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Hemp-beater De Paauw

The beating heart of historic hemp culture

Discover the heritage of Holland’s thriving hemp history in this authentically restored windmill, just outside Amsterdam.

Photos: Floris Leeuwenberg

Visit the hemp-beater

Inside works of the hempbeater

Photos: Floris Leeuwenberg

A rural experience

Visit the hemp-beater

Only 20 km from Amsterdam’s city centre, in a rural region called the Zaanstreek, you can visit the world’s only functioning hemp-beater. This typical Dutch windmill was used for centuries to beat and soften strong hemp fibres. Ships with ropes and sails made from these fibres crossed the world’s oceans.

In previous centuries, the Dutch landscape was strewn with hemp-beaters; today the Paauw is the only one that remains. Here you can see, hear, and experience the fascinating history of industrial hemp. Follow the journey of hemp from field to beater and beyond. History comes alive, before your eyes.

Miller stands in front of the mill holding a bunch of hemp stalks

The miller’s tale

Guided tours

During your visit you can explore, at your own pace, this fascinating part of authentic Dutch hemp culture. The miller demonstrates how the mill performs its imposing work. A film explains how the ten year long process of the mill’s reconstruction came about, and why industrial hemp was essential to the lives of so many people in previous centuries.

The mill is now open to the public every Saturday thanks to a remarkable cooperation between the Stichting Zaanse Pakhuizen, a non-profit organisation responsible for the reconstruction, and the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, which developed the presentation.

Miller stands in front of the mill holding a bunch of hemp stalks
hemp plant

Photo: Joyce Wolthuis.

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