An ancient local proverb states: “God created the whole world, but not Holland.”
This country was created directly by the Dutch. And this is what a tourist who visits this state notes: a vast “low land” that has been shaped by the temperament of the inhabitants of this state, which is known worldwide for its flowers, especially the tulip, the best known flower among those that are grown in Holland
Aalsmeer and Amsterdam
Aalsmeer is a Dutch city well known above all for its large flower auctions. And it is well known that flowers are an undisputed emblem of the Netherlands. Located just 13 kilometers south-west of Amsterdam, this city is an excellent destination for venturing out on an excursion either alone or in company.
The territory of Aalsmeer borders on that of the Westeinderplassen lakes, which is the largest body of water in the Randstad region (which extends into South Holland, North Holland, Flevoland and the Utrecht area. The territory of Aalsmeet it is also marked by the Ringvaart channel.
Amsterdam, on the other hand, does not require too many presentations: a rich city suitable for every type of tourist, where you can visit any type of attraction starting from the many museums or maybe some food tours, canal tours, perfect for admiring the city from a unique position to take photos to instagram and share on social networks, or simply a bike ride through the cycle paths that the whole world envies Holland
A bit of history
The history of Aalsmeer’s floral tradition is still a matter to be deciphered, because it is not something that was decided at the table, but it was mainly a question of circumstances, something truly fortuitous.
Aalsmeer was nothing more than a seaport and has been since its origins in the 12th century. However, the need to protect the land from the sea, to eliminate the dangers coming from the icy North Sea, which is very threatening in so low and easily flooded lands, meant that in 1852 a polder was started. From that moment, the inhabitants of the city no longer saw the waves of the North Sea.
Fishermen became strawberry growers, until the price of the flowers convinced them that their future lay in the different varieties of plants that could be grown on their land. In 1880, therefore, the cultivation of flowers began in Aalsmeer.
Initially, sales were made in Aalsmeer’s cafes. However, over time the volume of business began to be so high that the sales system in cafes was no longer sufficient. Thus, it became a necessity to manage sales in specific places and two companies centralized all the local flower trade, which over time went to Amsterdam.
In 1968, the two companies merged into one and in 1972 the large flower market opened which made Aalsmeer famous all over the world. A scenery that was expanded in 1999, reaching a total of one million square meters of surface. This market is well connected to Schipol international airport. Aalsmeer, then, is located a few kilometers from the capital Amsterdam, in one of the most fascinating areas in the world.
The Aalsmeer flower market
The Aalsmeer flower market is certainly one of the most popular and visited in the world. Every day, around 20 million flowers are bought and sold here. In this market, visitors are also welcome, even if they are required to respect very strict rules: they must arrive at a certain time (early in the morning) and can observe what occurs inside the place only from some walkways, which they are located several meters above the flowers and the crowded warehouse floor where various mini-trains run around for the transport of goods, at an astonishing speed.
Among other things, visitors do not approach the flowers and cannot even touch them. The aspect that most interests tourists visiting the Aalsmeer flower market is seeing the logistics in action, rather than admiring the flowers up close, despite the fact that they come from all over the world.
What to see at the Aalsmeer flower market
One of the most interesting moments of the flower market is the auction of the same. This is held every day of the week and around 20 million decorative flowers and plants are auctioned. Just think that over 12 billion flowers and plants are sold every year. This huge building is really big. It has an area of 518,000 m² and an area of 990,000 m². This alone makes this market the fourth largest building in the world.
Within this place the activity is chaotic. A very large number of small trains contain flowers and plants and are moved by electric trucks or automatic tracks. It is a real system (equipped with a real road code to regulate it) that allows the various wagons to be moved on the basis of a real timetable.
The auction remains open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7.00 in the morning and can be held until 11.00.
A phenomenon connected to this famous market is that which occurs once a year, exactly on the first Saturday of September, when a long parade of allegorical floats decorated with over a million flowers takes place, marching from Aalsmeer to Dam Square in Amsterdam.
Where, how, when