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Windmills at the Zaanse Schans in 2007
Windmills at the Zaanse Schans in 2007
Zaandam is located in North Holland
Coordinates: 52°26′N 4°50′E / 52.433°N 4.833°E / 52.433; 4.833Coordinates: 52°26′N 4°50′E / 52.433°N 4.833°E / 52.433; 4.833
Country Netherlands
Province North Holland
Municipality Zaanstad
Population (2017)[1]
 • Total 76,804
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Zaandam (Dutch pronunciation: [zaːnˈdɑm] (About this sound listen)) is a city in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. It is the main city of the municipality of Zaanstad, and received city rights in 1811, it is located on the Zaan, nearby the North Sea Canal, and it is close to Amsterdam.

The statistical district Zaandam, which covers the city and the surrounding countryside, has a population of around 76,804[1] Zaandam was a separate municipality until 1974, when it became a part of the new municipality of Zaanstad.[2]


A windmill near Zaandam painted in 1871 by Claude Monet
Zaandam circa 1889. Etching by James McNeill Whistler
Albert Heijn headquarters in Zaandam

Zaandam (formerly called Saenredam) and the surrounding Zaan River region, called the Zaanstreek, share a history that is intimately tied into industry.

In the Dutch Golden Age, Zaandam served as a large milling centre. Thousands of windmills powered saws that were processing Scandinavian wood for the shipbuilding and paper industries. A statue was commissioned from the Bosnian Serb sculptor Slavomir Miletić in honour of this era, and the statue, “The Woodworker” (“De Houtwerker”), was installed on 20 June 2004.

Zaandam was a leading city in the first Industrial Revolution. Into the second half of the 20th century, Zaandam was still an important lumber port.

Zaandam is also historically linked with the whaling industry.

In 1697, the czar Peter I of Russia spent some time in Zaandam, studying shipbuilding, the house he stayed in has been preserved as a small museum, the Czar Peter House.

In 1871, the impressionist painter Claude Monet lived in Zaandam for approximately half a year, during that time, he made 25 paintings of the area, including Bateaux en Hollande pres de Zaandam and A windmill at Zaandam.


The first European McDonald's restaurant opened in Zaandam in 1971,[3] the Albert Heijn supermarket chain is also headquartered in Zaandam, but contrary to what many people think, it did not originate there; instead, it was founded in the neighbouring municipality of Oostzaan in 1887. Chocolate manufacturer Verkade also hails from Zaandam.

Football club AZ (Alkmaar Zaanstreek) was founded in Zaandam on May 10, 1967.



Notable people born in Zaandam[edit]


  1. ^ a b Municipality of Zaanstad, Zaanstad in cijfers [1]. As of 1 January 2017.
  2. ^ Ad van der Meer and Onno Boonstra, Repertorium van Nederlandse gemeenten, KNAW, 2006.
  3. ^ McDonald's International (Press Release), "Fascinating McFacts about McDonald's International", 1996.

External links[edit]