Hoorn - Medemblik
Distance: 49 kilometres The first West Frisian city that you’ll visit today is Hoorn. At the beginning of the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648), Hoorn had a short stint as Holland’s most important trading city. That was because Amsterdam initially sided with the Spaniards, whereas many other cities supported the Revolt. Helped by the rebel ‘Watergeuzen’, the cities on the Zuiderzee blocked the port of Amsterdam. Near Hoorn this culminated in the Battle on the Zuiderzee between the Spanish fleet and the insurgents. Past the Binnenhaven (marina) you’ll see colourful friezes on the so-called ‘Bossuhuizen‘ (Bossu houses) that depict the Battle on the Zuiderzee (Slapershaven 1, on your left).
Along with Hoorn, Enkhuizen was one of the most prosperous cities during the 'Golden Age', the period of unprecedented Dutch economic, scientific and artistic growth between approximately 1600 and 1700. Both cities served as a base for the Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC; Dutch East India Company), which had the exclusive right to trade with Asia (the East Indies). The prosperity brought by the trade is still reflected by the splendour of both inner cities. In the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen you can find out all about it. A visit is highly recommended.
Ferry to Stavoren From April to October a ferry connects Enkhuizen with the Frisian city of Stavoren. The ferry service has been around since 1886, long before the Zuiderzee became the IJsselmeer. It’s a fun trip of less than an hour and a half and a relaxing alternative to the Afsluitdijk, which will be closed to cyclists until the end of 2022 (although there’s a free bicycle bus to take you across). It will mean that you’ll miss out on a considerable part of the route, though.
Horeca & logies
- Ferry to Stavoren
- West Friesland
- Photo location: Lighthouse De Ven, Enkhuizen
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