42. From Amsterdam and Haarlem to the Holder.
Comp. Map, p. 212.
From Amsterdam to the Helder, 50M., railway in 2V2-23/4hrs. (fares
4, 3l/4, 2 fl.). — The steamboat to Alkmaar, starting every forenoon and
afternoon from the Westerhoofd (PI. C, 2), is a more interesting though
slower conveyance (3 hrs.; fares 75 or 50 c). Halfway-station Zaandam,
to which special steamers run 5-7 times daily, also from the Westerhoofd,
in 3/4 hr. (30 c. or 20 c, there and back). — From Alkmaar to the Helder
we may proceed either by steamboat or train.
Amsterdam, see p. 250. — Departure from the Hulpstation
(p. 250). — The train traverses a long embankment thrown across
the gulf of the Y, the greater part of which has been drained
within the last twenty years, and then crosses the North Sea Canal
(p. 280) by a long bridge.
6 M. Zaandam (^Cafe Restaurant Suisse, at the harbour, dear;
the station is Y2 M. from the harbour), sometimes erroneously call¬
ed Saardam, a town with 13,000 inhab. , many of whom are said
to be millionn aires , situated at the influx of the Zaan into the Y,
is a thriving place, thoroughly Dutch in appearance. The small
houses, which are almost all of one or two stories only, are built
of wood or brick, and surrounded by gardens. Along the bank of
the Zaan as far as the neighbouring villages of Zaandijk, Koog,
Wormerveer, and Krommenie (see p. 280), extend about four
hundred windmills. They are used for many different purposes,
and comprise oil, saw, corn, paint, cement, and paper-mills (comp.
The Hut of Peter the Great is the principal curiosity at Zaaudam
(guide, unnecessary, 10 c). We follow the road running towards
the S. from the landing-place of the steamer, and leading to the
•Logement of the Czar Peter', a small tavern, where it descends a
few steps into a narrow street; we then cross a bridge, and 120
paces farther reach a court-yard in which the hut is situated. It is
a rude wooden structure containing two rooms, and now in a some¬
what tottering condition, but is protected by a roof supported by
pillars of brick, erected by order of Anna Paulowna, the late Queen
of Holland, who was a Russian princess.
The Interior (fee 25 c) consists of two rooms and a bed-closet.
A marble slab over the chimney-piece, bearing the inscription, 'Petro
Magno — Alexander', was placed there by the Emp. Alexander on the
occasion of his visit to Zaandam in 1814. Another tablet commemorates
the visit of the Czarewitch, now Emperor of Russia, in 1839. A model of
the hut, several portraits of Peter the Great and the Empress Catherine,
a life-size portrait of the Czar in the costume of a Dutch artisan, visitors'
books, etc. are kept here. The hut is said to have been occupied by the
Czar Peter in 1697, while he worked as a ship-carpenter in the building-
yard of Mynhefir Kalf, with a view to acquire a practical knowledge of
the art, and to impart it to his countrymen. The tradition is that he
arrived here in the dress of a common workman, under the name of
Peter Michaelof, and long escaped recognition; but the truth is that Peter
only remained here about a week, for he was unable long to preserve
his incognito, and being incessantly beset by crowds of inquisitive idlers,
he preferred to return to Amsterdam, where he could work unmolested