Zaans Museum


Zaans Museum

The Zaans Museum was opened in 1998, with the aim of safeguarding and preserving the Zaan heritage…

The Zaans Museum is located next to the Zaanse Schans parking lot, amid the typical Zaan ‘slagenlandschap’ (‘strip landscape). Albert Heijn laid the foundation stone for the modern building in 1997, and the Zaans Museum opened in September 1998. Because this museum was intended to accommodate a variety of historical collections from different locations under perfectly climate controlled conditions, a modern building resembling a warehouse in layout was chosen. The undulating shape of the building is a reference to the Zaan river. The Museum’s collection is built upon two sources: the collection belonging to Jacob Honig Jansz. Jr. (the first to begin gathering objects typical to the Zaan region in the 19th century), and the Verkade company’s corporate collection.

Zaans Museum

The Museum’s collection illustrates numerous fascinating stories relating to life and work in the Zaan region.It relates the rich history of this world-famous area in North Holland, covering everything from the green-painted timber houses iconic to the Zaan region, to the Dutch windmills. The first sawmill, invented in 1592, was part of what initiated the prosperity of the 17th century, with many industries being created as a result. This successful entrepreneurial spirit is still very much in evidence in the cultural heritage on display alongside the Zaan river. In its displays of utensils, clothing, paintings and factory materials, the Museum presents the spirit of a rich cultural life and the impressive history of the shipbuilding, whaling and food industries.

Zaans Museum

The French painter Claude Monet (1840-1926) was so impressed by the landscape in the Zaan region that he captured it in no fewer than 25 paintings and nine sketches while on a trip here in 1871. The Zaans Museum acquired Monet’s painting ‘The Voorzaan and the Westerhem’ in 2016, and it is now part of the permanent collection. Other masterpieces in the collection include ‘Stiers wreedheid’ (‘Bull’s cruelty’) from 1647, and ‘De man onder de beer’ (‘The man under the bear’) from 1668. The first painting is of a bizarre, legendary tale about a woman being attacked by a bull, and the second depicts a whaling scene in the Arctic, in which the commander of whaler ‘De Hoop op d’Swarte Walvis’ was attacked by a polar bear. He survived this attack, and was subsequently given the nickname ‘the man under the bear’.

Zaans Museum

In 1668, Cornelis Gerritz Jongekees was the commander of whaler ‘De Hoop op d’Swarte Walvis’

Zaans Museum

There is a selection of museum gifts and souvenirs available in the Museum Shop

Modern Museum Building (1998)
Design: Cor van Hillo

  • Museum

  • Schansend 7, 1509 AW Zaandam

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

  • Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • +31 (0)75 681 0000