History of Giethoorn

Giethoorn was founded by a group of fugitives. They came around 1230 from Perugia in Italy. These first inhabitants found masses of horns of wild goats, which had probably died in 1170 during the St. Elizabeth¹s flood. They called their settlement Geytenhoren, "goat horn" in English and ultimately becoming Giethoorn. The village owes its characteristic appearance to peatdigging. The peatdiggers dug up the peat-soil at the places that most suited them, mixed it in a trough and spread it out on the land to dry. The result could be cut as peat. This peatdigging led to the formation of large and small lakes through influence of wind and storm. To transport the peat ditches and canals were excavated. Many houses are as it were built on little islands, reached via a high bridge. All this imparts to Giethoorn a beauty unequalled anywhere else.



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