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Monnickendam -  an authentic historic harbour town close to Amsterdam Between the Gouwzee and the meadowland -  the 'Speeltoren

Even the journey to Monnickendam ,this beautiful little harbour town situated on the shore of the Gouwzee, is well worthwhile. Departing from Amsterdam's Central Station, you can be in Monnickendam within just 15 minutes. In this time you will literally have left the hustle and bustle of the city behind , exchanging it for meadowland and birds, cows and sheep, boats and narrow waterways.

This is the real Holland! The town of Monnickendam, situated  in the Waterland area, can be recognised from afar. Its Great Church , which was built around the year 1400, towers proudly over the countryside. Its 10,000 inhabitants also have reason to be proud of their city charter, granted in 1355. If anyone dares to call picturesque Monnickendam, which looks like an illustration from a book by the Dutch artist Anton Piek, a village, they are in for a history lesson. About monks from Friesland, the Count of Holland and many years of shipbuilding and eel smokehouses.

You would nearly go there for one reason - a visit to Monnickendam is not complete without seeing church tower which houses a museum. Situated in the town centre, close to the historic harbour, the church tower houses the world's  oldest carillon which is still in use. Furthermore, Monnickendam  is well-known for its buildings with decorated gables  and  the nature reserve Hemmeland. The town is the homeport to the many ships of the so-called "Brown Fleet", traditional wooden sailing ships such as fishing smacks and cutters. And Monnickendam has long formed the third side of the triangle - Volendam, Marken and Monnickendam. A sailing from Monnickendam to Volendam with the Volendam-Marken  Express is certainly worth the effort.