Volendam (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈvoːlə(n)ˌdɑm] (listen)) is a fishing town in the municipality of Edam-Volendam, province of North Holland, Netherlands. As of 1 January 2021, it has a population of 22,715. It is twinned with Coventry, England.
Originally, Volendam was the location of the harbour of the nearby Edam, which was situated at the mouth of the IJ bay.
In 1357, the inhabitants of Edam dug a shorter canal to the Zuiderzee with its own separate harbour. This removed the need for the original harbour, which was then dammed and used for land reclamation. Farmers and local fishermen settled there, forming the new community of Vollendam, which translates to 'Full dam'.
In the early part of the 20th century Volendam became something of an artists' retreat, with both Picasso and Renoir spending time here.
The majority of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, which is deeply connected to the village culture. Historically, many missionaries and bishops grew up in Volendam. Today there is the chapel of Our Lady of the Water, which is located in a village park.
Little girls of Volendam in traditional costumes, 1906
Dutch traditional costumes displayed at a folklife festival. The Volendam costumes are the first two on the left
In the New Year's night of 2000 to 2001, the lighting of a bundle of sparklers caused a short but intense fire at a party in café De Hemel. The sparklers ignited the dry Christmas decorations on the ceiling, which fell down in their entirety. 14 people died and 200 people were seriously injured.