‘Venice Of Netherland’ Giethoorn, Charming Dutch Village

Image Courtesy: Rikdeb Mukherjee

Mousumi Das: Far from the madding crowd of the city there lies a peaceful village in the Netherlands that is based entirely on water and life there looks like its straight out of a fairy-tale.

The idyllic Giethoorn has no roads or cars, and the only access to the area’s quaint houses and public buildings are by cruising its beautiful canals or walking across over 176 wooden arch bridges. Even the postman reportedly does his rounds via boat.

The moored paddle-boats waiting for their masters to take them around. In this village, it seems every house owns a boat or two as a majority of the houses and restaurants are accessed by boat only.The atmosphere is quiet and still, calm and serene. Far from the hustle-bustle of the city Giethoorn is the idle place for peace lovers.

Located in the province of Overijssel, there are 4 miles of canals and farmhouses with thatched roofs dating back to the 18th century, and unsurprisingly lure many tourists who are keen to witness the settlement for themselves.

Visitors are forced to leave cars outside the village, and then travel by whisper boats, which have noiseless engines. It’s no surprise Giethoorn is a popular tourist attraction and has been given the nickname the ‘Venice of the Netherlands’. Cycling and sailing as well as a guided canal tour are some of the many ways to discover its rustic charm. Giethoorn is a very popular attraction for the tourists across the globe.

The village was founded by a group of fugitives from the Mediterranean region around AD 1230. The metre-deep canals were later constructed by monks who needed a network to transport peat.

Giethoorn used to be a pedestrian precinct, but nowadays exceptions are made. It became locally famous, especially after 1958, when the Dutch film maker Bert Haanstra made his famous comedy Fanfare there.