History of Volendam

Volendam Netherlands North Holland Fishing Village

Volendam is a small village in North Holland in the Netherlands, in the city of Edam-Volendam. The town has around 22,000 inhabitants (as of November 2007) and is typically twinned with Coventry.

FC Volendam is a football club located in Volendam, which has typically played in the Dutch Eredivisie (though they are presently in the Eerste Divisie).

History – Volendam

Originally, Volendam was the site of the harbor of the neighboring Edam, which was located at the mouth of the IJ bay. In 1357 CE, the residents of Edam dug a smaller canal to the Zuiderzee with its own different harbor. This eliminated the need for the original port, which was then closed and used for land restoration. Local fishermen and farmers lived there, forming the new town of Vollendam, which literally meant ‘Filled dam.’ Yes, that was the literal meaning of the new town.

In the early part of the 20th century CE, it became something of an artists’ retreat, with both Renoir and Picasso spending time here. The calming tranquil environment of the village presented a safe harbor for creative brains of the early 20th Century CE. Volendam is marked by the irregular appearances of what can only be defined as pompous hobbit houses, which pop up between unusually pointy but otherwise normal-sized buildings. It didn’t evolve with time, and hence artists found it a place worth living for.

The bulk of the Volendam population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, which is deeply connected to the village’s rich culture and heritage. Historically, many bishops and missionaries grew up in Volendam. Today there is the wonderful chapel of Our Lady of the Water, which is situated in a village park.

Volendam is also well known for its unique music, called Palingsound (really “eel sound”) about Volendam’s standing as a fishing village. During the 1960s CE, the local group The Cats was very popular in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe.

Another popular band from Volendam was BZN, which became famous in the late 1960s CE and early 1970s CE. In 1995 BZN played a duet with the ten-year-old Jan Smit, who soon became a celebrity in his own right.

On the infamous New Year’s night of 2000 CE to 2001 CE, the flash of a bunch of sparklers caused a short but severe fire at a party in café De Hemel. The sparklers burned the dry Christmas ornaments on the ceiling, which fell down in their entirety. Two hundred people were seriously injured, and 14 people died in the fire.

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