Egmond aan Zee is one of the most famous places in the Netherlands ... if you like (or love) the north sea ...
Egmond aan Zee (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌɛxmɔnt aːn ˈzeː]) is a village on the North Sea coast in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Bergen, about 9 km west of Alkmaar.
Egmond aan Zee was a separate municipality until 1978, when it merged with Egmond-Binnen and Egmond aan den Hoef to form the new municipality Egmond. In turn, Egmond was amalgamated into Bergen on 1 January 2001.
This best-known of the three villages of Egmond was formed in the coastal dunes in 977. Settlers in this area have battled the sea since the first settlements. During the All Saints' Flood of 1570, some 50 houses disappeared into the sea. And in November 1741, the sea swallowed 36 houses, the church, and its tower.
Apart from being dangerous, the sea also provided the people of Egmond food and work, as most inhabitants of Egmond were fishermen. Quite a few sights in Egmond remind one of this; for instance, the "fishermen-houses", which are tiny houses near the sea where fishermen used to live. Another sight is a fishermen monument and the "Prins Hendrik Stichting", a stately building named after a Dutch prince that used to house retired fishermen. The Egmond museum paints a picture of what living in Egmond used to be like.
Egmond aan Zee has been a popular seaside resort since the beginning of the 20th century, when it was well known for its healthy and clear sea air. Children came over to stay in one of the many "koloniehuizen" (colony houses), which were sanatorium-like institutions often run by charities and churches. The center of attention in Egmond is certainly the Jan van Speijk Lighthouse, built in 1834 and named after Dutch sea captain Jan van Speijk.