I have been to Amsterdam and around so many times, but I have never heard about Marken — a fisherman village on the island with population of just 1800 people. But before getting to Marken I stopped at another small place called Monnickendam, just 30 minutes North of Amsterdam.
Monnickendam is a city in the Dutch province of North Holland that apparently was founded by monks. Although it is a small fishing village today, it was an important port in earlier centuries as it received city rights as early as 1355.
Now to Marken. Marken used to be an island that was separated from the mainland by a massive flood in the XIII century. For a couple of hundreds of years it remained separated and due to it's isolation evolved a little differently to the rest of Holland. It had it's own unique dialect, traditions, costumes even some of the architecture was different. Most of the people who lived there were fishermen.
After building the dam in 1957, island became a peninsula and reunited with the mainland. For some time during the later 19th and early 20th centuries, Marken and its inhabitants were the focus of considerable attention by folklorists, ethnographers and physical anthropologists, who regarded the small fishing town as a relic of the traditional native culture that was destined to disappear as the modernization of the Netherlands gained pace.