Walk Amsterdam’s Schellingwoude
I grew up in Waterland, which is the more rural part of Amsterdam Noord. The villages, farmland and nature are things not many people associate with Amsterdam. But it is right here. It is a nice place to hide from the busy and loud city. I regularly go there to cool down after a busy work week. This week we are going to discover the village where I spend my first years, Schellingwoude. It is an old village completely absorbed by Amsterdam Noord, unlike the other villages of Waterland and thus easily accessible. This tour will let you escape a busy life, teach you about the history of Waterland and much more.
Enjoy your walk!
Total Walking Time: 45 min
FYI: the technology behind Google Maps is sometimes a bit shaky, so sometimes you need to click the link more than once, or zoom in to get the route view. Apologies for the inconvenience.
Highlight A: Schellingwoude
Schellingwoude dates back to the 11th century. Scheling is an old Dutch word for separation and woude means forest. The village was probably named after the forest which divided the land from the IJ water. The village used to be a lot bigger. The main source of income for its inhabitants was fishing and farming. In the 16th-century the people of Schellingwoude started a small ship-building industry as well. However, the competition with Amsterdam was too great. This, in combination with several floods, resulted in a decline of the village population. In the 19th century, Schellingwoude merged with Ransdorp, another village in Waterland. After yet another big flood in 1916, many of the villages of Waterland were added to the municipality of Amsterdam – Schellingwoude was one of them.
Highlight B: Schellingwouderkerk
This tiny church was finished in 1866, although some of the structures date back to the 17th century. Under the church, archaeologists have found evidence that this same location has been church ground since the 14th century. The church is managed by Stadsherstel, an organisation that protects and restores monuments in Amsterdam. The Schellingwouderkerk is the smallest church under its protection. The church is not used for services anymore, but with its intimate and romantic appearance, it is a successful and beautiful wedding location
Highlight C: Landmarkt
The Landmarkt is a wonderful farmer’s market, disguised as a supermarket. They only offer the best products. This means the quality of the products is amazing and the products are fairtrade and sustainable. The Landmarkt contains a butcher, cheese shop, bakery, fish market, vegetable stall and a florist. Inside the Landmarkt you will also find a restaurant. The restaurant is the perfect place for a coffee break, lunch or dinner. Their menu is vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Highlight D: Military in Schellingwoude
In 1917, the Dutch military set up camp in Schellingwoude. The IJ water offered the perfect location for a water plane airport, yet the available space was still very limited. During the Second World War, the Nazis expanded the military base. Schellingwoude developed into one of the most important hubs of the Seenotdienst, the Nazi sea rescue service. After the second world war, the Dutch military stayed around Schellingwoude and Zeeburg until the 80s. Today, little is left, but three old German bunkers.
Highlight E: Oranjesluis
In 1865 it was decided that the IJ should be separated from the Zuiderzee (Southern Sea). The Zuiderzee was located where today you’ll find the IJsselmeerg. Originally, there were plans for the creation of a dam with just one lock, but the people of Amsterdam and some boaters pleaded for three larger locks so that the water-trade between Amsterdam and the Zuiderzee stayed easily accessible. For the lock workers, new houses were created in front of the Schellingwouderdijk, which you can see to the right of the locks. Each year, more than 115.000 boats pass these locks. The locks also contain a few fish passages, which are used by a large variety of fish every day.
Highlight F: Pontje
Strolling along the Singlegracht on Mauritskade you come across 5 giant rocking chairs in leafy square, half exposed to Maurtiskade. Take a seat and watch the world go by.This tiny self-service ferry brings you to the Schellingwouderpark. The park opened in 2010 and is available all day, every day. The park is part of a project Van IJ tot Gouw, which tries to improve the ecological relationship between the IJ water and Waterland. Taking this ferry is an experience in itself. You can move the ferry by pulling on the chains/robes. When in a group, make sure you spread the weight on the ferry or you might get some wet feet. Don’t worry, on the other side of the park you will be able to find another tiny ferry to bring you back to the mainland.
Highlight G: Horses at the IJ
The horses you can see next to the Schellingwouderpark belong to the city of Amsterdam. The caretaker lives on the Schellingingwouderdijk. I grew up as his neighbor and used to help him clean out the stalls when I was younger. The horses grazing in the meadow show how rustic Amsterdam Noord can be. Nature and village houses on one side of the water and the other the busy city.
Your Fav Hidden Gems
The above highlights are just some of our favorite spots along the way. If something catches your eye while en route, share a picture with us so we can share with the group next week. Email is the best.
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