The Golden Age of Waterland

Between around 1100 and 1500, the foundations of Waterland subsided by about three metres as a result of farmers draining their land into ditches and the fens collapsing. The ground became increasingly marshier and less suitable for agriculture. Luckily, many people from Waterland, including Zunderdorp, earned a good living from maritime shipping and trade during the Golden Age of Waterland (c. 1450-1570).


Kerklaan, 1935

Milk boats

As Amsterdam began to dominate the merchant navy, many villagers returned to farming. The invention of the windmill meant that land could be drained for livestock. The oldest people from Zunderdorp may still remember how Jannetje Schouten woke up the milkmen every day at half past three. An hour later, she did her rounds of the milk boats as they had to leave at six o’clock. They transported the milk every day in fully laden milk boats past the Nieuwendam lock to the capital.


Café on the bridge

Lightning in the church

Zunderdorp has a number of Waterland style stolpboerderijen (square farms typical of the area). Among these are the national monuments at Voorwerf 1 en ’t Nopeind 14. The Reformed church, rebuilt in 1854 after a major fire, stands at the edge of the village. Parts of the church are older, such as the seventeenth century pulpit and the baptistry with two lions. A strange accident occurred when the top of the fifteenth century gothic tower was struck by lightning in 1925. It fell on top of agent J.C. Ligtermoed of Ransdorp, killing him on the spot.


Dutch Reformed Church, 2008