Visiting museum De Broekerveiling in The Netherlands is a must on your trip through my country. This is one of my most favourite museums of The Netherlands and of Noord – (North) Holland. And in my opinion, it should be your favourite too.
Although De Broekerveiling is the oldest sail through action in the world, not many people have heard of this museum. Even within The Netherlands, I find that people have no idea this museum exists. So inevitably, few people from abroad haven’t heard of this museum either. That’s what I’m trying to change right now.
As I’m born and raised in this area of Noord- Holland we went on school trips and family trips to this museum. De Broekerveiling in Broek op Langedijk is a museum that is enclosed by water. This makes sense as the boats actually sail through the auction. You will hear birds singing, boats passing by and lovely chatter and laughter of people. Visiting the museum is like an experience you will never forget, and is, in my opinion, fun and interesting for all ages. So bring your (grand) parents on the trip to The Netherlands and they will have fun as well.
De Broekerveiling is like no other experience. From walking between the boats in the waiting building to the experience of a real auction. And from sailing through the calm ‘duizend eilandenrijk (a realm of thousand islands) to eating a typical Dutch apple pie. This museum is an occurrence like nothing else in the world.
Visiting De Broekerveiling is a highlight for everyone. But mostly for who is interested in exploring a beautiful area. And for the people that are similarly interested in the trading history of The Netherlands in the 19th and 20th century.
De Broekerveiling is the oldest sail-through auction in The Netherlands, and of the world. Here horticulturists could sell their crops by sailing through an auction. Yes, you read that correctly. Sail. Through. In the village of Broek op Langedijk the special way auctioning first began on the 29th of July in 1887. It took place nearby De Bakkersbrug (The Bakeries bridge, literal translation) in the open air.
The current auction building has been built in 1912. The building is set on poles. This way the horticulturists could sail into the auction building with their boats filled with crops. Inside the auction building, there is a historic auction clock located. In 1922 the building extended with a so-called ‘lighal’. This is an extra department where the horticulturists could wait under a roof. This way the weather had no influence on their vegetables. For instance, the sun makes crops dry, and the rain makes them mushy. In 1925 a second ‘lighal’ was built.
Since 1973 De Broekerveiling isn’t used as an auction center anymore. After that, it has been transformed into a museum. Very often there are auctions held for visitors. This way they can see the way horticulturists used to auction their cabbage and other crops.
De Broekerveiling is, in my opinion, one of the museums you shouldn’t miss when you are visiting The Netherlands or North- Holland. One of my most favourite things is that there are four exhibits. These are all part of the museum at all times so you can get to know the history behind the entire area. You can also ask all your questions to horticulturists.
The first exposition is ‘auction-day’. Here you will see in an eight-minute-long film what the life of a horticulturist in the 1900s looked like. The film is spoken in Dutch but has subtitles in German, French, and English. So there is nothing to worry about if you don’t speak Dutch.
Exposition two is about the realm of thousand islands. You will get to know information about the origination of the realm. It is bizarre, in my opinion, that there were 15.000 islands once they finished the constructions. Can you imagine, creating this right now without the technology of today? It’s a true work of art.
The third exposition is about the route of the crops. From the fields and islands, they were growing on, towards the customer. You will get to know the different islands and their own themes. Besides that, you will see the traditional clothing of the area of Broek op Langedijk. Also the tools the horticulturists were using to make their land and crops as good as possible.
There are videos and interviews with a horticulturist, his wife, a judge and a buyer. In this way, you will get an even better understanding of the entire process. These videos are also spoken in Dutch but are subtitled in German and English. So you have nothing to worry about if you can read this article.
The last, and fourth, exposition is an audio tour where horticulturist Arie takes you through the entire auction building.
And while these expositions are all fun and interesting, my most favourite part of visiting De Broekerveiling museum is the auction itself. If you are an enthusiast like me, you will want to win the auction and buy the crops. Luckily for you, there are auctions held for visitors daily. If you have no luck I have a suggestion. You can try it a few times on the first, and return the next day to step up your game and beat all the others in the auction. Might add up on the costs, but it’ll be fun.
Everyone can experience the auction and take part, and even buy some seasonal crops. It’s a fun game that everyone enjoys because if you set your offer to early, you will pay too much money. Yet, if you press the button too late… You will lose your crops. So if you thought that auctions were easy peasy, you will be doomed during this activity. But, it’s a good thing because you will not think so highly of yourself anymore. Lesson learned, money lost. So yes, bring some cash. The crops are not free.
There are various auctions in a day, and there is no need to reserve a spot in a day in advance via their website. However, it is best to ask someone who works there when the next auction takes place. In that way, you can sign up, and come to the auction building at the time of the auction.
Another favourite activity of mine a tour by boat. This tour will take you through some of the islands with a boat, and this tour is included in your ticket price. Isn’t it wonderful? The area is truly beautiful, and you can get the best experience when going by boat between the islands. You will see horticulturists work on their land and even see them harvest their crops if you are lucky.
The whole area is peaceful. So think of chirping birds, the sound of the water against the boat and the wind flowing through the trees. Sounds pretty magical, right? You can ask the employees of museum De Broekerveiling when the boats leave to join in with the fun. This is definitely another great thing when visiting museum De Broekerveiling.
The museum of De Broekerveiling is more than a century old. Thus the floors have a lot of bumps throughout the building. Luckily, special paths for the users of wheelchairs have been created. There is also a boat that has a small lift to ensure you can also enjoy the area of De Broekerveiling utmost.
Dogs can go inside, and outside of the museum.
A visit to the museum is easy. The museum is open all seasons from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am till 17 pm. In July and August, the museum also opens on Monday from 10 am till 17 pm.
There are a few days out of the year when museum De Broekerveiling closes, these are:
Kings Day: 27th of April 2018
Walking event: 21st of June 2018
Christmas: 24-26th of December
New years: 31st of December and 1st of January.
There is also a tour available with groups from 2-25 people. The guides speak Dutch, English, French, and German. So you can ask as many questions as you want in the language of your preference. The tours last 45-60 minutes.
If you would like to reserve a tour you need to contact the museum at reservering [@] broekerveiling.nl.
Besides that, you can also have the chance to do a boat tour through the realm of thousand islands. Sailing and taking part in the auction is not possible between the 17th of November and the 5th of December.
Something exciting is renting canoes, sups or boats to explore the area yourself. There are two types of boats you can rent one is 25 euros an hour and for 4-6 people. The other 110 euros for half a day and 190 for a full day for 8-10 people.
Renting a canoe will set you back 28 euros for half a day and 50 euros for an entire day.
The prices of the paddleboards aren’t known yet. But you can send reservering [@] broekerveiling.nl an email for all your reservations.
The reason why I would prefer you to rent a canoe or a sup is because you are allowed to go inbetween all of the islands. It is a protected area so no boats with a motor are allowed, since those damage the islands.
You can buy tickets online, or at the museum itself. In 2018 the prices are as following:
Adults 17,50 euros.
Kids 4-12 9,25 euros.
Kids under 4 are free.
Museumcard holders have free entry.
1721 BW Broek op Langedijk
Telephone number: 0226 318 304 (Dutch number, so with a foreign sim card you would have to add +31 and remove the 0, so +31226…)
For more information, you can go to their website, or for urgent and specific questions you can send an email to info [@] broekerveiling.nl or give them a call.
How to get there
From Amsterdam central station it will take you anywhere between 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes to arrive at the museum.
The fastest way is if you take the train from Amsterdam to Den Helder or Schagen. Get out at the station of Heerhugowaard. This will take you 48 minutes.
After that, you have to take a bus from Heerhugowaard station. The bus that stops right in front of the museum is number 10 towards Alkmaar station. This bus goes every 30 minutes from around 7:00 (am) until a little before 18:30 (pm). You have to get out at the stop Broek op Langedijk, Museumweg. This will take you 1 hour and 10 minutes. In total this will cost you around 10 euros.
For the return you would have to take bus 10 to Alkmaar station again. But, this time you will stay there until you arrive at the station which will take around 30 minutes. At Alkmaar you will take the train to Nijmegen or Maastricht for around 35 minutes, and get out at your preferred station in Amsterdam. This will cost you around 10 euros.
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