Weesp is a small town located in a close distance to Amsterdam. It stands on the river Vecht. The location is very convenient if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam.
One sunny day in March I took my bike and went to Weesp. My riding lasted no more than 40 minutes with a few short stops that I made, admiring the endless green Dutch fields.
One of the reasons I chose Weesp was because of the three windmills there, a local sightseeing. The first windmill that I visited was ‘t Haantje (the Rooster). It’s located on the River Smal Weesp near the historic center. The windmill was built in 1820 and served for grinding flour. It survived several destructions and housed various owners. In 2003, it was fully restored and now is used for pumping and regulation of the water in the canals.
It is very nice to walk around the historic center of Weesp. The city is more than 650 years old and many of the buildings were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. Unlike Amsterdam, people do not hurry and the atmosphere is peaceful and relaxed.
There are several churches in Weesp, and already found my favorite, the Church Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk.
It was built between 1429 and 1462 in a typical Gothic style. I guess I was one of the last persons entered inside because shortly after my visit the church closed. There were two large halls – Kerkzaal, which gathers 600 people and Koor, which gathers 250 people.
The Old Town Hall (Stadhuis) is one of the landmarks in Weesp. It was built in 1776 and has long been used as an administrative building. In 1974, the city council decided to set up a museum in the building. The main reason for this was that the municipality received an expensive gift from a local feudal -a porcelain service. The porcelain is from the 18th century and is a major part of the exhibition. It also includes photos and information about Magneet Rijwielfabriek – the first factory for bicycles in the Netherlands and the chocolate factory Van Houten.
It is very nice to walk through the narrow streets of Weesp. Some of them are so narrow that if you stretch out your arms, you would touch the walls of the houses.
Weesp once was part of the defensive line of Amsterdam. Therefore, in the vicinity of the city, many forts were built. One of them is Fort Ossenmarkt. It was built in 1861 and it’s located on a small island on the outskirts of Weesp. After the World War II, the fort was used as a mushroom farm and later served as a platform for training firefighters. Nowadays it is restored and it hosts cultural events.
Fort Uitermeer is located about 4km from Weesp. Built in 1845 on the eastern bank of the River Vecht. It was built to protect the land around the river and the passing nearby railway line. After the World War II, in the building was filled with explosives and the fort turned into ruins.
The other two windmills are located next to each other on the River Vecht. The first is called Eendragt (Unity), built in 1691 and the second is called Vriendschap (Friendship), built in 1900. Both mills have served for grinding flour and they still work today. There is a shop in Vriendschap which is open every Saturday from 10h to 16h. Besides all kinds of flour (wheat, rye, maize) you can also find various mixes for biscuits and pancakes, nuts and spices.
Weesp is a charming small town and I’m glad that I visited it. Mostly I’m pleased with the fact that I did this trip with this exquisite tricycle.
Do you like small towns? What do you think about my lovely trike?