Zaandam History is a Rollercoaster River

7 January 2013

Serge Verheugen - Zaandam Histroy is a Rollercoaster River

Commissioned by Dutch Railways, I made a mural at Zaandam Railway Station in 2004.

The city of Zaandam has a municipal coat of arms. In the seventies the old classic crest has been updated and changed into today’s more modern looking form. I used these crests in the design for this mural.

Old Zaandam municipal coat of arms

Modern Zaandam municipal coat of arms

On the far left and right there are two whales. A green arabesque runs along the design. Zaandam owes a lot of her good name and fortune to the river Zaan, that runs through its centre. So in the mural the river springs from the mouth of the right whale, changes into railroad tracks and eventually into a ship under construction. Russian Tsar Peter the Great already new of the famous Zaandam shipbuilding tradition and came to study extensively. In the middle two lions bridge the tracks. The whale to the right also symbolises the tunnel in which the tracks disappear on their way to Amsterdam, north of the river. The mural was designed in big flowing lines to contrast with its geometrical surroundings and aims to connect the ‘fluid Zaan river’ and the ‘steel Railroad river’ that compete and interact. The work was done in collaboration with a group of local graffiti artists, that was hired and received a workshop in design, planning and acquisition of large commissions. A very nice and for both parties instructive project. So thanks to Thomas, Lennart, Jelmer, Peter, Jannes, Oran, Sancho, Michael, Tom, Bas, Gilles, Jordy en Peter!

Graffiti co-workers

Serge Verheugen - Zaandam Lions

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