Today, we suggest you going to the small Dutch village of Githhorn. This rural destination is often called the Dutch Venice, since it is located on water canals with a total length of about 7.5 km. The village was founded in 1230. To move around the village you have a bicycle path to your disposal, as well as numerous water canals.The main transport in the village are rowing boats and boats on electric engines, which work absolutely noiselessly and do not disturb peace and tranquility in this picturesque village.
In general, the houses are located on islands and are connected by wooden bridges (there are more than 50 of them all over the village).
Githhorn is so attractive for tourists, because there are no ordinary roads and paths here, and all kinds of canals and bridges are located almost everywhere around the village.
The village became very popular with tourists in the 60s after the Dutch director Bert Hanstra featured it in his film.
Shortly thereafter, numerous visitors affectionately nicknamed the village of “The Dutch Venice” or “Northern Venice”.
In the historical part of Githhorn, as much as you would try, you will not be able to find a single road; you can only travel along the canals and only on special boats or “flat-boats”, as they are called by the locals. The only innovation that has appeared over the years are bike paths.
Along the canals there are houses; one being prettier than the other. Along one side of the canals there is a narrow asphalt path, sometimes passing from one shore to another. This is the only thing you can walk on. No streets in the usual sense of the word, though.
To the houses standing on the side of the canal without a path, wooden bridges, rather hunchbacked, are thrown. Such bridges allow electroboats, the largest floating craft in Githhorn, to pass beneath them.
In general, people move through the canals using all kinds of boats (they are rented), inflatable boats, small boats – all on them are electromotors, no diesel.
The village of Githhorn was founded in 1230 by a small group of refugees from the south of the country. When they found this place, the only thing that attracted them was the huge amount of goat’s horns that remained after a violent flood. Thus, the secret name of the village was born- Goat horns, or “goat horns”.
Over time, people not only changed the name of the village to a more euphoric one, but also found that there is a lot of peat here.
Pleased with the discovery, the inhabitants began digging peat in places where it was most convenient for them. As a result of such excavations, a big number of pits appeared in this place; later they became lakes, and then they turned into a chain of canals, which now attract tourists like a magnet.
The length of the village of Githhorn (the Dutch say “Gitorn”) is about 6 km.
That’s 6 km in one direction and 6 km in reverse, making for a lot of natural and human-made beauty to navigate through. You can notice that this is a residential village, not only an attraction, as well as well-known Zanes-Schans. You do not have to pay for it, unless you decide to rent a boat or ride an electroboat. There are a lot of parking places around the village, all free of charge, of course.
There are 2,620 people living in the village. However, the residents believe that the main distinctive feature of their village are not the canals, but a unique atmosphere of silence, comfort, and relaxation. All farms here are preserved in their original form and convey the spirit of that time.
Almost all the houses in the village have thatched roofs – marshy areas provide a large quantity of reeds. Previously, only rich people could afford a tiled roof and many used a straw, now, on the contrary, the thatched roof is more expensive.
Githhorn is a fishing place, but in order to engage in such a hunt, you need a license. Here you can see the heron, that can very boldly look at you asking to treat it with a fish.
Along the canals there are different signs, similar to those that can be seen on the roads of any metropolis, with traffic lights and right-hand traffic.
Githhorn is worthy of admiration and adoration. Certainly, this village does not have the glory and scope of Venice itself, but it has a unique charm and a natural scenery of unimaginable beauty.