meal in one of the city’s many Indonesian restaurants or just being grateful that you’re not two metres under water whilst on holiday in Amsterdam, thank the windmills!
And if you’re a ‘big fan’ of windmills and looking to check them out in beautiful rural Holland, click here to book your Amsterdam windmill tour!