De Rijp, Netherlands
De Rijp was the birthplace of J. A. Leeghwater (1575-1650), inventor of the diving bell.De Rijp offers typical scenes of tulips, windmills, residents and visitors on bicycles, and canals.
The little town of De Rijp near Alkmaar is best known as the birthplace of the 17th century water engineer Jan Leeghwater. In the 17th century it had a fishing fleet which was later used for whaling. The Late Gothic cruciform church (1529; Reformed) has oak barrel vaulting and 24 magnificent stained glass windows.
In 1970 the two towns of Graft and De Rijp near Alkmaar were amalgamated. The local museum (In 't Houten Huis, Jan Boonplein 2) illustrates the history of the two communities.
The De Rijp Town Hall, built in 1630 on the initiative of Jan Leeghwater, has three tall gables and an imposing flight of steps leading up to the entrance.
The Weigh House (Waaggebouw; 1690) at Kleine Dam 2 in De Rijp has 24 stained glass windows.
The museum in the "Wooden House" at Jan Boonplein 2 has a collection which includes tiles, pottery, old charts and whale skeletons.
Purmerend has been an important market town since 1484. Also of interest is the domed church, with a famous Garrels organ.Purmerend has become a popular commuter town.
The Kaasmarkt is just one of the many markets held by cheese-producing towns in the Netherlands. This market is held on Thursdays in July and August near the Town Hall. Stalls sell everything from cheese to local crafts, including hand-made straw hats.
Graft is the oldest village on Schermer island, first mentioned in the records in 1325. It has a handsome Town Hall (Stadhuis) of 1613.
Krommenie has a watermill dating from 1640, De Woudaap.
The main sights of Westzaan are the Grote Kerk in Torenstraat (periodic exhibitions in July and August); the Prinsenhof mill (1722) in Weelsloot; the Schoolmeester mill (1695) in Guisweg, the only papermill in the world which is still working; the Town Hall (Stadhuis) in Kerkbuurt, a former courthouse in Louis XIV style, with a domed tower (1781); and the Zuidervermaning church (1731) at Zuideinde 231, which has a particularly beautiful interior.
Broek in Waterland, Netherlands
Broek in Waterland is one of the prettiest villages in Holland, with 18th century wooden houses set round a large pond. It still has two cheese-makers and a clog-maker.The local church in Broek was rebuilt in 1628 and received extensive renovations in 1989. It features a special sermon chair made of ebony and rosewood as well as a church organ from 1832.