Home to the largest windmills in the world!
Schiedam Travel Blog› entry 13 of 27 › view all entries
Schiedam is a large city on the outskirts of Rotterdam in Zuid-Holland, it borders the river Nieuwe Mass to the South and Vlaardingen to the West. It is most well known for it's production of Jenever gin and is the home to the six tallest, most historical windmills in the world! So that was my mission for today to discover these windmills or molens as they are called in Dutch. Five of which were located on the same stretch of water in a row along the Noordvestsingel & Westvest so easy peasy to find from the Schiedam Centrum station. First things first though, a nice leisurely walk through the city centre to get some photo's of the 225 monuments here, hmm think I might need a little help finding them all. The spire of the Grote Kerk is the first thing you notice upon leaving the train station so I hotfoot it there, need to have photo's of the churches in every blog of mine.
After a long, tranquil picnic lunch it was time for a wander along the Lange Haven, gazing enviously at the boats and lovely houses along the canal, before trekking along the Noordvestsingel to take snaps of the windmills. First to the North of the city is the Windmill De Palmboom (The Palm Tree) (1781) which is now home to a museum showing the complete history of the use of windmills in the city with demonstrations by an actual miller.
The next is the Windmill De Noord (The North) (1803) and this is the highest of the windmills and actually the tallest in the world standing at 33.3 metres and now houses a lovely little restaurant within. Well worth a visit though I didn't sample any of their food, it's great just for the novelty factor.
The third windmill is De Vrijheid (The Freedom) (1785) and is fully equiped, not open to the public and only turns its sails at the weekend.
The first three were located very close to one another, wandering along the canal, noseying in people's apartments I began to wonder if I was walking the wrong way before I noticed the sails in the distance: The windmill De Drie Koornbloemen (The Three Cornflowers) (1770) is the oldest standing molen in the city and the only one with a millers cottage attached which looked absolutely delightful, I could quite easily live here.
Windmill De Walvisch (The Whale) (1794) still grinds grain regularly and houses a shop selling many bakery items.
I then wandered back up the Lange Haven to try and spot some more monuments and managed to get snaps of the Appelmarkt bridge (one of three cast iron bridges in the city), De Havenkerk, Jenever museum (wonderful, strong, over-powering aroma-I had no intention of paying for the tour but loitered around the entrance lobby, enjoying the smell of Gin!), the National Cooperative museum and last but not least The chocolate makers De Bonte Koe Chocoladekunst - the most wonderful chocolate experience ever! Award winning review below!
My most favourite part of Schiedam has to be the Princess Beatrix Park, the largest recreation park, located to the Northwest near Schiedam Nieuweland train station. It includes a large animal park (free entry), pancakehouse, childrens play area, nature walks, large area's of water and wide open spaces to lose yourself in. A perfect way to end the hectic day trekking around Schiedam.