(1 January 2021)
Volendam (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌvoːlə(n)ˈdɑm] ⓘ) is a tourist town in the municipality of Edam-Volendam, province of North Holland, Netherlands, known for its streets, old fishing boats and the traditional clothing worn by some residents. The women's costume of Volendam, with its high, pointed bonnet, is one of the most recognizable of the Dutch traditional costumes, and is often featured on tourist postcards and posters. As of 1 January 2021, it has a population of 22,715. It is twinned with Coventry, England.
In 1357, the inhabitants of Edam dug a shorter canal to the Zuiderzee with its own separate harbour. This removed the need for the original harbour, which was then dammed and used for land reclamation. Farmers and local fishermen settled there, forming the new community of Vollendam, which translates to 'Full dam'.
19th century artists’ colony
In the late 19th and early 20th century, Volendam attracted a diverse community of artists who were captivated by the authentic and picturesque life of the inhabitants of Volendam.
During that era, Hotel Spaander became a central hub for these artists as it provided accommodations, workshops, and a hospitable environment for artists to nurture their craft. The hotel garnered acclaim within the art world, and the presence of foreign artists at Hotel Spaander made a significant contribution to Volendam's global renown as their artworks, often influenced by Volendam's scenic beauty, further elevated the village's profile and celebrated its unique culture.
Today, Hotel Spaander maintains an extensive collection of over 1300 artworks created in Volendam, including contemporary pieces acquired through an 'Artist in Residence' program, preserving its rich artistic heritage. Moreover, a significant number of paintings inspired by Volendam adorns the walls of internationally renowned museums, including Tate Britain, National Galery of Art, Ulster Museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Van Gogh Museum, and the Rijksmuseum.
New Year's fire
In the New Year's night of 2000 to 2001, the lighting of a bundle of sparklers caused a short but intense fire at a party in café De Hemel. The sparklers ignited the dry Christmas decorations on the ceiling, which fell down in their entirety. 14 people died and 200 people were seriously injured.
In Volendam, the Volendam dialect is spoken, a unique and regional variant of the West Frisian dialect. The Volendam dialect is deeply rooted in the history and culture of the village of Volendam, and it is still used by the majority of its residents in their daily conversations.
The Volendam traditional costume, known as "Volendammer klederdracht" in Dutch, is an iconic and instantly recognizable attire that hails from the village. This traditional dress has deep historical roots and continues to be a symbol of the village's cultural identity.
While the traditional costume is no longer worn daily by most Volendam residents, it remains an essential part of the village's identity and is frequently worn during special occasions, celebrations, and cultural festivals like the Volendammer Kermis. It also continues to be a common choice for tourists who visit Volendam, allowing them to immerse themselves in the cultural heritage of this Dutch village.
The costume has become an iconic representation of Dutch culture and is often featured in photographs, postcards, and cultural events.
The Volendammer Kermis is an annual festival held in the fishing village of Volendam. This celebration originating in the 18th century typically takes place during the first weekend of September, attracting both locals and visitors from around the country and beyond.
The Volendammer Kermis is a colorful event that showcases the cultural heritage and traditions of Volendam. It spans four days and includes a number of fairground rides, games, live music performances, and Dutch food and beverages.
The Volendammer Kermis is popular with visitors from throughout the country.
The majority of the population traditionally belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, which is deeply connected to the village culture. Historically, many missionaries and bishops grew up in Volendam. Today there is the chapel of Our Lady of the Water, which is located in a village park.
Volendam is also well known for its distinctive music, which is called Palingsound (literally "eel sound") in reference to Volendam's status as a fishing village. During the 1960s, the local group The Cats was a popular group in the Netherlands and abroad.
Another band from Volendam was BZN, which became popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1995 BZN performed a duet with the ten-year-old Jan Smit, who quickly became a celebrity in his own right.
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- "Hotel Spaander al 130 jaar een thuis voor kunstenaars". Oneindig Noord Holland. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
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