Welcome to Marken, a village in North Holland, the Netherlands. This 2000 – inhabitant – village makes up a peninsula that attracts thousands of tourists every year. Because of its originality as a former small fishing town, it was considered a relic of the traditional native culture that would disappear as the modernization of the Netherlands gained pace.
In fact, the town’s history has allowed it to form an identity that’s unique in all the Netherlands.
Until 1957, Marken was an island in the Zuiderzee. In isolation from the rest of the Netherlands, it developed an independent culture – its own architecture, dialect, dress and more – that it still maintains, despite the closure of the dike that once separated it from the mainland Netherlands. When passing these characteristic wooden houses, you will reach the harbour, but similar houses can be found everywhere in the village.
Walking out on the pier, I feel summers might get hectic with all the tourists… but, let us not think about that now…
Let’s keep strolling along in the sleepy, rural tranquility. Life seems to have a pace of its own here – and somehow, I know why there were so many Dutch master painters centuries back… Had I been a painter, I would have spent weeks out here – immersed in all the colours and the rural beauty with canals, birds and farm animals.