A painting of the Purmerend Cheese Market around 1900

Information panel Kaasmarkt (Cheese Market)

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Purmerend
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The Kaasmarkt in Purmerend has a market history of more than 600 years. The first small-scale market was held here in 1484, when it was still called Marktveld and was no more than a small square.

After the reclamation of De Beemster in the early 17th century, the market really started to grow. In order to cope with this growth, a number of things were reorganized in the city. The cattle market was moved to the old Kloosterwerf (now the Koemarkt). The square itself also changed. A few buildings were demolished to make room, the town hall was set back 10 meters, the main church was demolished and even the graveyard was closed and paved for market trade.

Eventually all markets were spread over the city and only che…

After the reclamation of De Beemster in the early 17th century, the market really started to grow. In order to cope with this growth, a number of things were reorganized in the city. The cattle market was moved to the old Kloosterwerf (now the Koemarkt). The square itself also changed. A few buildings were demolished to make room, the town hall was set back 10 meters, the main church was demolished and even the graveyard was closed and paved for market trade.

Eventually all markets were spread over the city and only cheese was traded on the Kaasmarkt. Up to four million kilos yearly! The Purmerend cheese market was the second largest cheese market in the Netherlands, after Alkmaar. Nevertheless, the Purmerend cheese market was more innovative. In Alkmaar the cheeses were still transported to the Waag on barrows carried by cheese carriers, in Purmerend cheese trays with a set of wheels were used. The backs of the cheese carriers lasted longer in Purmerend!

In the mid-20th century, the industrialization of the dairy industry won the battle over the traditional cheese market. Shortly before 1940, the very last cheese market was held in Purmerend. The success of this has certainly contributed to Purmerend's status as the market town of North Holland. A visit to the Cheese Market is still worth it. You will find terraces, the Nicholas Church and the imposing Purmerends Museum in the old town hall. 

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