Alkmaar Cheese Museum
Located on the second and third floors of the Alkmaar cheese-weighing house, the Dutch Cheese Museum is designed to explain cheese making, its history, and its place in the culture of Holland. The building was originally a chapel, but has been transferred over the centuries into the weighing house, and now both the weighing house and a museum. Holland has been known for its cheeses for longer than it has been known for tulips. The museum was founded to retain the history of the proud tradition of regional cheese production despite the advent of factory cheese making.
Exhibits and items of interest
The cheese museum has collected many of the common implements used in making cheese throughout history, and explains the difference between making cheese on the farm and in the factory. The museum also features twenty-four lofty historic portraits made in the sixteenth century of women in regional costumes from North Holland. In addition, they have recreated many of these costumes in tangible full-size versions. A guided tour is available with advanced reservations throughout the year.
More than Just Cheese
When visiting the north of Holland, a visit to Alkmaar is a welcome diversion from some of the more typical jaunts through the major cities. In addition to the Cheese Museum, the town has many great attractions like the National Beer Museum, the Beatles Museum, and a 90-minute walking tour that will give you an idea of the entire area. The Cheese Museum has areas aimed at children, from a children's play area to a scavenger hunt built into the guided tours. Half-day tours from Amsterdam that visit the regional windmills, a cheese farm, and the Alkmaar city center, including the Cheese Museum and cheese market are available from several tour companies.