You find Giethoorn in the provence Northwest Overijssel,
also called "the garden of Holland". Giethoorn is about
1 hour 30 minutes drive from Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands.
Giethoorn is located in the middle of the nature reserve De Wieden,
together with the nearby Weerribben National Park, De Wieden is the
largest continuous peat moor area in Northwestern Europe.
Giethoorn was founded by a group of fugitives. The
came around 1230 from regions bordering the Mediteranean. These first
inhabitants found masses of horns of wild goats, which had probably
died in 1170 during the St. Elizabeth's flood. The called their settlement
Geytenhorn (geit = goat), ulimately becoming Giethoorn (dialect goat=geit=giet).
The village owes it characteristic appearance to peatdigging. The
peatdiggers dug up the peat-soil at the places that most suited them,
mixed it in a trough and spread it out on the land to dry. The result
could be cut as peat. This peatdigging led to the formation of large
and small lakes.
To transport the peat ditches and canals were excavated. Many houses
are as it were built on little islands, reached through a high bridge.
All this imparts to Giethoorn a beauty unequalled anywhere else. The
sights / museums The village Giethoorn with about 2500 habitants is
unique in the Netherlands because of it's bridges, waterways and "punters"
(typical boats from Giethoorn).
You see 18e and 19e century farmhouses
hidden between the trees and wooden bridges. Of course all this is
best to view with a canal tour or trip by boat. In Giethoorn you find
musea, art gallery's and expositions.
Some examples that are also
suitable for kids: museumfarm 't Olde Maat Uus a typical farm from
Giethoorn (± 1800) with a exposition about living and working
in Giethoorn over the past 100 years. ship-yard Schreur handicraft
carpenters of the typical "punters" and "platbodems"
only viewed in Giethoorn museum "The old earth" stones and
minerals, terrarium automobilmuseum "Histomobil" Dwarsgracht:
old car's, bikes, skates etc.