Museum ‘Zaanse Tijd’

Museum Zaanse Tijd

Unique collection of Dutch timepieces, including a ‘world clock’ dating back to 1755…

Museum ‘Zaanse Tijd’ is located at Kalverringdijk 3 and is housed in a beautiful 18th century weaver’s house originating from Assendelft. The museum was opened by Prince Claus in February 1976 and accommodates an impressive collection of timepieces gathered by Ber van der Molen. This unique collection includes Dutch timepieces from the past five hundred years, from rich Amsterdam grandfather clocks to authentic Zaan-style clocks. The 17th-century pendulum clocks made by Christiaan Huygens are particularly interesting showpieces in the collection.

Museum Zaanse Tijd

The first world clock from 1755

One extraordinary item in the collection is the first world clock, which was made by Amsterdam clockmaker Gerrit Knip in 1755. This clock features a disk depicting the stars in the Northern Hemisphere night sky, and includes the signs of the zodiac. Arranged around the outside of this starry sky are the local times in 17 different places around the world, from Batavia (now Jakarta) in the former Dutch East Indies, to Suriname. This clock enabled wealthy merchants with interests in the East and West India Companies to show their guests what time it was on the other side of the world, long before official time zones were introduced. This clock has an antique veneered Louis XVI case, which adds an extra touch of historical magnificence.

The museum provides a fascinating overview of the history of timekeeping, acquainting visitors with the Dutch contributions to this field, as well as the wide variety of timekeeping methods adopted over the centuries. Visitors can even view imitation ancient Egyptian water clocks. Museum Zaanse Tijd is also home to the oldest collection of church clocks in the Netherlands.

Museum Zaanse Tijd

The former weaver’s house is entirely fitted out as a museum and has a rich historical ambience. The east-facing facade on Kalverringdijk bears ornamental elements in the Louis XV style, originating from a house on Gorterspad 7 in Zaandijk. This charming spot gives visitors the opportunity to explore the history and development of timepieces and timekeeping, while also absorbing the wonderful craftsmanship inherent in the building itself.

Museum Zaanse Tijd

The former weaver’s house is entirely fitted out as a museum and has a rich historical ambience

National monument approx. 1675
Relocated in 1974
(formerly located at
Dorpsstraat 515, Assendelft)

  • Museum

  • Kalverringdijk 3, 1509 BT Zaandam

  • Entry: PAID
    Museum Card – FREE
    I Amsterdam Card – FREE
    VriendenLoterij VIP card – FREE

  • Open daily:
    April to September, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    October to March, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

  • +31 (0)75 617 9769