Village with no roads !! Giethoorn– Venice of the Netherlands
Can you imagine a village with no roads? Well, that is the reality for the residents of Giethoorn in the Netherlands. While roads have been built on the outskirts, the old part of the village is only accessible by water or on foot over tiny individual wooden bridges.
Located in the province of Overijssel, there are 4 miles of canals and farmhouses with thatched roofs dating back to the 18th century. The village originally called Geytenhorn, which over time has become Giethoorn. It was founded by a group of fugitives from the Mediterranean region around AD 1230. It became well known in 1958 when it was featured in the film ‘Fanfare’, made by Dutch filmmaker Bert Haanstra.
There are about 4 miles of canals running through the little village and some about 50 little wooden bridges span over the canals. The canals are only about 1 meter deep and were dug out to transport peat; the digging of which resulted in many ponds and shallow lakes called ‘Wieden’. Many houses have been built on islands, which are only reachable through wooden bridges. All traffic has to go over the water and it is done in so-called
‘whisper-boats’ as they are driven by an electric motor; so they barely disturb the peace and quiet in this scenic little village.
The mesmerizing look of this 2620-inhabitants Dutch village has to do with early peat mining in the area. The villagers used to dig for peat in the areas that most suited them and the holes left behind soon turned into small and large lakes. In order to carry the peat from one area to another, people had to sail through navigable canals and ditches. Little did they know, what they build out of necessity, would eventually become a world renowned tourist destination.
It’s a popular destination in summer for obvious reasons, but it’s also popular in the winter, when you can go for ice skating both on the canals and on the nearby lakes.
It’s no surprise Giethoorn is a popular tourist attraction and has been given the nickname-The Venice of the Netherlands. This is a very picturesque place to visit, where spellbinding peaceful atmosphere is therapeutic. One should really pay the place a visit, taking a break from the pain of rush hours and head on to this adorable town in the Netherlands.
Image Credit: vakantiepark