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.

When was Blokzijl Netherlands founded?

Origin of Blokzijl

The port 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.

The problem of (high) tide

They only had a problem there. At (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.

Strategic place

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:

  • Kuinre
  • Vollenhove
  • Zwartsluis

Kaatje from Blokzijl

The story of Kaatje

Statue 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.

Visit Blokzijl

Are you interested in the history of Blokzijl?

The city centre 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.

Giethorn tours

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 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 )

What to do in Blokzijl?

Blokzijl is an excellent destination for a weekend getaway, especially for people looking for a combination of history, nature and a relaxed atmosphere. Here are some reasons why this former Zuiderzee town can be a nice destination:

  • Accompanied by a city guide, you will wander through the many streets and alleys and learn about the origins of this picturesque town, how trade took place, how the war started and how 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.
  • Plop down on the terrace of the Sluiszicht restaurant and enjoy all the boats that have to pass through the lock. From the terrace you have a good view of the lock.
  • Walk through the Brouwersgracht and along the Bierkade, where there are authentic merchant houses with beautiful bell gables dating from the 17th century.
  • Kaatje bij de Sluis has been a culinary experience for over 45 years where gastronomy, conviviality and atmosphere combine to create a special result.
  • Walk into the large church at Brouwerstraat 11. This building, which is almost 400 years old, is an imposing sight. Free entrance.

The town of Blokzijl, located on the former Zuiderzee, grew into a fortified town on the Zuiderzee during the Spanish occupation. Enemy Spanish ships on their way to the interior were stopped here.

What to do in the Blokzijl area?

The region around Blokzijl is home to various sights. Here are some suggestions for interesting places to visit:

  • Giethoorn: Also known as the "Venice of the North", Giethoorn is approximately 15 kilometers away. Explore the picturesque canals, charming bridges and enjoy a boat ride through this quaint village.
  • Dwingelderveld National Park: the largest wet heathland area in Western Europe is 30 kilometers away. Take beautiful walks here and discover the diversity of flora and fauna.
  • Orchid Farm: A jungle park in Luttelgeest. Luttelgeest is 11 kilometers away. Imagine yourself in the jungles of South America for a moment.
  • Steenwijk: This city, located about 10 kilometers from Blokzijl, has a historic center with beautiful canals, old houses and cozy shops.
  • Kampen: The city of Kampen is approximately 40 kilometers away, with its impressive historic buildings such as the Bovenkerk and the town hall. Stroll along the IJsselkade and discover the rich history of this Hanseatic city.
  • De Weerribben Nature Park: This extensive nature reserve is located directly near Ossenzijl, which is highly recommended. Take a walk, bike ride or boat trip to discover the unique flora and fauna.
  • Sloten: The smallest town in the Netherlands, approximately 35 kilometers away. Explore the historic streets and admire the city walls and canals.
    The gondola trips: from Dwarsgracht, Belt Schutsloot or Giethoorn are really worth it.
  • The Koloniën van Weldadigheid: Frederiksoord is a 22-minute drive from Blokzijl, which is part of The Colonies of Benevolence. These were originally founded in the 19th century as social experiments to combat poverty through agriculture and education. Today, the remaining colonies are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their historical and cultural significance. Frederiksoord is one of the best preserved colonies and houses, among other things, the Museum De Koloniehof, where visitors can learn more about this interesting period in the history of social reforms.

Parking in Blokzijl

There is very little space to park in the center of Blokzijl. We recommend that you use the (free) parking lots on the edge of the old city center.

  • If you come from Steenwijk or Emmeloord, you can follow the signs for Blokzijl P. These signs will take you to the large parking lot along Kanaalweg.
  • If you are coming from the Vollenhove side, you can navigate to the Burgemeester van Ommerenweg when entering Blokzijl. You can park here in the parking lot.

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