In 1932 the Afsluitdijk (the IJsselmeer Barrier Dam) closed off the former Zuiderzee from the North Sea, and the two inland seas thus created were called the IJsselmeer and the Markermeer (meer is Dutch for ‘lake’). The Zuiderzee Museum is oriented toward the history, the current situation and the future of this area. It focuses upon the themes of water, crafts and communities. This story is visualized in the outdoor museum with historical buildings, and in the indoor museum with thematic exhibitions. Heritage, visual art, photography and design play an important role in this context.
The open-air section covers 15 acres and accommodates authentic buildings from the former Zuiderzee region, such as a church, a fish-curing shed, a mill, a cheese warehouse, shops and dwelling houses from the surrounding fishing villages. Staff and volunteers demonstrate historical crafts from everyday life at the beginning of the previous century. A number of presentations offer a modern interpretation of traditional crafts, materials and themes.
The indoor museum is the treasure chest of the Zuiderzee. Various temporary exhibitions display the rich collection of the museum in a present-day setting. In this way, the history of the Netherlands acquires significance for today. With history, photography, traditional costume, design and an attractive and educational family exhibition, the indoor museum offers something for everyone.
Besides the temporary exhibitions, the indoor museum also has the largest collection of wooden ships in the Netherlands. These historical wooden ships belong to the most extraordinary items in the museum’s collection. The Indoor Museum is open the whole year round from 10h00 to 17h00, with the exception of Christmas Day.