The Netherlands - Alkmaar
City Walk & Travel Blog Alkmaar
Top sights Alkmaar:

Alkmaar city walk route information:

Start: railway station Alkmaar

Distance:   6.5 km Duration: 2 hours Download or print map Alkmaar city walk route:
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6
Alkmaar Cheese Capital of the Netherlands May 6, 2016 Welcome to our fourth webblog. This time we are visiting Alkmaar a town situated in the north-west of the Netherlands. It is an old historical town which had been granted city rights in 1254. It has played an important role during the Eighty Years’ War, the inhabitants resisted the Spanish soldiers and chased them away by putting the surrounded area of Alkmaar under water. This event is still celebrated every year on October 8th during Alkmaars Ontzet. This region is a favorite among tourists coming especially from Germany. For us it was only a short travel because we are living nearby. Of course the starting point of this city walk is at the central station of Alkmaar, because most (foreign)tourist are arriving by train. From the railway station we start walking on the Stationsweg until we cross the Bergerweg, we turn left and start walking towards the city center of Alkmaar. On our way we cross the Bergerbrug. After the bridge we take the second small street named Geest. After two minutes you see on your right hand, one of the oldest 16th century brick houses of Alkmaar, the address is Kannisstraat no. 1/Geest 10-12. It used to be a shop and house in one. Now they are two separate houses.  
The Hofje van Splinter This Hofje van Splinter was built in 1646 according the last will of a woman named Margareta Splinter. She came from a wealthy family. In her will was written that there should be built 8 small houses especially for women without children, who had fallen into poverty throughout their lives. The women who lived there, received an annual allowance of 100 guilders. A portrait of Margareta Splinter can be found in the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar. Please also notice the beautiful facing brick with a woman figure on it. If you walk further into the Ritsevoort, you will find at the end a windmill called “de Molen van Piet”.
de molen van Piet Alkmaar
Windmill “de Molen van Piet” This windmill is situated on the Clarissen bolwerk (rampart of the city wall). It was built in 1769 and operated as a corn mill until 1993. One can walk around the windmill and visit the nice gardens and enjoy the view point. Now there are two options or you walk back through the Ritsevoort or you walk in a circle over the city wall and take the Clarissenbuurt to come back to the Oudegracht. When you arrive at the Oudegracht you go straight ahead, it does not matter on which side of the canal you walk but do not forget to enjoy all the beautiful historical buildings and bridges. We stop at no. 198, to do some window shopping at the bridal shop. Nice memories are coming back, thirteen years ago, I bought my wedding dress in that same shop. When you are almost at the end of the Oudegracht you will find on the right bank of the Oudegracht on no. 87 The Wildemanshofje (courtyard).
wildemanshofje Alkmaar wildemanshofje Alkmaar The Netherlands Molen van Piet
The Wildemanshofje This hofje was built following the last will of Gerrit Wildeman, a very rich tradesman. In the years before his death, his wife and children already died, so he decided by testament that they should build the Wildemanshofje and it should look the same as Meermansburg in the town of Leiden. The Wildemanshofje was built in 1713, it consists out of 24 houses, two wells for doing the laundry and in 1758 they planted the linden trees to provide some shade in the garden. The statues you see are designed and made by a sculptor named Jacob van der Beek. The 24 houses were intended for poor single old women. Their religion was not important but the majority should be Protestant. Nowadays there are still women living in the houses but religion is no longer an issue. After the serenity of the hofje, we step back into the city life. We continue our walk and turn left at the end of the Oudegracht.
We find ourselves on the crossing Bierkade/Verdronkenoord at no. 26, here you will find a small tower called the Accijnstoren (Tax declaration tower).
accijnstoren Alkmaar accijnstoren Alkmaar
The Accijnstoren was built in 1622 and its function was a tax office. For all the goods that entered the city of Alkmaar one had to pay taxes. It is now a Havenkantoor, so if your ship or boat is berthed in the harbor overnight, you have to register and pay port charges at that office. Now you turn into the Verdronkenoord, again a beautiful street with historical building a canal in the middle and lovely bridges to cross the water, where you want. In the middle on the left bank, you will find a building called the Vigilantie, this was used as a storehouse and was built in the 17th century, it is a very elegant building. At the end we turn right walking over the Vismarkt we arrive on the Mient.
Leeuwenborg Alkmaar
Mient There are two interesting things to mention standing here, first in the old days there used to be a pillory in the middle of the bridge where there is now a lamppost and second if you look up to no. 23, you will see a very beautiful façade of a building called the Leeuwenborg (Lions) 17th century, as the name implies, two lions are located on the upper side of the façade. We continue our walk and turn right into the Fnidsen and take the first left the Appelsteeg 2, before crossing the bridge, we invite you to take a closer look at the historical wooden house at your left hand. The house is named the house with the bullet (Het huis met de kogel).
huis met de kogel Alkmaar
During the Eighty Years’ War a bullet of 40 pounds was shot through the wall of the house, miraculously nobody was injured or shot. We cross the bridge and turn left to the Zijdam, if you walk straight ahead to the Achterdam, you will find yourself in the red light district of Alkmaar. In the Zijdam we turn right to the Voordam and cross the bridge to the Waagplein.
Waagplein Alkmaar
Waagplein The Waagplein is the central square of the city of Alkmaar, there is a lot going on, it is surrounded with bars, restaurants and cafes. During Summertime the square is filled with terraces and there are musical festivals organized. De Waag De Waag is the main building on the Waagplein. It has a long history, it started as Chapel and former catholic hospital (Heilig Geestgasthuis) for the poor and the travelers passing by (3 nights for free). The sick were looked after by nuns and monks. Since 1566 it is used as a Waag. Nowadays it plays an important role during the Cheese market on the Fridays in Summertime. You can also find the Cheese museum and Tourist Information Center in this building. In the tower there is a historic Carillon, which still plays on the Fridays and during special occasions.
cheese market Alkmaar Alkmaar cheese market
Cheese Market This event takes place on the Waagplein on every Friday morning  from 10.00 hrs. until 12.30 hrs., starting from the first Friday in April until the first Friday in September. What happens during the Cheese Market? It is a demonstration/reconstruction of the Cheese Market in former times. Earlier the local cheese farmers transported their cheeses on a flatboat to the Waag to meet the traders. The traders tasted, tested and weighted the cheeses by using the Waag, and made a price with the farmers by clapping hands. The traders make use of 4 teams of carriers, you can recognize them by the color of their hats. They transport the cheeses to and from the Waag and the pushcarts. The thing they carry the cheeses on, is called a berrie. Normally they carry 8 cheeses (160 kilo) at the same time. The type of cheese they trade here is a flat Gouda cheese. During the Cheese Market there are market stalls, where you can buy all kind of typical Dutch goods and food, like chocolate, wooden shoes, stroopwafels and of course all kinds of cheeses.
cheese museum Alkmaar
Cheese museum The blue cow in the door opening is welcoming you into the Cheese museum. It is a very interesting museum, where you can learn more about the process of making cheese. After all this information, we continue our walk by taking again the Mient and turn right into the Langestraat. This is one of the main shopping streets of Alkmaar, you will find here all kind of nice shops. We ask you to stop at no. 97, this historical building is the Town hall of Alkmaar.
cheese market Alkmaar old brick house Alkmaar old brick house Alkmaar Townhall Alkmaar Town hall Alkmaar
Town hall of Alkmaar Just enjoy the beautiful building in the middle of the shopping street. Is was built between 1509-1520 in the Gothic style, later on it was partly burnt down and rebuilt and expanded in different styles. The court, initiated by the French rulers in 1811, was also located in this building until 1893. We continue our walk until we encounter a large church. This is the Grote- or Sint-Laurens church.
sint laurens lkerk Alkmaar
Grote- or Sint Laurens church This church was built in honor of the holy Laurentius of Rome, the building of it took many years from 1470-1518 and it was designed by the architect family Keldermans. The style is Gothic like the Town hall. It started as a Catholic church but after the Eight Years’ War, it became Protestant. Inside you can find the oldest still playable Dutch pipe organ, designed by Jan van Covelens in 1511.
stedelijk museum Alkmaar
We pass the church at the right side and find ourselves on the Canadaplein. At the Canadaplein there are two interesting cultural buildings, first a theater called De Vest and second the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar. In the theater all kind of artists are performing, if you are interested to attend a performance, we recommend to visit their website for the program. Furthermore we advise you to pay a visit to the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar, it is a modern museum with interactive exhibitions, where you will learn more about the history of Alkmaar. Coming outside of the museum, we turn right and walk straight to the Bergerburg which we cross to the Geesterweg into the Bergerweg and turn right to the Stationsweg, back to the starting point of our city walk. We have visited Alkmaar many times in the past but today we have discovered many new facts about Alkmaar and its beautiful historical buildings. We hope that you have enjoyed the walk as much as we did. We hope to see you soon on one of our other city walks!
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We continue our walk through the Geest. You can also decide to walk through the Kannisstraat and over the old city wall of Alkmaar. The Geest turns into the Clarissenbuurt and at the end we turn left and take the Lindegracht. Here you find at the corner of the Lindegracht and the Ritsevoort, a building called the Hofje (courtyard) van Splinter.
Alkmaar - The Netherlands
Hotel tip Almaar: We decided to stay one night in a hotel, so we could do some thoroughly research for our city walk. We chose for the College Hotel Alkmaar, the address of the hotel is Achter de Vest no. 3. The hotel is close to both the railway station and the city center. Before it was a hotel, it was an old school, the staff is very friendly and can tell you all about the interesting history of the hotel. If you are interested in this or another hotel in Alkmaar, please check here for the availability and best offers.
hotel tip Alkmaar
Booking.com
college hotel Alkmaar room college hotel Alkmaar breakfast hoteltip Alkmaar
  CityWalkSights.com     City walks along main sights, maps and an informative travel blog
City Walk & Travel Blog Alkmaar

Alkmaar city walk route information:

Start: railway station Alkmaar

Distance:   6.5 km Duration: 2 hours Download or print map Alkmaar city walk route:
Top sights Alkmaar:
Alkmaar Cheese Capital of the Netherlands May 6, 2016 Welcome to our fourth webblog. This time we are visiting Alkmaar a town situated in the north-west of the Netherlands. It is an old historical town which had been granted city rights in 1254. It has played an important role during the Eighty Years’ War, the inhabitants resisted the Spanish soldiers and chased them away by putting the surrounded area of Alkmaar under water. This event is still celebrated every year on October 8th during Alkmaars Ontzet. This region is a favorite among tourists coming especially from Germany. For us it was only a short travel because we are living nearby. Of course the starting point of this city walk is at the central station of Alkmaar, because most (foreign)tourist are arriving by train. From the railway station we start walking on the Stationsweg until we cross the Bergerweg, we turn left and start walking towards the city center of Alkmaar. On our way we cross the Bergerbrug. After the bridge we take the second small street named Geest. After two minutes you see on your right hand, one of the oldest 16th century brick houses of Alkmaar, the address is Kannisstraat no. 1/Geest 10-12. It used to be a shop and house in one. Now they are two separate houses.  We continue our walk through the Geest. You can also decide to walk through the Kannisstraat and over the old city wall of Alkmaar. The Geest turns into the Clarissenbuurt  and at the end we turn left and take the Lindegracht. Here you find at the corner of the Lindegracht and the Ritsevoort, a building called the  Hofje (courtyard) van Splinter.
The Hofje van Splinter This Hofje van Splinter was built in 1646 according the last will of a woman named Margareta Splinter. She came from a wealthy family. In her will was written that there should be built 8 small houses especially for women without children, who had fallen into poverty throughout their lives. The women who lived there, received an annual allowance of 100 guilders. A portrait of Margareta Splinter can be found in the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar. Please also notice the beautiful facing brick with a woman figure on it. If you walk further into the Ritsevoort, you will find at the end a windmill called “de Molen van Piet”.
de molen van Piet Alkmaar
Windmill “de Molen van Piet” This windmill is situated on the Clarissen bolwerk (rampart of the city wall). It was built in 1769 and operated as a corn mill until 1993. One can walk around the windmill and visit the nice gardens and enjoy the view point. Now there are two options or you walk back through the Ritsevoort or you walk in a circle over the city wall and take the Clarissenbuurt to come back to the Oudegracht. When you arrive at the Oudegracht you go straight ahead, it does not matter on which side of the canal you walk but do not forget to enjoy all the beautiful historical buildings and bridges. We stop at no. 198, to do some window shopping at the bridal shop. Nice memories are coming back, thirteen years ago, I bought my wedding dress in that same shop. When you are almost at the end of the Oudegracht  you will find on the right bank of the Oudegracht  on no. 87 The Wildemanshofje (courtyard).
The Wildemanshofje This hofje was built following the last will of Gerrit Wildeman, a very rich tradesman. In the years before his death, his wife and children already died, so he decided by testament that they should build the Wildemanshofje and it should look the same as Meermansburg in the town of Leiden. The Wildemanshofje was built in 1713, it consists out of 24 houses, two wells for doing the laundry and in 1758 they planted the linden trees to provide some shade in the garden. The statues you see are designed and made by a sculptor named Jacob van der Beek. The 24 houses were intended for poor single old women. Their religion was not important but the majority should be Protestant. Nowadays there are still women living in the houses but religion is no longer an issue. After the serenity of the hofje, we step back into the city life. We continue our walk and turn left at the end of the Oudegracht.
We find ourselves on the crossing Bierkade/Verdronkenoord at no. 26, here you will find a small tower called the Accijnstoren (Tax declaration tower).
accijnstoren Alkmaar
The Accijnstoren was built in 1622 and its function was a tax office. For all the goods that entered the city of Alkmaar one had to pay taxes. It is now a Havenkantoor, so if your ship or boat is berthed in the harbor overnight, you have to register and pay port charges at that office. Now you turn into the Verdronkenoord, again a beautiful street with historical building a canal in the middle and lovely bridges to cross the water, where you want. In the middle on the left bank, you will find a building called the Vigilantie, this was used as a storehouse and was built in the 17th  century, it is a very elegant building. At the end we turn right walking over the Vismarkt we arrive on the Mient.
Mient There are two interesting things to mention standing here, first in the old days there used to be a pillory in the middle of the bridge where there is now a lamppost and second if you look up to no. 23, you will see a very beautiful façade of a building called the Leeuwenborg (Lions) 17th  century, as the name implies, two lions are located on the upper side of the façade. We continue our walk and turn right into the Fnidsen and take the first left the Appelsteeg 2, before crossing the bridge, we invite you to take a closer look at the historical wooden house at your left hand. The house is named the house with the bullet (Het huis met de kogel).
huis met de kogel Alkmaar
During the Eighty Years’ War a bullet of 40 pounds was shot through the wall of the house, miraculously nobody was injured or shot. We cross the bridge and turn left to the Zijdam, if you walk straight ahead to the Achterdam, you will find yourself in the red light district of Alkmaar. In the Zijdam we turn right to the Voordam and cross the bridge to the Waagplein.
Waagplein Alkmaar
Waagplein The Waagplein is the central square of the city of Alkmaar, there is a lot going on, it is surrounded with bars, restaurants and cafes. During Summertime the square is filled with terraces and there are musical festivals organized. De Waag De Waag is the main building on the Waagplein. It has a long history, it started as Chapel and former catholic hospital (Heilig Geestgasthuis) for the poor and the travelers passing by (3 nights for free). The sick were looked after by nuns and monks. Since 1566 it is used as a Waag. Nowadays it plays an important role during the Cheese market on the Fridays in Summertime. You can also find the Cheese museum and Tourist Information Center in this building. In the tower there is an historic Carillon, which still plays on the Fridays and during special occasions.
old brick house Alkmaar cheese market Alkmaar
Cheese Market This event takes place on the Waagplein on every Friday morning  from 10.00 hrs. until 12.30 hrs., starting from the first Friday in April until the first Friday in September. What happens during the Cheese Market? It is a demonstration/reconstruction of the Cheese Market in former times. Earlier the local cheese farmers transported their cheeses on a flatboat to the Waag to meet the traders. The traders tasted, tested and weighted the cheeses by using the Waag, and made a price with the farmers by clapping hands. The traders make use of 4 teams of carriers, you can recognize them by the color of their hats. They transport the cheeses to and from the Waag and the pushcarts. The thing they carry the cheeses on, is called a berrie. Normally they carry 8 cheeses (160 kilo) at the same time. The type of cheese they trade here is a flat Gouda cheese. During the Cheese Market there are market stalls, where you can buy all kind of typical Dutch goods and food, like chocolate, wooden shoes, stroopwafels and of course all kinds of cheeses.
cheese museum Alkmaar
Cheese museum The blue cow in the door opening is welcoming you into the Cheese museum. It is a very interesting museum, where you can learn more about the process of making cheese. After all this information, we continue our walk by taking again the Mient and turn right into the Langestraat. This is one of the main shopping streets of Alkmaar, you will find here all kind of nice shops. We ask you to stop at no. 97, this historical building is the Town hall of Alkmaar.
Townhall Alkmaar
Town hall of Alkmaar Just enjoy the beautiful building in the middle of the shopping street. Is was built between 1509- 1520 in the Gothic style, later on it was partly burnt down and rebuilt and expanded in different styles. The court, initiated by the French rulers in 1811, was also located in this building until 1893. We continue our walk until we encounter a large church. This is the Grote- or Sint-Laurens church.
sint laurens lkerk Alkmaar
Grote- or Sint Laurens church This church was built in honor of the holy Laurentius of Rome, the building of it took many years from 1470-1518 and it was designed by the architect family Keldermans. The style is Gothic like the Town hall. It started as a Catholic church but after the Eight Years’ War, it became Protestant. Inside you can find the oldest still playable Dutch pipe organ, designed by Jan van Covelens in 1511.
stedelijk museum Alkmaar
We pass the church at the right side and find ourselves on the Canadaplein. At the Canadaplein  there are two interesting cultural buildings, first a theater called De Vest and second the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar. In the theater all kind of artists are performing, if you are interested to attend a performance, we recommend to visit their website for the program. Furthermore we advise you to pay a visit to the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar, it is a modern museum with interactive exhibitions, where you will learn more about the history of Alkmaar. Coming outside of the museum, we turn right and walk straight to the Bergerburg which we cross to the Geesterweg into the Bergerweg and turn right to the Stationsweg, back to the starting point of our city walk. We have visited Alkmaar many times in the past but today we have discovered many new facts about Alkmaar and its beautiful historical buildings. We hope that you have enjoyed the walk as much as we did. We hope to see you soon on one of our other city walks!
Booking.com
Hotel tip Alkmaar: We decided to stay one night in a hotel, so we could do some thoroughly research for our city walk. We chose for the College Hotel Alkmaar, the address of the hotel is Achter de Vest no. 3. The hotel is close to both the railway station and the city center. Before it was a hotel, it was an old school, the staff is very friendly and can tell you all about the interesting history of the hotel. If you are interested in this or another hotel in Alkmaar, please check here for the availability and best offers.
hotel tip Alkmaar college hotel Alkmaar room college hotel Alkmaar breakfast
  CityWalkSights.com     City walks along main sights, maps and an informative travel blog
Copyright 2016 CityWalkSights
Copyright 2016 CityWalkSights