Trips / Zaanse Schans
Sight-seeing flight from Hilversum airfield
Wednesday October 29, 2019 was a perfect day for flying. René had taken the afternoon off, and with Marko and Maurits we travelled to Hilversum for a flight to Texel. Unfortunately, at Hilversum airfield René noticed that he had forgotten his kneeboard with the notes made about the weather, notams and the weight and balance. That in itself was not such a problem, but the pilot license and medical were also in the kneeboard, and these are mandatory to have onboard. Maurits went back home to pick-up the kneeboard, and in the meantime René fueled and prepared the plane. Because sunset would be at 17.30PM local time, the remaining time would be too short to make the intended flight to Texel. Instead we made it a sight-seeing flight from Hilversum, to Breukelen, Weesp, Muiden, Fort Pampus, Zaanse Schans, the north-east fortresses of the defense line of Amsterdam, Volendam, Marken and Naarden-Vesting. After take-off from runway 13, we left the traffic pattern west of the airfield. Across the Loosdrechtse plassen we first passed Breukelen, with its historical estate housing Nyenrode Business Universiteit Breukelen with a thirteenth century castle at its heart.
Marko and Maurits before departure
Over Breukelen we turned to the north, along the river Vecht. We passed the village Loenersloot, with its Loenersloot Castle. The existence of this castle is first mentioned in 1258. The Loenersloot family, who played a rather important part in the life of the village in the 12th century, built the oldest parts of the castle. Further to the north we passed Weesp. Until the early Middle Ages the region around Weesp was an uninhabited peat bog. From the late Middle Ages, the river Vecht was a defensive line for the County of Holland and it remained a military defensive line until the Second World War. The defensive lines consisted of inundation zones, which would be flooded in wartime (the Hollandic Water Line). Behind them were fortified towns, forts, barracks and other military structures. The most comprehensive was the Defence Line of Amsterdam (Stelling van Amsterdam).
The stronghold of Muiden borders the IJmeer (IJ Lake). The Muiderslot castle is situated at the estuary of the river Vecht The first defensive works date from the first half of the 15th century. The Muizenfort was built to strengthen the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie. Fort Pampus Island, part of the former municipality of Muiden, was built from 1887 to 1897. Together with the lighthouse island near Durgerdam and the artillery battery at the Diemer seawall, it was meant to protect the entrance of the IJ Lake and the harbour of Amsterdam.
Fort island Pampus
Fort Island Pampus was built between 1887 and 1897 to defend Amsterdam against an attack from the River IJ. The Fortress was built on an artificial island on the sand bank "Pampus". The Fort Island is now open to the public daily throughout the season. Visiting Fort Pampus
The working, inhabited village Zaanse Schans functions as a windmill gallery on the Zaan river. Buildings have been brought here from all over the country to re-create a 17th-century community. There's a cheese maker, early Albert Heijn market, and a popular clog factory that makes wooden shoes. The Fort near Spijkerboor is the only Defence Line fortress that has a gun turret that can be visited. Its two 105 mm calibre guns had a range of 10 kilometres. During the war it was a military prison and after the war Dutch (alledged) collaborators with the German occupier were locked up in the fort. From 1947 onwards, drafted soldiers who refused to serve in the Dutch Indies were jailed in the fortress.
Fort bij Spijkerboor was at the time one of the most modern and heavily armed forts of the Stelling van Amsterdam, equipped with an armored dome with a double-barreled cannon. Visiting Fort bij Spijkerboor
After Fort Spijkerboor we flew past the SPY VOR, and the fortresses Fort aan de Jisperweg, Fort aan de Middenweg, Fort aan de Mekkerweg, Fort benoorden Purmerend and Fort bij Edam. Volendam is probably the most famous fishing village in Holland. However, Lonely Planet is not so positive. It says the former fishing port of Volendam is certainly quaint, with its rows of wooden houses and locals who don traditional dress for church and festive events, but the harbour is awash with kitschy souvenir shops, dress-up-in-Dutch-traditional-costume photo booths, a virtual-reality walk through old Volendam, a huge cheese shop/museum, fish stands, frites stands and rapacious seagulls. On weekends it swarms with visitors. Across Gouwzee Bay lies scenic Marken with a small and determined population. It was an isolated island in the Zuiderzee until 1957 when a causeway linked up with the mainland, effectively turning it into a museum-piece village.
After Marken we flew to Naarden-Vesting, the fortified town of Naarden. Naarden is one of the best preserved fortified cities in Europe. Naarden is an example of a Spanish star fort, complete with fortified walls and a moat. After an orbit around Naarden-Vesting we crossed the 't Gooi area, and then around Hilversum to join the traffic pattern of runway 13 of Hilversum airfield for landing.
Naarden-Vesting The Naarden-Fortification (Naarden-Vesting) obtained city rights in 1351 and is thereby the only city in 't Gooi. Because of the strategic location, Naarden became a militarily fortified place and part of the defense line "Hollandse Waterlinie", the Dutch Waterline. In the 17th century the city acquired its typical style, well preserved until present day, of the star form with double walls, gatehouses and bastions. Visiting Naarden-Vesting