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Vereniging de Zaansche Molen (Zaan Windmill Society)

The Zaan Windmill Society was founded in 1925 to preserve the last remaining windmills in the Zaan region, an area which once had more than 1000 windmills dotting the landscape. Their first successful restoration was De Zoeker oil mill. To date, they have now restored a total of 12 windmills in the Zaan area, many of which are open to the public. They society also runs a lovely little museum (de Molenmuseum) that tells more about the rise and fall of the Zaan windmills and their contribution to the Netherlands’ industrial history. The museum is located near the Zaanse Schans.

How to visit de Zaan Windmill Society with your City Card

You are not required to book a timeslot in advance to visit this venue with your City Card. You can book your timeslot on the spot. Please do make sure your City Card is valid at the time of your visit.

Mill Museum

In the Mill Museum you will learn everything that has to do with mill life and mills. In addition to an overview of the mill typology, there are paintings, prints, photos, drawings, original tools and scale models. You can also see the Zaanse Windmill panorama by the painter Frans Mars. This 11 meter wide painting gives a picture of the heyday of the Zaan windmill industry. There are often theme exhibitions in the museum.

Unique part of the Netherlands

The Zaansche Molen was founded in 1925 to preserve the mill heritage, which was rapidly disappearing in the Zaan region, for the future. At the time, a number of concerned Zaankanters feared that not a single mill would remain of the enormous number that had once stood there. The aim of the association is to preserve and manage the Zaanse industrial mills and to increase knowledge about and love for the mills. If you want to know more about all the windmills you can visit check the website for alle the information and up to date openinghours.

Windmill the Cat

This windmill used to grind chalk and other raw materials for paint and was built in 1646 in the historic village of Zaanse Schans. It burned down in 1782 but was rebuilt quickly and it was again restored in the early ’60s. 

Windmill the Bonte Hen

This mill is closed. De Bonte Hen has survived since 1693, despite being hit by lightning a number of times. Between 1973 and 1978 the mill was completely restored and re-equipped the parts needed to get it back in working order. Nowadays, the mill is still producing oil.

Windmill the Jonge Schaap

Het Jonge Schaap ('the young sheep') is a replica of a wooden wind-powered sawmill in the Zaanse Schaans. Originally built in 1680, it survived until 1942. This detailed replica was completed in 2007.

Windmill de Schoolmeester

The oldest working paper mill in the world can be found in Zaandam. This fascinating building dates back to 1692 and once produced some of the finest paper products in the world. Learn about the history and process of paper manufacturing in the Netherlands. 

If you would like to know more about the windmills, check the website for all the information and openinghours.