Giethoorn is called the Venice of the Netherlands for about 7.5 km of canals run through the little village. Some 50 little wooden bridges span the canals. It was founded around 1230 when fugitives coming from the Mediterranian regions settled there. They found a lot of horns of wild goats there that had probably died in the big flood of St Elisabeth in 1170, and therefore they called the settlement Geytenhorn (horn of goats), later it became Geythorn and now it’s called Giethoorn. All traffic has to go over the water, and it is done in so-called “punters”, they are ‘whisper-boats’ for they are driven by an electric motor, so they practically do not disturb the peace and quiet in this scenic little village. The canal is only about 1 meter deep and were digged out to transport the peat, the digging of this peat resulted in many ponts and undeep lakes, called ‘Wieden’. Many houses have been built on islands and are only reachable over wooden bridges. Most houses have thatched roofs, the marshy areas provide a lot of reed. In former days only rich people had tiled roofs, for tiles were much more expensive than reed, now it’s the other way round: having a thatched roof costs a lot more money than have it covered with tiles. This is a very picturesque place to visit.
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