Heritage open day
Edam Museum opened its doors for free on 9th September 2018 during the Open Monuments Sunday. There were more than 600 visitors!
This year’s national theme was In Europa.
A cultural megamix ….
Together with about fifty other countries, the Netherlands is part of Europe; together we are Europe. Whether we want it or not. A small continent, patchwork of peoples, countries, languages and religions. Fighting against life and death, but connected just as often.
The Netherlands, specifically in Edam since 1357, had significant economic growth with 33 shipyards. Cheese was mainly developed later but is more closely associated with the name of Edam.
Edam built ships of various sizes and functions: Warships, water ships (cargo ships for transporting freshwater or live fish), whistle ships (broad, flat bottomed 3 masted cargo ships) were built on shipyards at the Schepenmakersdijk (Ship makers dyke) and also on Lingezijde in the 14th and 15th centuries. Of these, the best known is the Koggeschip (a form already known in the North Sea in the 9th century). The ships were used for short sea routes, from the Bay of Biscay to the Baltic Sea. Other ships from that time and the following centuries were the Hulk, Baardse, Snekka, Eever, Narveel, Kraak, Krajer, Krabschuit, Heude, Smak and Boeier. Also, flat bottomed farmers boats, the ‘snipe’ (a small rowing boat), cow boats and milk barges.
Sea salt was brought from French bays, while the main products from the Baltic Sea region were rye, wheat, flax, tar and wood. Cheese and dairy products were exported.
The shipbuilders and timber merchants acted as shipowners, but also as skippers or captains and they were often shareholder in a seagoing barge. This way they spread the risks as much as possible.
Later, fishing vessels were built in Edam, of which the most well-known are the botters [an inland fishing boat] and cutters and the flat-bottomed boats for inland shipping, such as the tjalks [a freightship used in inland waters] and small clippers.
Ships from Edam travelled throughout Europe via the Sound [the strait between Denmark and Sweden connecting the North Sea and the Baltic Sea]; often working for the VOC [the Dutch East India Company].
At that time, Amsterdam was already an important centre for silk importing, processing and dying. In Edam, precious cloths and fabrics were sold at the Merchant’s house, now the museum building. kostelijke lakenen en sijde stoffen verkocht.
Heritage Open Day is part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.