Het Chirurgijnshuys - History

This house has been built in the late 17th century according to the traditional ‘Zaanse’ architectural building style. Made of wood and coloured in the characteristic dark green belonging to this style and place. The shape of the house can be best described as a farm house. According to historical facts, a cloth merchant commissioned to build the house for living as well as business purposes. The merchant’s spouse was apparently a daughter of a farmer who liked to keep a few cows for her enjoyment. Therefore, a part of the house was designed for keeping cattle. This part of the house has been later transformed into the kitchen area. The architectural style of the house contributes to the traditional and characteristic image of this area.  

From 1762 to 1870 the house was inhabited by doctors, who used to work and live in the house. They also ran a pharmacy in the front area of the house, which was previously used as the cloth shop by the merchant. Due to this history of doctors living and working in this house, the name 'The Chirurgijnshuys' was attached to the house and since became known as such. Chirurgijn is the Old Dutch word for healer or doctor.  One of the doctors was the influential Jacobus van Waert (1789-1880) who investitured several leading functions in the Banne Westzaan.  In addition, his as well as his spouse’s (Aagje Yff) portrait still decorate the interior of the City Council ‘Het Reghthuys’ today, which is situated at the centre of Westzaan. One of the streets in Westzaan has been named after him. This house has gained its cultural and historical value, due to these doctors who gave the house its specific name: the house is still known for this history.

From 1870 onwards the house served as a living, working and retailing area for the manufacture-trade, for more than a century. After that the house was transformed into a framework shop and art gallery from 1976 until 1991.