A Historic Dutch Lock Worth Exploring – Hondsbossche Lock

The Hondsbossche Lock is a fascinating piece of Dutch engineering history located in Downtown Zaandam, Netherlands. It’s just a short walk from the Dam Restaurants or across the locks is Restaurant Castell. 


First constructed between 1544-1547, this lock was originally built to transport materials for coastal defenses along the Zaan River.

Zaandam, sluis foto3 2011-04-17 16.05

Spanning an impressive 28 meters long and 5.10 meters wide, the lock could accommodate ships up to 2.60 meters deep. The lock features decorative Louis XVI style embellishments added in the late 18th century.

Hondesbossche Lock doors and wheels

After centuries of use for cargo transport, the lock was taken over by the local water authority in 1884. It was eventually replaced by a larger lock in 1904. You can see the much larger, new lock next to the Hondsbossche lock.  This is the Wilhelmina Lock. 


The Hondsbossche lock remained in use until 1965 when it fell into disuse. 

Hondesbossche Lock from main bridge

The Lock is surrounded by two small houses.  These were the Lock Master’s home and the Excise (tax) house. 

Hondesbossche Lock is flanked by two plaques

In 2014, the historic Zaanse Schans Lock was reopened for recreational boating, offering both locals and tourists a glimpse into Holland’s rich maritime past.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply enjoy scenic canal cruises, a ride through this meticulously preserved lock is a must-do when visiting Zaandam.

Check the website of the Hondsbossche lock for opening dates, as the lock is not open every day in the year.  It is run by volunteers and while use of the lock is free, you will be offered a clog in which you can place a donation for maintence of the lock and volunteer service. 

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As a proud resident of Zaandam since 2010, I'm excited to share the beauty and charm of this city and surronding area. Join me on a journey to explore its picturesque views, meandering Zaan River, and rich history.
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