Since 10 September was Open Monumentendag (Dutch Heritage Day), we took the opportunity to learn more about Dutch customs and culture. Open Monumentendag is one of the Netherlands’ leading cultural events, encouraging interest in historical monuments and stressing the importance of preservation. Many cities organise exhibitions, music performances and guided tours.
2011 marked the 25th anniversary and was celebrated with a contemporary theme: Reuse of Historical Buildings. The theme featured historical buildings that have been given a new function, a new purpose, a new lease of life. Thus, we spent one afternoon discovering Dutch heritage in Alkmaar: the canals with their characteristic drawbridges, the numerous historical buildings, the peaceful courtyards, the old facades and the narrow shopping streets give the city centre a charming atmosphere. We also visited a windmill, a bunker from WWII, the city hall, a wooden shoes store and of course, a cheese factory.