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History Zandvoort

How did all start? To answer that question, we have to go back a long way in history, until around the year 1100. At the location of what is today Zandvoort aan Zee, in 1100 there was a small settlement of fisher folk, who led a marginal existence. They chose the site well, since this location was slightly lower than the surrounding land, protected against the weather, and with easy access to the beach. Such a low-lying area in the dunes was known as a Sandevoerde or sand ford. This indeed is the origin of the name Zandvoort and this is still the official name of the village. Zandvoort aan Zee however is the most widely used name.


How was Zandvoort created? 
More than 1900 years ago, the sea level was lower than it is today. Along the coast, on the wide stretches of sand, the wind was unrestricted, and the dunes were created by wind-blown sand..
 
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Fishing in Zandvoort
For centuries, the residents lived a tough life, and over the years very little changed. Life was hard and consisted of fishing and selling the catch. The men brought the fish to land, and the women carried the catch to the Fish Hall in Haarlem, via a long, soft sandy track...
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Empress Sissi in Zandvoort
The grandeur of Zandvoort was certainly made even greater following the visit by Empress Sissi. Around May 1884, the Empress of Austria, strictly incognito under the name Countess of Hohenembs, travelled to Amsterdam...
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Influences of the First and Second World Wars 
After the dark years of the First World War in which tourism collapsed (despite the neutrality of the Netherlands), the nineteen twenties brought greater favour...
 
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Bunkers in the dunes
World war Two had disastrous consequences for beautiful Zandvoort: following the forced evacuation in 1942, the old village was practically razed to the ground by the occupying forces...
 
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Zandvoort as a seaside resort
As mentioned before, the finishing industry in Zandvoort came to an end around 1880. Fortunately, it was replaced by another trade, catering to: Seaside visitors!...
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By train to Zandvoort
In 1881, on private initiative of Ing. Kuinders and German bankers and brothers Elzbacher and others, the railroad was built...
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Tourism in Zandvoort
The phenomenon of the second home first started around 1900. People who could afford it, built a second residence here, many with the veranda so typical of Zandvoort...
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Dab eaters
The Town Hall in Zandvoort consists today of three sections. The most eye-catching element is the listed building on the Raadhuisplein square... 
 
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The Zandvoort Town Hall
The Town Hall in Zandvoort consists today of three sections. The most eye-catching element is the listed building on the Raadhuisplein square. This was built in 1912 in Dutch classical style, and has been grade 1 listed building since April 2001. 
 

The Zandvoort flag
Since 1949, Zandvoort has had an official municipal flag. The Municipal Council of Zandvoort decided to introduce a flag at a meeting held on 18 October of that year... 
 
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The arms of Zandvoort
The Municipality of Zandvoort has its own coat of arms that was awarded in the name of the king in 1816 by the Dutch Supreme Council of Nobility. As far as it can be determined, the arms were first used in 1816 by the Sheriff and Aldermen of the Village of Santvoort...
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The village crier
In the past, these criers had called the population of Zandvoort to the beach by hammering on doors, calling ‘anyone wishing to buy prawns, plaice and dab should come to the sea’. 
 
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Zandvoorts Museum
All the historical developments of Zandvoort are clearly described at the Zandvoort Museum. Here you can discover everything you need to know about how Zandvoort changed from a fishing village into a well-loved seaside resort for the general public...
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