Exploring the small village of Edam
Edam Travel Blog› entry 10 of 11 › view all entries
Yesterday we went to the wedding anniversary of my cousin in Purmerend and decide to make it a longer trip. We did a small roundtour through the Schermer, Beemster and Wormer landscape and walked through Alkmaar. It was a quiet sunday so the shops were not open but that didn't matter. After that we were a little early for the party so we decided to go to the nearest small village "Edam". We were here before ones but forgot our camera. We walked through the picturesque village and took some photo's. We were lucky with the weather, the sun was shining but it was cold. The snow was already gone unfortunatly, it would have been great seeing Edam with such a scenic view! Oh well, this was nice anyway.
Here is a little information of this lovely village. The most obvious association with the name 'Edam' is 'cheese'. For centuries the well-known round Edam cheeses have been sent from this litte town to all corners of the world.
The cheese market, once again restored to its place of honor, is enacted weekly during the summer months. And nearby cheese warehouses keep alive the memory of a colourful post. There are also the cheese farms in the area of Edam en Volendam. However, Edam is more than cheese. Edam is a city with a rich history. It began in the 12th century, when farmers and fishermen settled along the little Ye river. With that 'Yedam' was a fact.
This primitive settlement developed into an increasingly prosperous town well into the 17th century. Shipbuilding played an important role in this growth. Once Edam had a great number of ship yards building many famous ships.
A futile attempt in fact, because he stranded on the island of Manhattan! Beside shipbuilding, commerce was a major contributor to the thriving development of Edam.
Together with Amsterdam, Hoorn and Enkhuizen, Edam was one of the most important commercial towns in Holland. Today Edam is a town with authentic 17th century architecture, convincing proof of its rich past. When walking along the old streets and quiet canals, one can easily imagine how it must have been in a Dutch town centuries ago. A stroll takes one past the tea-houses on the 'Schepenmakersdijk', the leaning Carillon tower (1561), the museum with the floating cellar and the Tourist Information on the Dam square -once the town hall of Edam- to the 'Grote Kerk' (Great Church).
This church is one of the largest churches in the Netherlands. It has an extraordinary collection of richly coloured stained glass windows dating from the 17th century.
The Cheese market:
Cheese was sold here in a colourful manner, with straw-hatted cheese bearers and wooden "stretchers" to carry the cheese, from about 1778 until 1922. Especially for the tourists this old tradition is restored during the summer months. The CHEESE WEIGH HOUSE dates, as can be seen from the brightly painted facade, from 1778.
The Edam cheese was made in farms throughout North Holland and got its name, not only because it was sold here, but also because the recipe originated here. Go inside and taste some of the cheese for which Edam is world famous.
Unfortunately they can no longer show you it being made in Edam, but perhaps, you may come across a cheese warehouse with open doors and then you can get an idea of how it is stored.
Anyway this small village has a lot to offer.