Zaandam, a gem of too much Dutchness

Welcome to Zaandam, the gem stone´s throw away from Amsterdam!

I saw this photo of this building online and looked where is it actually in the Netherlands. I find it super unique and since then I was too curious to see it for real! I say it from my experience, it´s really amazing so I would use a better superlative–it´s fanstastic! Imagine, a mind boggling 70 stacked Dutch gable Houses all in one building.Great respect for the genius design concept of this…I am just impressed.

The InnHotel in Zaandam, too much of a Dutchness rolled into one.

The architecture and design is really something special. I dunno if it´s my eye for details or it is really architecturally eccentric. Anyway, last week we had a trip to visit my in laws in the Netherlands I am really looking forward to see it for real.Great thing that it is just a few kilometers away from Zaanse Schans where we see the ultimate traditional world of windmills.I´ve had enough of stereotype Dutch-tourist-things you know, the Tulips, canals and clogs, so this time I was really looking for something unique, something unforgettable and I think this was it.You know the feeling when you visited a place for the first time and you say to yourself if the trip worth it or not . That feeling I had it here…

It was totally unexpected, a spontaneous wonder.This was a sweet change from the endless fields with cows, horses, and sheeps and of course, barn houses.

We had a quick stop over in Zaandam after we visited the iconic windmills. Lots of harbor sightings and typical rural countryside views. I ate too much Gevuldekoek, Bitterballen, Frikandellen and of course, Poffertjes.We even had a blast in the Fleamarkt in the city center where my daughter scored 3 Pokemon cards! Zaandam was a quick drive from Amsterdam through A8 and we were immediately welcomed with a great vibes the moment we entered the city center. The city was super cheerful and the quaint character of the Zaankanters is present.The promenade through the Innhotel was really a delight, full of shops and little bridges with late spring flowers.

At the end of the street, these views amused us. The landmark of Zaandam.

Innhotel in Zaandam

Inntel Hotel Zaandam sits along the river and even has a floating restaurant. We didn´t stayed in this hotel but if you would see the hotel´s interior, it tells even more about Zaandam´s history and economic legacy.You will never missed it since it is the most eye-catchy building in town.I have ever since in the vicinity.I never imagined that it is a hotel though!At first i thought it was a Museum or a gallery or so but then the aesthetic beauty is really worth the stop.It´s situated next to the train station so it´s super convenient from Schiphol or Amsterdam central station.

Innhotel is a tourist-magnet , it is a visually 4-star hotel that has an impressive façade. Designed by Dutch Architect Wilfried van Winden ( WAM Architecten) who also happened to design the Essalam Mosque in Rotterdam.If you happened to see the Cubic Houses in Rotterdam and the designs of Piet Mondrian, then you will really fall in love with Dutch architecture.

The hotel is not only the ideal place to stay when discovering the Zaan area, but as well for a trip to Amsterdam. The train journey will take 12 minutes to Amsterdam Central Station, and you can travel to Schiphol airport in only 18 minutes.Many visitors combined this trip exploring Amsterdam, Keukenhof and ending in the sandy beach of Zaandvoort which we exactly did!

Now, here´s more eye candy exterior photos I´ve made while admiring this beautiful building.I have noticed right away the combination of construction details present as typical for the region of Zaanse Schans.Notice the triangular roofs and the roof tiles–totally pure Dutchness overload!

I´ve read from one architectural journal that one of the first buildings to be constructed under the new masterplan was the unforgettable Inntel hotel.As i´ve mentioed before, this hotel is composed of stacked houses reminiscent of the traditional “Zaanse Huisjes’, the colourful facades playfully show off Zaandam’s new identity in Holland. The blue house in particular is a nod to a painting Claude Monet made in  the area in 1871.

A break from the bustling canals in Amsterdam or the colorful Tulips fields in this modern hub is actually rewarding especially if you are looking for free, comfortable things to see and do outside of Amsterdam.If you have time to kill, you can either enjoy shopping in the rows of shops just beside this building or people watch while admiring the Zaan river.

Zaandam City Hall or Stadthuis

 Look how cool the Rathaus or ‘Stadhuis’ (or City Hall) of Zaandam, showing an equally bold design that looks more like a village than a civic office. These were designed by Soeters, the building consists of 8 enlarged houses and is open to the public.

Local sightings in Zaandam, the Netherlands

This house may looked like a Labourer´s cottage but it really resembles the houses built around the transition period of Classicism and Romanticism with wooden carvings which were a notable design element around 1850.

The detail of King Post is actually twofold.It joins the bargeboards serves as the decorative pinnacle of a gable end.In Innhotel gable facade details, I noticed that the combination of different gable designs are present. The combination of the color and tones of black, green and light blue highlights the core colours known in Zaandam.And speaking of window details, you have it all here.Dutch are very generous and clever when it comes to using geometry in design.

Even their buses are pretty cool.

Explore the Zaan streets with the Bus!

While walking through the city center, I noticed this gable facade which looked like a lace embroidery and I find it really artistic; of course worth of a snap.It is a facade of a shop located in the city center near the play area for kids.

One more thing about the Windveer, these wooden board detail were often shaped in a wavy pattern to make it more attractive.Two accolades at the roof point, combined with segments arches is also very typical for the 19th century Zaan region.

Oh and it made us laugh when I realized that zebra crossings in Zaandam were rainbow colors! It totally matched my daughter´s leggins!

Tot Ziens Zaandam, you were great!

So how do you find Zaandam?

Until then, Tschüss!

11 thoughts on “Zaandam, a gem of too much Dutchness

  1. Thank you for such a colourful postcard from Zaandam! It looks a wonderful place, a place to be inspired and uplifted!

    Liked by 1 person

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