To the mills of the Schermer, the land of Leeghwater

Cycling in Alkmaar, North Holland, The Netherlands

Cycling route 138988

Provided by: Groots Genieten

5014 108
34.9 km
02:03 h
615 kcal
0 m
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Cycle through a typical Dutch polder landscape and be amazed by an ingenious piece of civil engineering that has made the Netherlands world famous. The water level in the polder is artificially regulated and is lower than in the surrounding areas and has no direct connection with the water outside the area, except through works of art. The water level is regulated by polder mills, pumping stations or drainage sluices. Where the water has to be higher, a fixed, higher water level can be achieved with the help of weirs. The cycle route is therefore often crossed by waterways; ditches that can flow well to regulate the water.

The open and wide landscape that you see was once a large lake area. One of the lakes that used to be here, but which was last drained between 1633 and 1635, is the Schermeer, from which the area owes its name. The drainage of Schermer and Schermereiland is done in a different way than most reclaimed land in North Holland work. As everywhere else, the polder was drained by mills, but in terms of water management, the Schermer was drained in a different way. First of all, a dike was constructed and (inner) drainage ditches were dug. 52 thatched windmills of the octagonal inner porter type were placed on it.

There are three types of polders: reclamation, embankment and reclamation. Open water has been reclaimed in a polder. Here a lake or puddle has literally dried up. A dike is a reclamation of an area on the coast. It is often salt marshes that have dried up here and dikes protect the area and now keep the water away. During a reclamation, natural waste ground has been reclaimed and prepared for cultural cultivation. Reclamation does not always have to result in a polder landscape, former peat, swamp, heath or dune areas can of course also be used for a different purpose.

You will see a lot of windmills on this tour. The first four are already at 3.5 kilometers. Ironing Mill B, Ironing Mill C, Ironing Mill D, and Ironing Mill E, look great together. In total there were fourteen of these mills on this site. Three of the four mills are ground sailors built in 1630. Only Ironing Mill E was installed two years earlier, making it the oldest of these four mills. The ironing mills are located on the Molenkade and ground the water from various polders to the Schermerboezem.

At junction 52, at a crossroads of roads and waterways, you can see the De Otter mill, which has a special status in this landscape. She is the only one in this landscape with watermills that grinds grain and offers work to people with disabilities. Feel free to take a look at the mill yard.

Further on you will come across three beautiful monuments, Ironing Mill L, Ironing Mill K, and Ironing Mill I do not so much raise the water to a higher level, like polder mills, but'smooth\\\' through to other surface water, for example a river. so that it can be disposed of. From a distance the view of the windmills is really beautiful.

The tour continues to Ondermolen O, Ondermolen K, and Bovenmolen G. The latter belonged to a ring of 16 mills and is the only one that has never been moved.
Of the original 52 water mills, 11 have been preserved, the best known are at Schermerhorn and Ondermolen C, Bovenmolen E, Ondermolen D (Museummolen) are still popularly referred to as'de molendriegang\\\'. A visitor center has been set up in the middle mill.

Bicycle cafe Windmill City park Cultural routes E-bike routes Mill routes

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Below you will find various suggestions for breaks that you can visit during your route. These are divided into different categories, making it easy for you to choose.



# Description Distance
74 (Kraanbuurt, 1811BK, Alkmaar, North Holland, The Netherlands) 0.00 km
1 (1811LP, Alkmaar, North Holland, The Netherlands) 0.34 km
50 (1823CD, Alkmaar, North Holland, The Netherlands) 0.74 km
72 (1823CH, Alkmaar, North Holland, The Netherlands) 1.49 km
Strijkmolen B (1823DK, Alkmaar, North Holland, The Netherlands) 1.79 km
Strijkmolen C (1823DK, Alkmaar, North Holland, The Netherlands) 2.21 km

Place name directory

  • Alkmaar, North Holland
  • Heerhugowaard, North Holland
  • Koggenland, North Holland


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