Broek in Waterland – a hidden gem just above Amsterdam
Broek in Waterland is a hidden gem between Amsterdam and Volendam. The village has a protected townscape and there is good reason for it!
Amazingly beautiful village
I have visited many beautiful cities and villages in Holland, but when I walked into the old centre of Broek in Waterland, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of disbelief. And as I continued my walk I could only wonder how on earth it is possible I had not discovered this village before. I was astonished by the beauty of the monumental houses, all painted in the most beautiful pastel colours. One can see these houses were built by wealthy people centuries ago.
History of Broek in Waterland
Surrounded by meadows, you would expect Broek in Waterland to be a traditional farmers village. However, originally it is a shippers village, where shipowners, captains and rich merchants came to live in the 17th and 18th century. Their wealth made Broek in Waterland one of the most prosperous villages in this area. This can still be seen when you look at the distinguished houses which were built by them. In some of these houses the original interior can still be admired.
Already in the 18th century this village was known for its beauty and attracted important visitors. For instance Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte has paid a visit to Broek in Waterland in 1811. Story goes that an other emperor – Jozef II – visited Broek in Waterland in 1781 and wanted to visit a house. However, the owner did not welcome him into her house as she did not have time to receive him.
Walk through the village
During my walk through the village I met three boys, aged around 10 years old. They told me they live in the village and asked my opinion on Broek in Waterland. On my answer that I thought it was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen, they looked at me as if I was crazy. As so often happens, they did not see the beauty as they were used to their surroundings. But I am sure when they grow up, they will see how special their village is and understand why visitors fall in love with this georgeous place.
Visit by car or bicycle
If you have time to visit this amazing village, then make sure you don’t loose the opportunity to do so! If you go by car, enter ‘Broek in Waterland-Noord’ into your GPS.
As Broek in Waterland is only 10 km above Amsterdam, you can also visit it by doing a bicycle tour starting from Amsterdam. We Bike Amsterdam provides tours where they visit this village as well. For more information and contact details, visit their website www.webikeamsterdam.com