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Fishing village

History and fishery

In Roman times, Katwijk was a place of strategic importance. It was located at the Roman Empire's northern border (called Limes), at the mouth of the Rhine river. No doubt at that time people already ate fish. You can still watch the Rhine river flow into the sea, a magnificent sight. Around 1231, the first reference to Catwijck appeared in the records. A reference to a fish market on the beach appeared in the records around 150 years later. While there wasn't a harbor in earlier times, from which the fishing vessels could sail to see, people used flatboats. First a so called Visserspinck, and after 1830 a Bomschuit. In the year 1916 the fishing fleet reached a for the time being apex of 130 sailing vessels! Nowadays you will find the fishery fleet of Katwijk in the harbour of IJmuiden, but there is still a fishery school in Katwijk! 

Would you like to learn more about the history of Katwijk? Visit the Katwijks Museum!


The official 'year of birth' of the lighthouse 'De Vuurbaak' is 1605, however the first reference to De Vuurbaak is from 1592. De Vuurbaak is the second oldest lighthouse in the Netherlands, after the Brandaris at Terschelling. 

Until the year 1913 the Vuurbaak was a beacon for the fishermen at sea. After that year is has never been used again as a lighthouse, while vessels since that time didn't need to land on the beach of Katwijk anymore. 

Would you like to visit De Vuurbaak? You will have a fantastic view! Contact the Katwijks Museum for more information. 


Taste some delicious fresh fish!