It doesn’t get more quintessentially Dutch than a windmill museum! In the rural area of Schemerhorn, there are still quite a few drainage water mills from the 16th century. For three centuries, the water drainage mills transferred water from the polder to the canals, creating viable farmland from below sea level by using ancient techniques of wooden wheels and mortars. (A ‘polder’ is a piece of low-lying land that has been reclaimed from the sea, and protected by dikes.) One of these mills has been transformed into a museum. Constructed of eight heavy wooden uprights connected by bearing beams, corbels, and cross beams, the museum is an interesting place to visit and the surrounding area is quite picturesque — the landscape has remained untouched since it was created in the Golden Age. The Windmill Museum is one of the eleven remaining mills of the former mill complex of Schermerpolder, in an open polder landscape in central North Holland. The mill is on display from top to bottom (including the millers’ quarters, where the family who ran the mill lived), and the museum is laid out so the operation of the mill is easy to understand.
Although there are no ‘official’ guided tours, the museum has information about the mill in different languages and the staff are enthusiastic and friendly. There’s a modest gift shop and cafe, and a terrace and picnic benches to enjoy the view. Parking is free.