You can consider Schiedam as an example of a city that is undervalued. This South Holland city is located within the so-called Metropolitan Region Rotterdam-The Hague. Schiedam is sandwiched between the cities of Rotterdamand Vlaardingen. As a result, the city is regularly overlooked. For example, people sometimes think that Schiedam is part of Rotterdam. That’s not it. It does not even belong to the municipality of Rotterdam. Schiedam is located on the Schie. It owes its name to this. Over the years, Schiedam has also come to lie on the Nieuwe Maas due to expansions. Schiedam is best known for jenever production. At one point, Schiedam only had hundreds of jenever distilleries. This number has now been considerably reduced. You can view the history of Schiedam jenever production in the Jenever Museum.
What makes Schiedam so nice is that it is a city, but that it has managed to retain its authentic atmosphere. In the center of Schiedam it can sometimes be a bit busy in the Lange Kerkstraat and the Hoogstraat, but otherwise the city consists of nice places that you can discover on foot. Because Schiedam is a compact city that is easy to explore on foot. This creates a journey of discovery in which you will regularly be surprised by the idyllic spots and monumental buildings that you encounter along the way. You can enjoy the top 10 sights of Schiedam along the way.
Top 10 sights of Schiedam
#1. The tallest windmills in the Netherlands
As a Dutchman you are probably used to the image of a typical Dutch windmill. You can still see them in various places in the country. There are a few places that are famous for windmills. Kinderdijk and the Zaanse Schans are good examples of this. But the windmills of Schiedam also form a special collection of classic windmills. The mills here are the tallest traditional windmills in the world. Of course, today’s industrial windmills used to generate electricity are larger than the windmills of Schiedam. The windmills of Schiedam were used as malt mills or burner mills. They ground malted grain into malt scrap, which is the main ingredient for Schiedam jenevers.
#2. Large market
According to Foodanddrinkjournal, the Grote Markt has been Schiedam’s main square for many years. The Old Town Hall of Schiedam is centrally located on the square. This listed building is a 1606 rebuilt version of the original town hall from 1538, which burned down in 1604. The beautiful top facades were installed in 1637. The double staircase was added eighty years later. After the public function moved to the new Municipal Office, the old Town Hall was converted into a brasserie. The terraces on the modest square bring a lively atmosphere to the Grote Markt, especially on summer days.
#3. National Jenever Museum Schiedam
If there is a place in the Netherlands where a national jenever museum belongs, then it is Schiedam. In the city where jenevers are produced by well-known distilleries such as Wenneker, De Kuyper, Onder De Boompjes and Nolet (known for Ketel 1), the presence of a jenever museum is almost self-evident. The National Jenever Museum Schiedam is located in a former malt wine distillery on the Lange Haven. The museum tells the complete story of jenever and jenever production in the Netherlands. You will learn all about the history of jenever, how jenever is distilled and all kinds of things related to the sale of this spirit, such as glassware, packaging material and advertising campaigns.
#4. Historic ships
Schiedam has traditionally been a port city. The history of Schiedam began with the construction of a dam on the Schie. The resulting trade activity led people to settle here and a city was allowed to be built in the mid-fourteenth century. The waterways were not only used for trade. The herring fishery has been one of the main pillars of the local economy for two centuries. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, herring fishing lost its important position. This was taken over by the distillation of jenever. In the Nieuwe Haven and the Lange Haven you can admire a number of historic ships. Some of these ships were built in Schiedam.
#5. Liduina Basilica
The beautiful feature of the Basilica of Saint Liduina and Our Lady of the Rosary is its location. Of course the Liduina Basilica is a picture in itself. The way in which this neo-Gothic Roman Catholic church now stands in the cityscape only enhances its beauty. The Liduina Basilica is now at the end of the Stadserf. The lines of this car-free square ensure that the nineteenth-century basilica attracts attention.
The church is dedicated to Liduina van Schiedam. She is the most famous Dutch saint. As a Catholic saint, Saint Liduina is the patroness of the chronically ill. Her relics are housed in a neo-Gothic reliquary in Liduina Basilica.
#6. Municipal Museum Schiedam
The Stedelijk Museum Schiedam is an art museum that was founded in 1899. Modern and contemporary Dutch visual art is exhibited. The works were made by Cobra members Karel Appel, Corneille, Jan Nieuwenhuys and Eugène Brands, among others. The Stedelijk Museum Schiedam is located in the former Sint Jacobs Gasthuis. The neoclassical building is an attraction in itself. In addition to art, you can view a number of objects in the museum that tell the story of the city’s history.
#7. Sack carrier cottage
The Zakkendragershuisje is one of the most famous buildings in Schiedam. It is a former guild house of the sack carrier guild in Schiedam. The building dates from the year 1725 and has almost the same appearance as about three centuries ago. A striking element is the bell tower, with the wind vane on top in the form of a sack carrier. On the quay is the sculpture ‘De Zakkendrager’, which was designed and made in 1987 by the Rotterdam artist Hans van der Plas.
#8. Grote or Sint Janskerk
Central to the center of Schiedam is the largest and oldest church in the city: the Grote or Sint Janskerk. This church, dedicated to John the Baptist, was built in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. At that time it was still a Catholic church. During the Reformation, the Grote or Sint Janskerk became a Protestant church. You can visit the church for free. Then you can admire, among other things, the Niehoff organ case (almost five hundred years old) and the even older wooden lectern.
#9. Ruin Huis te Riviere
In Schiedam you can find the remains of the oldest known rectangular castle in the former county of Holland. Huis te Riviere, also known as Slot Mathenesse, was built in 1262. The castle no longer exists, except for the remains of the keep. You can view this ruin from the public road. The current town hall has been built almost to the ruins, so you can only view it from two sides. You cannot enter the Huis te Riviere. The aim is to preserve this historic part of Schiedam for many generations after us.
#10. Harbor Church
Today, the Sint Johannes de Doperkerk is no longer in use as a church. As in so many places, the de-churching has taken its toll here. In the case of the Havenkerk, as this church is better known, this happened quite early on. The last Roman Catholic worship service was held here in 1967. Decay was imminent. Fortunately, the exterior of the church was restored in 2011/2012. This allows enthusiasts to enjoy the impressive facade in which the four Doric columns provide a stately impression. The location on the Lange Haven provides a beautiful picture.