It must have been a remarkable sight when the Beemster dried up. The muddy bottom of the lake suddenly became visible and stretched out to the far horizon. Were the inhabitants of the surrounding villages capable of imagining in 1612 how the future Beemster would look?
Imagine the 49 windmills at the Beemster that were responsible for keeping the land dry. It must have been a magnificent sight. The polder was divided according to mathematical compositions; all the plots were laid out perfectly and equally. The sea had threatened Amsterdam for all that time, and as soon as the lake dried up the rich Amsterdam merchants travelled to the Beemster polder, where they had the gardens of their dreams landscaped with gates and arbours, vegetable and ornamental gardens. The village of Middenbeemster was the first to be built and therefore formed the heart of the polder.
The village of Middenbeemster reminds us constantly of its rich history. The stately buildings that surround the shady square in the centre of the village, and where the cattle market was held. The local jeu de boules club was also based here. A museum in the former vicarage is a reminder of the eighteenth-century writer Elizabeth Wolff, who lived and worked here. The Beemster is unique and was placed on the UNESCO world heritage list in 1999.