Unlike most other seaside resorts in the Netherlands, which developed from former fishing villages on the North Sea, Bergen aan Zee was not a village at the beginning of the twentieth century, but consisted only of a few houses and farms in the dunes.
On the initiative of the Bergen landowners and mayor Jacob van Reenen and his wife Maria van Reenen Völter, a part of Bergen on the coast was developed into an attractive place for artists and visitors. In 1905 the cart tracks to the beach were improved and the Zeeweg was built. One year later the foundation stone was laid for Café Prins Maurits, which in a few years was developed into the first hotel in the new seaside resort. The steam railway line Alkmaar-Bergen was then extended to Bergen Aan Zee and remained there until 1955. The famous steam locomotive Bello, which stood as a monument in the centre of Bergen for a long time after the line was cancelled, was restored and is again in service on the historical line Hoorn-Medemblik.
Inspiration for artists
For more than a century, artists have been inspired by beach, sea and dunes in this coastal village. Various representatives of the Bergense School, but also later painters, represent this place in their works of art. The works of the "Prince of Poets", Adriaan Roland Holst, often refer to the beach of Bergen Aan Zee.
Popular beach resort
Bergen Aan Zee celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006. This seaside resort is still very popular after more than a century. Tens of thousands of visitors from the Netherlands, Germany and many other countries come to this coastal village every year for a summer holiday, a weekend or a few days of relaxation in the fresh air.
Regular guests who have been coming to Bergen aan Zee every year for over 50 years are no exception.