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.

Van Reenen

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 center of Bergen for a long time after the line was cancelled, was restored and is again in service on the historical line Hoorn-Medemblik.

Colony houses

The “colony houses” also date from the early 20th century. One example is the Zeehuis, a vacation colony of the Amsterdam Orphanage, where underprivileged children could recuperate in the fresh sea air. The same applies to the former Villa Russenduin, which served as a BIO vacation resort for many years. In the 1970s it came into the possession of the Stichting Verenigingskerk voor Nederland and was renamed Huize Glory. Today it is home to a hotel.

Interesting photo albums:
Bio Vacantieoord
Young Holland
The Sea House

Inspiration for artists

For more than a century, artists have been inspired by the beach, sea and dunes in this special coastal town. Various representatives of the Bergen School, as well as more recent painters, show this place in their work. For example, the ‘Prince of Poets’, Adriaan Roland Holst, also often refers to the beach of Bergen aan Zee.

Beloved seaside resort

In 2006 Bergen aan Zee celebrated its 100th anniversary. Even now, more than a century after the seaside resort was founded, Bergen aan Zee is still popular. Many tens of thousands of visitors from the Netherlands, Germany and many other countries come to this coastal village every year for a summer vacation, a weekend break or a few days of relaxation and fresh air.

Look here for the regular events in and around Bergen aan Zee