If I would ask someone; what do you think of when you hear the word Volendam? Then I will hear for sure; the famous Volendam dike, but of course also famous singers and the fishing will be mentioned. In my eyes Volendam is much more than just that and you will discover that during this fun and educational walk through Volendam.
The walk through Volendam starts at the Volendams museum and the VVV/Tourist Information of Volendam. The tourist office building is located in the left part of the museum building. At the tourist office you can buy the booklet for the walk. You can immediately take the opportunity to discover the Volendam museum from the inside. This is really worth it. You can read all about this museum in one of my previous blogs. What I can tell you is that there are seven million cigar bands placed in this museum that together form the unique cigar bands house.
After the museum you walk straight on to the renewed Europaplein. The building where the Kruidvat is now located used to be a police station and in the right part was the post office. In the Stationsstraat on the left it was possible to get on the tram to Amsterdam between 1932 and 1956. This tram connection is no longer there today. If you look into the Calcoengracht in front of the bridge, you will see ten houses if you count well. These houses are very special. You can read more about it during the walk through Volendam.
The road continues left over the bridge. You will arrive at the Edammerweg. That's remarkable, the Edammerweg in Volendam. Let me explain. The water that flows along the Edammerweg is the Ye. The Ye was a former peat stream that flowed from Edam to Volendam into the Zuiderzee. In 1357 this was still the former inner harbour of Edam. After Edam received city rights, this inner port was dammed with the Follendam. In 1462 Volendam is the first to be named as a village since around that time 5 people lived there. A funny fact about how Volendam gets its name. Later, the barge sailed in from Edam at this place.
After the Damming there was in this part "De Volendammer Meer". In 1663 this lake was drained with a mill, but only a hundred years ago houses were built here. These were flooded again during the flood disaster in 1916. During the walk you will discover what happened later with this part of Volendam.
In the Jozefstraat you find the Jozefschool. On the wall of this school hangs a sign that indicates how high the water was during the flood disaster. This school used to be a boys' school. After the Jozefstraat you will arrive in the Conijnstraat and in the Schippersgracht. Nice to know is that these streets are built with a street plan in the form of a botter with names that refer to parts of this boat. For example, you will find the Sword-street or the Gaff-street here. Do you spot them all? If you have found all the streets, you have built an entire botter yourself.
On the wall of the st. Nicolaashof nursing home hangs a work of art in the shape of the botter. On this artwork you can read almost all the nicknames of Volendam families. These nicknames were given to keep the surnames apart.The route continues along the Vincentiuskerk and the cemetery to the Noordeinde. This church is almost always open to burn a candle for a loved one or to view this beautiful church from the inside. To get to the Noordeinde you go up with the stairs. The dike consists of the Noordeinde and the Zuideinde. During the walk you will read how these two dikes were created.
There you are finally on the famous dike. If you walk to the left you will come out of the dike in Edam after a brisk walk, but that is for another time. Now of course you go to the right where you can already see the world-famous Art Hotel Spaander. The hotel dates back to 1881. Around the turn of the century, countless painters and photographers stayed here who made Volendam and the traditional costumes known all over the world. The inn is still in its original state and is perfect for a cup of coffee, but the newly landscaped beach terrace is also wonderful to stay in the summer.