GIETHOORNS ( Goat Horns), the name originated from the first inhabitants’ discovery of hundreds of goat horns.
Giethoorn is a village in the Dutch Province of OVERIJSSEL. It is located in the municipality of STEENWIJKERLAND, about 5km southwest of STEENWIJK.
It used to be an auto-free zone, but nowadays, exceptions are made. It became locally famous, especially after 1958, when the Dutch film-maker Bert Haanstra made his famous comedy FANFARE there. In the old part of the village, there were no roads (though a cycling path was eventually added), and all transport was done by water over one of the many canals. The lake in Giethoorn was formed by peat-unearthing.
Tourism has had a relatively small influence on the old traditional town. The village, still only fully accessible by boat, is one of the several places commonly known as the Venice of the North or Venice of the Netherlands.
Giethoorn has 180 bridges. Giethoorn is a very popular attraction among Chinese tourists. The village of only 2,620 inhabitants sees between 150,000 to 200,000 Chinese tourists every year.
Since all transport is done buy boat, Giethoorn has punts (traditional flat-bottomed boats that are used for transport over the canals. Giethoorn has a long shape and is separated into three tiny settlements : NOORDEINDE, MIDDENBUURT & ZUIDENDE. The DORPSGRACHT is the central canal that connects these separate settlements. The farms and houses are separated from each other by small canals. The BULTRUGBOERDERIJ is a common type of farm in Giethoorn. It seems to have a large bump because the barn is larger than the house in front.
Giethoorn is so peaceful, so different and has such simple beauty, that it hardly seems real ——- gently gliding along small canals past old, but pretty, thatched-roof farmhouses. You can turn down a side street (another small canal) and drift under a wooden bridge where an elderly resident may be strolling over to see a neighbour.
Giethoorn is Holland’s “water village”, and the loudest sound you can normally hear is a quacking of a duck or the noises made by other birds. The little village is so dependent on its waterways that many houses cannot be reached by road. When the postman delivers the mail, he travels by punt.
Boating has been a popular tourist attraction here for years, with 90km of canoe trails and scores of motorboats to rent, but now, instead of conventional outboard motors, the hire shops stock so-called WHISPER- BOATS ———– dinghies driven by electric motor. There are three canal-side museums to visit and the SCHREUR shipyard, where the Giethoorn punt is built.