ZAANDAM (incorrectly Saardam), a town of Holland, in the province of North Holland, on the river Zaan, 62 m.
At Zaandam is preserved the wooden hut which Peter the Great occupied for a week in 1697 while studying shipbuilding and paper-making.
This prosperity finally concentrated itself upon the Y (that is, upon Amsterdam) and the series of industrial villages situated on its offshoot the Zaam, of which Zaandam and Wormerveer are the most important.
Other considerable towns are Dordrecht, Maastricht, Leeuwarden, Zwolle, Delft, 's Hertogenbosch, Schiedam, Deventer, Breda, Apeldoorn, Helder, Enschede, Gouda, Zaandam, Kampen, Hilversum, Flushing, Amersfoort, Middelburg, Zutphen and Alkmaar.
Many of the smaller towns, such as Assen, Enschede, Helmond, Hengelo, Tiel, Venlo, Vlaardingen, Zaandam, Yerseke, show a great development, and it is a noteworthy fact that the rural districts, taken as a whole, have borne an equal share in the general increase of population.
The northern and southern provinces are further connected by the lines Amsterdam - Zaandam (1878) - Enkhuizen (1885), whence there is a steam ferry across the Zuider Zee to Stavoren, from where the railway is continued to Leeuwarden (1883-1885); the Netherlands Central railway, Utrecht - AmersfoortZwoole - Kampen (1863); and the line Utrecht - 's Hertogenbosch (1868-1869) which is continued southward into Belgium by the lines bought in 1898 from the Grand Central Belge railway, namely, via Tilburg to Turnhout (1867), and via Eindhoven (1866) to Hasselt.
The other principal ports are Flushing, Terneuzen (for Belgium), Harlingen, Delfzyl, Dordrecht, Zaandam, Schiedam, Groningen, den Helder, Middelburg, Vlaardingen.