Alkmaar cheese market

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Alkmaar cheese market


The Waag building is a National monument (Rijksmonument) listed building on the Waagplein in Alkmaar in the Netherlands. On this square Waagplein every Friday from April till the second week of September, the famous cheese market is held. The Dutch Cheese Museum and the tourist information Office (VVV) are also in the building. In the tower is a famous carillon weekly played by a carillonneur and also automatically by a drum chiming the quarters of the hour. There is also the famous automatic horse with knights play in the tower with an automatic trumpetplayer.

The Waag (balance scale) building has an interesting history dating back to the 14th century. In that period it was built as a chapel for the adjacent Holy Spirit hospital where poor travelers could get free accommodation for three days and nights. Also the sick were nursed in this hospital. In 1566 the Bishop of Haarlem gave permission to the Holy Spirit hospital to re-purpose the hospital building for weighing. In 1582, the weighing activities were moved to the larger Holy Spirit Chapel, which by then was no longer being used for divine services.

Thumbnail image credited to A. BakkerAdditional info

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