Giethoorn is a countryside in the province of Overijssel, The Netherlands. This countryside is located in the town of Steenwijkerland, about 5 km southwest of Steenwijk city and 120 km from Amsterdam. This city is often called as “Little Venice” because of its shape that resembles Venice in Italy.
In addition to the nickname “Little Venice”, Giethoorn is also often referred as the “Venice of the Dutch Version”. The village was first established in 1230 when refugees from the Mediterranean settled in what is now is the province of Overijssel.
At first, the land in the village is filled with a litter of goat horns. That is the origin of this village name. Those who first inhabit this place call it with Geytenhorn (Dutch for goat horns). Then the name changed to Giethoorn and still used until now.
Initially, this goat horn village was covered with peat soil (soft soil covered with moss), then excavated for centuries to create many canals and lakes. This is what makes this village declared as Venice of the North.
This village became famous as a Dutch director named Bert Haanstra made a film set in the village. The film that was made in 1958 is very famous, which is Fanfare with the comedy genre. The existence of the film managed to make Giethoorn became famous around the world.
Similar to the city of Venice is filled with canals, the village population of 2620 is also using the boat as a means of transportation for their people. Agricultural land was built on a small island associated with a bridge made of wood. There are more than 180 bridges made in the village.
No cars and motorcycles roam there. Although now provided a small paved road, but the means of transportation available in this countryside only bicycles, canoes, boats rowing, or just walking alone. Various jobs and traffic were accessed on the water. Animal breeders, mailers, or even firefighters reach out to their workplaces by boat.
The countryside is surrounded by De Wieden, a huge natural reserve. Nature Reservation is usually visited by tourists and indeed become one of the tourist attractions in this village. Visitors who come to the place will usually be fascinated with the atmosphere of this place.
The warmth of the atmosphere, the bohemian canal, the small wooden bridges, the blooming flowers, and the colorful old 200-year-old houses complement the beauty of the village. This small Venice ensures their visitors to keep the environment and harmony between nature and its inhabitants.
If visitors choose to go around by boat, then they can use the environmentally friendly boat available. The boat is equipped with an electric engine that does not disturb noise so it will not pollute the sound around it.
To travel around into the larger areas, such as the Weerribben-Wieden National Park located in the middle of the village, visitors can reach it by using Ecowaterliner, a kind of environmentally friendly water taxi.
With the description of the village atmosphere described above, we can imagine how cool the village is. The air available there was certainly not as polluted as in a city filled with exhaust fumes. The beauty and greenness of this village will last long if the residents and tourists keep the Giethoorn sustainability.