Miscellaneous · Travel

Photoessay: Marken, Netherlands – Bucolic charm galore

Think Netherlands and the first thing that comes to your mind is Amsterdam, water canals and tulips. But a visit to the Dutch countryside promises an equally fascinating experience too. Replete with oodles of bucolic charm and pretty pastoral scenes, it is a great place to experience some breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Most villages are incredibly picturesque with watery meadows, windmills and lush green vegetation. And one such gorgeous village is Marken which is located in the municipality of Waterland in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. Here are some captures from my recent visit:

Wooden houses of Marken, Netherlands

We reached this quaint fishing village by a 30 minute ferry which departed from the centre of Volendam. The first thing that one sees when in Marken are the authentic, colourful timber houses and the fishing harbour. Most of the houses are wooden piles to prevent flooding.

A view of the fishing harbour in Marken

Narrow alleys, drawbridges and fruit laden trees add to the charm in this little village which is best explored on foot.

Apple trees in abundance in Marken
Bucolic charm in Marken, Netherlands
Pastoral prettiness in Marken
Water canals and watery meadows in Marken

Best known for its wooden clog factory and museum, a visit to Marken provides an insight into Dutch culture. Wooden shoes or clogs were commonly used by Dutch labourers since the 13th century. They were sturdy, strong and easy to use. When stuffed with hay, they provided the much needed warmth and comfort during winter.

Outside the wooden shoe factory in Marken
Clog making demonstration in Marken

When in Marken you can visit the shoe making factory and also witness a live demo of shoes being made. It is interesting to note that while these shoes were handcrafted during the yesteryears, now they are machine made.

Shoe making demonstration in Marken

When in the factory, you can shop for souvenirs galore, this includes wooden shoes, windmills, blue pottery and the like.

Souvenirs in Marken

The museum is a good place to revisit some Dutch traditions which include costumes used by the native people during the past as well as utensils and vessels used by them.

Read this article to know more about Netherlands’ country side villages.

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