Creaking windmills, little wooden houses with green facades, hump-backed bridges, brand-new clogs, row and rows of cheese blocks. Zaanse Schans could come straight out of a picture book of Holland in the 17th and 18th century. Time seems to have stopped still here. The rhythm of work is determined by wind power. With its aid the inhabitants can saw wood, crush chalk to coloured powder and press nuts to delicious oil. Nowadays it all looks so contemplative. But not so long ago this was a vast industrial region which only declined in importance with the invention of the steam engine. Windmills in their thousands produced goods in their thousands for the nearby trading metropolis of Amsterdam. Zaanse Schans keeps the memories of the early industrial history of the region alive – not as an open-air museum but as a busy village with museums, shops and workshops whose inhabitants are only too aware of their traditions.