Glory days

At the end of the middle ages, about thirty skippers lived on the road from Ransdorp to Schellingwoude, where virtually no houses stand anymore. Ransdorp had its own brewery and a large church with an impressive, richly decorative tower that was never provided with a spire. During the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648), Ransdorp was mostly destroyed by the Spanish and the Geuzen. It was a blow from which Ransdorp never recovered and it ended its glory days forever.


The swan with the golden necklace

Even after many inhabitants left for Amsterdam, Ransdorp remained a place of significance. This can be seen by the monumental city hall built in 1652 that was used for several purposes including for the meetings of the Waterlandse Unie (Union of Waterland, 1619-1811). Ransdorp was seen as the main village of the six ‘bannen’ (exiled villages) that united to protect their rights and freedom. The six villages were: Ransdorp, Zuiderwoude, Landsmeer, Broek in Waterland, Schellingwoude and Zunderdorp. The swan with the golden necklace, the Waterland coat of arms, shows off above the entrance to the city hall. The six arrows in its outstretched foot are the six villages of the Union.


Annexed by the capital city

The low-lying areas of Waterland have been affected by countless floods through the centuries. Thanks to the completion of the Afsluitdijk (dyke) in 1932, the last was in 1916. Ransdorp, just like Holysloot, Durgerdam and Schellingwoude, was unable to fund repairs to the seriously damaged village. The villages thus voluntarily allowed themselves to be incorporated into Amsterdam, the city that was once their competitor.


Village road with drawbridge, 2008. Photo: E. van Eis, Stadsdeel Noord