In search of the Oer-IJ

Between Haarlem, Alkmaar and Zaanstad lies an extraordinary piece of North Holland. This is where the Oer-IJ flowed thousands of years ago. An erratic branch of the Rhine, which flowed into the sea at Castricum. A unique landscape. A residents’ initiative was launched to put this beautiful area on the map as an earth monument.

A connection must be made for a wide audience between the information from the exhibition in the Huis van Hilde (archaeological centre of the province of North Holland) and the opportunities to learn about the landscape where that history is still tangibly present.

The aim of the project is to raise the profile of the Oer-IJ and make consumers aware of the special values this area represents. This also works towards increasing the number of visitors and tourist and recreational spending.

Experience the Oer-IJ is divided into two parts that are conceptually linked. These are the components:

1. Virtual Outdoor Museum Oer-IJ
The virtual “Outdoor Museum” is a museum by bike which is partly digital and partly physical. It is a virtual museum on your smartphone that starts at the Huis van Hilde. You are then navigated by your smartphone along a route in the Oer-IJ, experiencing the museum along the way. Experience-filled information is provided in the form of videos, audio, photos and texts interspersed with physically present elements in the landscape.

As a visitor, you choose your preferred museum route in advance and receive imaginative stories and information linked to the theme.


2. In search of the Oer-IJ
To support the cycle routes, a book has been written. The aim of the book is to tempt people to experience the museum, provide additional information or afterwards as a reference book. The book contains valuable stories told in an appealing way. The virtual “Outdoor Museum” brings the book to life and gives an extra experience along the way.

The book includes a voucher code that allows consumers to download the museum tours directly onto their smartphones.


The Oer-IJ consists of:
A book with the story of the Oer-IJ
Login code for two digital routes in the RoutAbel app

Foundation Oer-IJ