The first thing you see as you come into Zaanse Schans are the 17th century industrial windmills, and the picturesque houses.
Zaanse Schans is a “living museum.” The houses are occupied, and not part of the tourist experience, but the windmills take groups in for demonstrations. Zaanse Schans is a very busy tourist spot – there were 20 busses in the parking lot when we left. We were very fortunate in being able to get into the workshops we did with no wait. (Just a lot of walking!)
The windmill we visited is called “The Cat.” It is the last working colour mill in the world. Here chalk is ground to a fine powder, and plant and mineral dyes are used to create the colors used in artist’s pastel crayons.
In Zaanse Schans we also visited a clog making museum workshop. The shoes are shaped and hollowed on lathes out of wet poplar, then left tp dry for 4 weeks before being painted.