World Heritage Site De Beemster
At the start of the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century, the northern part of Holland had enough capital and technology to deal with its water problems. By pumping the water out of the large lakes around Schermer Island, the land could be reclaimed.
Enterprising merchants saw this as a great investment. The Beemster was one of the first lakes to be turned into dry land in 1612; the Schermer was last in 1635. Roads and ditches in straight lines with a strong geometric lay-out symbolise pride and confidence in this technological feat. Even the farms in the reclaimed lands fit the geometric mould. A perfect square with the characteristic ‘pyramid roof’ which provided a home for man, cattle and food: the dome-shaped farm.
The Beemster was placed on UNESCO’s world heritage list as a unique example of seventeenth century landscape architecture. You can learn more at the information centre Beemsterinfo in Middenbeemster.