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Due to its stunning canal system and almost car-free town centre, the Dutch village of Giethoorn is commonly called ‘the Venice of the Netherlands’. Boats are the main mode of transportation in the village and it is easy enough to spend whole days exploring Giethoorn’s delightful waterways. However, there are many other attractions located along the village’s canals including a living museum and another institute dedicated to decorative shells.
Even though many Dutch towns features historic canal network, Giethoorn’s waterways are unique for several reasons. These wide, low-lying canals were built around the 17th century mainly for ferrying farmers and their goods. Unlike other canal networks in the Netherlands, Giethoorn’s waterways feature tall, narrow bridges that are high enough to allow ships carrying stacks of hay to pass underneath. The canals are still used by locals, in lieu of conventional roads, and it is possible to explore Giethoorn almost completely by boat.
Giethoorn’s canals are utterly stunning | © pixabay
Giethoorn’s canals flow past dozens of picturesque, country cottages that look like they’ve been lifted straight from a fairytale. Many homes inside the village were built over 100 years ago and still feature charming, thatched roofs and colorful facades. After exploring Giethoorn by boat, it’s definitely worth taking some time to dawdle along the village’s footpaths and check out the high wooden bridges scattered along its canals.
A thatched cottage in Giethoorn | © pixabay
The title of this museum translates into English as the Old Earth, which clearly hints at the institution’s main curatorial focus; gemstones and other ancient minerals. The museum was founded in 1969 and has since gathered together an impressive collection of geographical specimens, including many stunning precious stones and fascinating fossils. There’s also a gemstone and souvenir store located inside the museum.
Museum de Oude Aarde, Binnenpad 43, Giethoorn, +31 521 361 313