Durgerdam is a typical old ‘dike village’ near Amsterdam. Pretty Durgerdam stands on a long and winding dike and has an excellent view over the IJsselmeer.
Like many villages in Holland, Durgerdam learn to cope with the sea and the water the hard way. It was flooded and completely washed away during one of the worst floods in history, the St-Elisabeth Flood in the early 15th century. Afterwards the people decided to build a dike and put their homes on top of it, which proved to be a smart idea. Nowadays the wooden houses of Durgerdam lie on a winding dike.
Sailing (and other watersports) is the number one attraction in Durgerdam. In front of the village lies the IJmeer, a large stretch of water in the IJsselmeer. In summertime people from Amsterdam come to Durgerdam to watch the ‘skûtsjes’. We love to have a picknick on long wooden boardwalks along the waterside and watch these big sailing vessels pass by. These traditional cargo boats with their huge sails are quite a sight. Skûtsjes are flat bottomed, so it takes quite some skill to handle them. It’s a joy to see the boats pass, as sailing may be the most Dutch activity of all.
In wintertime Durgerdam is the place to go if you want to go iceskating. People from Amsterdam eagerly watch the weather forecast, waiting for the IJmeer to freeze over. Skating with pretty Durgerdam in the background is one of the most beautiful experiences of Dutch wintertime.