Enkhuisen is another attractive small Dutch town with a lot of old buildings. It is close to “Hoorn”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/holland/day_four/index.html but doesn’t get the same pressure of visitors.
In the C17th, Enkhuisen was one of the most important harbours in the Netherlands. It was an important fishing port as well as a base for the Dutch East India Company. It declined in importance during the C18th and early C19th as a result of wars with England, shifting sands making the harbour less accessible and finally the building of a dam across the Zuiderzee so restricting access to the North Sea.
It remains an attractive town with many old buildings. It still has one of the largest marinas in the Netherlands with boats berthed near the station as well as along Oude Haven and Oosterhaven. The station is a splendid C19th brick building. Integrated transport really works in Holland and there are signposts from the station to the ferries.
Approaching from the sea, the entry to Oude Haven and Oosterhaven are guarded by the C16th Dromedaris Tower and a small lighthouse.
The Drommedaris was the southern gateway into the town and part of the town walls. The base contained cannons which guarded the harbour entrance. It was also a prison for a time. It is now a cultural centre. It still has its original C17th carillon which plays every quarter.
Enkhuisen is an attractive town to explore on foot. The centre with a mix of old and modern houses. All buildings are brick and modern buildings are designed to complement the old. There is a network of small canals crossed by very characteristic white bridges.
The tower of the massive C1St Panceatius Church or Zuiderkerk, dominates the skyline. It was originally the church of the fisherman and the tower served as a beacon for them. Unfortunately it was shut when I visited. Nearby is the C17th Stadhuis or town hall, built in the Dutch Classical style.
For those who like folk museums, the Zuiderzeemuseum contains over 100 historical buildings have been reconstructed here as an open air museum. This also has a large ‘indoor collection’ of costumes, photos, personal belongings etc.
We visited early evening when the shops were shut and there were few people around. Make sure you have a camera as it is veery photogenic.
There are more pictures “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/holland/day_three/enkhuisen/index.html