A windmill near Zaandam painted in 1871 by Claude Monet.
Zaandam (Dutch pronunciation: [zaːndɑm]) is a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. It is the main city of the municipality of Zaanstad, and received city rights in 1811. It is located on the Zaan, close to the North Sea Canal, and is close to Amsterdam.
The statistical district Zaandam, which covers the city and the surrounding countryside, has a population of around 72.597.
Zaandam was a separate municipality until 1974, when it became a part of the new municipality of Zaanstad.
Zaandam (formerly called Saenredam) and the surrounding Zaan River region, called the Zaanstreek, have a history that is intimately connected with industry.
In the Golden Age, Zaandam served as a large milling center. Thousands of windmills powered saws that were processing Scandinavian wood for the shipbuilding and paper industries. A statue was commissioned from the Yugoslav sculptor Slavomir Miletić in honor of this era, and the statue, “The Woodworker” (“De Houtwerker”), was installed on 20 June 2004.
Zaandam was a leading city in the first Industrial Revolution. Into the second half of the 20th century, Zaandam was still an important lumber port.
Zaandam is also historically linked with the whaling industry.
In 1871 the impressionist painter Claude Monet lived for half a year in Zaandam and made 25 paintings of the area, including Bateaux en Hollande pres de Zaandam and A windmill at Zaandam.
The first European McDonald's restaurant opened in 1971 in Zaandam. The Albert Heijn supermarket chain is also headquartered in Zaandam, but did not originate there (it was founded in nearby Oostzaan in 1887).
Also the Dutch soccer club AZ (Alkmaar Zaanstreek-combinatie) was founded in Zaandam. May the 10th, 1967.
Notable people born in Zaandam
- Jan Saenredam (1565–1607), copperplate engraver
- Anton Mauve (1838–1888), painter
- Jan Verkade (1868–1946), painter
- Kees Bruynzeel (1900–1980), wood merchant, yachtsman and t builder
- Cor Kee (1900-1997), organist and composer
- Arie Smit (born 1916), painter
- Piet Kee (born 1927), organist and composer
- Han Bennink (born 1942), jazz musician
- Johnny Rep (born 1951), football player
- Kathinka Pasveer (born 1959), flautist
- Erwin Koeman (born 1961), football player and football coach
- Ronald Koeman (born 1963), football player and football coach
- Robert Molenaar (born 1969), football player
- Ali Bouali (born 1981), rapper
- Patricia van der Vliet (born 1989), model
- Gerrit Jan Vooren (born 1962), videographer–actor
- Harm van den Dorpel (born 1981), conceptual artist
- Melissa Venema (born 1995), musician
- Oğuzhan Özyakup (born 1992), football player
- Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Statline: Kerncijfers wijken en buurten 2003-2005 . As of 1 January 2005.
- Ad van der Meer and Onno Boonstra, Repertorium van Nederlandse gemeenten, KNAW, 2006.
- McDonald's International (Press Release), "Fascinating McFacts about McDonald's International", 1996 
- J. Kuyper, Gemeente Atlas van Nederland, 1865-1870, "Zaandam". Map of the former municipality, around 1868.
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