Monnickendam Tourist Attractions
The little town of Monnickendam, on the shores of the Gouwzee and the IJsselmeer, is noted mainly for its smoked fish and as a water sports center. Until it was overtaken by Amsterdam Monnickendam ranked with Edam, Hoorn and Enkhuizen as one of the most important ports on the Zuiderzee.Monnickendam was founded by monks in the 12th century and received its municipal charter in 1335. Its situation on the Zuiderzee with its busy shipping traffic soon brought it prosperity; but when in the 17th century it came to rely on fishing as its main source of income its circumstances were much more modest. Its difficulties were aggravated by a succession of catastrophes: in 1297 it was plundered by the Frisians, in 1494 and 1514 it was ravaged by great fires and in 1570 it fell into the hands of the Geuzen (Beggars).
The 16th century Speeltoren at Noordeinde 4, the tower of the old town hall, has a carillon of 18 bells (1596). It now houses a museum of antiquities from the surrounding area.
Grote Kerk (St Nicolaaskerk)
To the south of Speeltoren is the Grote Kerk or St Nicolaaskerk (ca. 1400), with a collection of tiles and majolica.
The Town Hall (Stadhuis) occupies an elegant mansion built in 1746. The Council Chamber has gold wallpaper and a Roccoco ceiling. On the gable above the main entrance is the figure of a monk (who also features in the town's coat of arms).
An interesting experience in Monnickendam is a visit to an eel-smoking establishment.
From Monnickendam there are boat trips to Marken and Volendam.