nice old harbour village near Amsterdam
Photos and text by Jan Everink
Durgerdam consists for the greater part of a long row of exquisite
at the edge of a narrow road on top of the old Zuiderzee dyke. Because everything in Durgerdam occurs at a slow pace and in a homy manner, there is still
present that unique feel of a centuries-old Waterland harbour village.
Centuries ago Amsterdam
was only a small settlement on the river Het IJ. But this hamlet became
wealthy from trading and grew very fast whilst the surrounding villages
remained small in size and character.
One of those still existing old villages is Durgerdam, situated to the north east of Amsterdam,
in an area called
Long row of exquisite houses
An eye-catching building in Durgerdam is the "Chapel", which
was built in 1687. This small wooden building with its prominent domed tower served for only
a short time as a place of worship. It has had various functions, among others that of a
school and a town hall. In 1950 it was heavily
damaged by a bolt of lightening and afterwards restored.
Also worth seeing is the Dutch Reformed
was built in 1867. This small single-hall church stands on the site of an
earlier 17th century church, from which the pulpit is still in the present building.
Dutch Reformed Church
For many centuries, fishing was the only
source of income for the Durgerdammers, and this also during the cold winter
months. In the winter, nets were spread through holes in the ice. In order
to bring the fishes in movement the fishermen
rapped the ice with a wooden picket, an activity which was known as
The inhabitants of Durgerdam long since do'nt make their living from fishing
any more. Many of the denizens now
work in Amsterdam and when back in their village enjoy the beautiful vista
over the Buiten-IJ.
The "Durgerdammer Die"
Typical house in Durgerdam
The Durgerdammers also have a magnificent view from their back
gardens over the "Durgerdammer Die", a gentle polder landscape. On the horizon, there juts out the familiar stump
tower of Ransdorp, once a beacon to shipping, nowadays a prominent identifying landmark for hikers.
In Durgerdam, the hiker and pedestrian don't have a smooth passage,
because though they are environed by a large
visual expanse, the space in the village itself is rather confined. The
dimensions of the place are simply not suitable to the present time.
Many pedestrians choose not to walk the only street
in Durgerdam but prefer to amble over the slender highest part of the dyke.
An unofficial path has formed there from which one has a
splendid view over the picturesque Durgerdam houses as well as the waters of