Blokzijl is a small town in the northwest of the Netherlands. This town is a popular tourist spot among water sports enthusiasts and day trippers. The Weerribben-Wieden and Giethoorn are often combined with a visit to this Dutch town.
Origin of Blokzijl
When exactly Blokzijl originated, nobody really knows exactly. If we have to make an estimate, we end up somewhere in the 16th century. There are also stories from the year '1438' about the origin of Blokzijl. These stories started with the small river, the Steenwijker Aa. This river connected the Dutch city of Steenwijk with the Zuiderzee and was therefore of great importance for Steenwijk's prosperity. They only had a problem there. At (high) high tide, the land ran to Steenwijk (via the mouth at the Zuiderzee) completely full of seawater. Steenwijk therefore commissioned the construction of a lock at the place where the water of the Steenwijker Aa ran into the Zuiderzee. This is to prevent that during (high) flooding the land up to Steenwijk always flooded.
It was from Steenwijk. It is known that in '1438' Steenwijk places the lock at 'Blockes house'. Possibly a first clue for the name Blokzijl.
Blokzijl was located in a very strategic location and very quickly became an important trading port. All peat that was supplied from the Overijssel hinterland at the time went via Blokzijl to the rest of the Netherlands. This village was therefore very important. Later, the port of Blokzijl functioned as a warehouse for merchant goods.
Walking in Golden Age
Walking through this town you notice that much of the history and traditions have been preserved. Picturesque alleys and streets are made up of national monuments from the Golden Age. These merchant houses betray the rich past. Even the high-water cannons from that time are still intact.
Pearl on the Zuiderzee
In short; the former pearl on the Zuiderzee, with its cozy terraces and restaurants in combination with a maze of streets and alleys, is definitely worth a visit! Do not expect crowds here as occasionally in Giethoorn, even in the high season. More places on the former Zuiderzee:
The story of Kaatje
After the death of her mother, Kaatje moved the inn in 1707 to a new lock at Blokzijl. Soon she was making a name for herself. Kaatje did business with merchants of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and therefore had access to all exotic herbs and fruits in her inn. It is said that Kaatje made the tastiest food. She kept her recipes a secret.
Also known outside Netherlands
Kaatje has also done it with her well-kept dormitory, fine alone. Partly thanks to her culinary skills and hospitality, she is not only known in Blokzijl but also in many places around and in many cities of the former Zuiderzee.
Fate struck for Kaatje
In September 1732, when Kaatje was sixty years old, disaster struck. The famous resident of Blokzijl was robbed and beaten to the point where she died of her injuries. The authors who also stole Kaatje's cookbooks were never arrested.
Hilbert came back just too late
The innkeeper lived her whole life alone, waiting for her childhood sweetheart Hilbert to command a merchant and a private fleet serving the state. Hilbert once vowed not to return to Blokzijl before his business flourished. Two weeks after her death, Kaatje's childhood sweetheart returned to Blokzijl. Hilbert had been doing business in Madagascar for years and was very rich.
Are you interested in the history of Blokzijl?
Then it is good to know that group tours are organized from the registered museum Blokzijl.
Registered museum in the city
Accompanied by a city guide, you will wander through the many streets and alleys and learn about the origins of this picturesque town, how the trade went, how the war started and how the people used to live here. In short, about how Blokzijl has developed over the years. During the walk you will also visit the Grote Kerk, the construction of which almost coincided with the founding of Blokzijl.
Kaatje van de sluis
Kaatje bij de Sluis has been a culinary experience for more than 45 years where gastronomy, conviviality and atmosphere mix into a special result.
Blokzijl is also visited by Giethorn tours. If you travel with them from Amsterdam to Giethoorn, you will pass Blokzijl. Often a small round is made through this former Zuiderzee town.
Also fun for children
With the whole class on a treasure hunt? The water orphanage project is an ideal choice for children's outings. Of course you can also come with your parents. Or celebrate your party in the museum and go on a treasure hunt with all your friends.
Bookings can be made via email@example.com or by telephone via 0527-291381 or 0527-291669.
Prices per person in 2021:
- Groups city walk € 5,00 p.p.( minimum group price € 50,00 )
- Groups museum visit € 4,00 p.p. ( minimum group price ( 40,00 )