Story About Giethoorn

Giethoorn is a town in the province of Overijssel, with a population of 2,795 in 2020. This elongated village is located in the north east of The Netherlands. And it is located in one of the largest areas of the Natural National Park “De Wieden “. Along with the “Weerribben” it constitutes the largest continuous fenland areas in northern Europe. Giethoorn is often referred to as "Dutch Venice" or the "Venice of the Netherlands". 


Giethoorn used to be a pedestrian precinct, but nowadays exceptions are made. In the old part of the village, there were no roads, and all transport was done by water over one of the many canals. The lakes in Giethoorn were formed by peat digging. Way back in time peat diggers took peat from the soil, leaving it to dry and later cut peat. In two large floods (1776 and 1825) this vulnerable drying banks were washed away and lakes arose around Giethoorn. To transport the peat they dug ditches and canals that resulted in the typical village structure of Giethoorn. The traditional transportation for Giethoorn is the handmade wooden ”Gieterse Punter”. (A small sailing barge) Today there is also the ‘whisper’ boat. An easy to use, environment-friendly, noiseless electric version.


De Weerribben-Wieden National Park is a peatland that was largely excavated by a small population. The peat developed after the last ice age. When the temperature rose on Earth and the ice melted, large wetlands arose where water was and shore plants grew. In the acid and oxygen-depleted water the dead plants devoured badly.


Over the centuries they formed a thick layer of peat. In the Middle Ages they knew that dredged and dried peat could serve as fuel. For centuries peat extraction was the inhabitants main lively hood. Peat extraction until 1920 continued to be of great significance for the region. Then the usable peat ran out and peat extraction was unprofitable. The local population gradually switched to reed and hay management. And along the shallow verve income ‘ward’ were again grew aquatic and riparian plants which developed reed beds. Rietland Management became an important source of income .

Giethoorn Arrangements