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Dutch Provinces: Noord-Holland

”Discover the Netherlands, Province by Province” project – each month of 2022 is dedicated to one Dutch province.

Schagen is a city in Noord-Holland, between Alkmaar and Den Helder. I wouldn’t call it a tourist destination, but it can be a nice stop on your way to some other place in the area. There’s much to do in the area surrounding Schagen: in the spring, the fields between the city and the sea are covered in tulips and other spring flowers, and they make for beautiful biking routes. There are a few gorgeous beaches close-by: Petten, Callantsoog and Sint Maartenszee and many walking routes through beautiful nature, like the ones in the Zwanenwater reservation.

The central point of the town is the main square with the Grote Kerk (the church) and the restaurants. I visited Schagen on an overcast day, but I can imagine how lively the square is in summer, when all the restaurants are open and people are coming here for a bit of chilling.

Schagen is famous in the area for its weekly market with local produce, on Thursdays, and for the Westfriese Folklore parade, organised also on Thursdays (on this occasion you can have a taste of the West-Frisian folklore, the traditional clothes and traditional occupations).

What to see and do in Schagen

  • Grote Kerk. A Neo-Gothic church, dominating the cityscape. On the Westfriese Folklore days, the church is open and the organ is played by various organists.
  • The national monument Slot Schagen Kasteeltoren. Only the two towers remained from the original Schagen castle (and they are also rebuilt). The former castle of Schagen is now a cosy hotel and events location.
  • Museum Vreeburg. This is a farm museum (a 17th century urban farm house that was completely restored in the old style) and a carriage museum. It is run by volunteers.
  • Zijper Museum. The Zijper Museum is a cultural-historical museum established to preserve the history of the Zijper polder and keep it alive by sharing it with the public. The collection consists of a wide variety of objects which have a connection to the Zijper polder.

And now, for the photo tour:

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