Fortress Island Pampus
Raise the flags and man the guns! For a family-friendly and historical day trip from Amsterdam, hop on a ferry and discover Fort Pampus, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Discover Fort Pampus
The island fort on an artificial island was once part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, a 135-kilometer-long system of fortifications that defended the city by means of flooding. The island and now dismantled fort have a mysterious air and make for an interesting day out for visitors of all ages, with historical artefacts to discover all over the island.
400 years of Dutch history
Even before the island Pampus was built as part of the Defence Line, the shallows – then known as Pampus sandbank – held a significant place in Dutch life. Trading ships from the Dutch East Indies loaded with spices, tea and silk would anchor off Pampus, because they often were too heavily loaded to sail over the shallows into the port of Amsterdam. Here the crew would wait until either the goods would be landed or the ship would be lifted higher out of the water by so-called ‘ship camels’ – flotation tanks – so she could sail into port.
When the Defence Line of Amsterdam was built at the end of the 19th century, the fortress island Pampus was constructed. With two gigantic cannon on the ramparts invaders could be held at bay. Aerial warfare made the fortress obsolete; still, the world wars did not go by unnoticed.
Pampus Island lies in the middle of the IJmeer and is an oasis of peace and relaxation. Sun, wind and water are inseparable features of the island. They are also a source of energy: Pampus is developing the use of these natural resources and is holding a special presentation about this.
An audio tour for international visitors is available (languages: English and German). The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and can be used with a simple headset or a smartphone app, which can be downloaded using free Wi-Fi in the Pampus Pavilion. There is also a shop, which offers printed tour guides in English and German.
Events on Pampus
Pampus has an extensive events calendar: there is a ‘Pirate Week’ in May and a kite festival in June, the whole of August is dedicated to culture, and in October there is a Light Festival.
Pavilion and shop
In the Pavilion visitors can enjoy coffee and cake, lunch and drinks. The terrace offers a wonderful view out over the IJmeer and the passing parade of boats. Visitors coming with their own boat are welcome in the Pavilion (free admission). The shop has a wide selection of souvenirs.
How to reach Pampus
Pampus is reachable by ferry from Muiden and from Amsterdam IJburg. It is open to visitors from 1 April to 1 November (closed on Mondays).
- Every monday closed
- Every tuesday from 10:30 to 17:00
- Every wednesday from 10:30 to 17:00
- Every thursday from 10:30 to 17:00
- Every friday from 10:30 to 17:00
- Every saturday from 10:30 to 17:00
- Every sunday from 10:30 to 17:00