There are doors on each floor and in the gable roof there’s a little kink.  Architectural experts would call this a mansard roof. The house is similar to many other houses in Woerden and in the region. To be honest, if you wouldn’t know what is in there you wouldn’t even enter the street it is in. Fortunately I did know what the building was and still is used for, although I could not have imagined what I was about to see.

Reypenaer historical Dutch cheese warehouse Woerden, the Netherlands
Reypenaer historical Dutch cheese warehouse Woerden, the Netherlands

Golden Suns on Shelves

When you enter the building and the door is closed behind you, you’re surrounded by darkness and the only thing you see are hundreds of golden suns shining on shelves as far as the eye can see. It’s like you just walked into a bank’s huge safe where all the gold is kept. A spectacular sight and a tingling feeling. The kind of feeling you get when you experience something special. You realise you just found a place few people know about. A hidden treasure in Woerden.

Security bars in the cheese warehouse

In this cheese warehouse, where for over a century Reypenaer matures its cheeses there is a track on the ground floor in between the rows.In this magical place you can easily imagine carriages riding on this track to carry the cheeses to the ships or horse-drawn wagons. In the windows are security bars. Why? Would be happy to tell you in the customised tour cheese & culture. The many doors and windows are used for ventilation, but there’s something else that is part of an ingenious system of climate control. Small hatches in the second floor help circulate the air. Moreover, they provide a fantastic glimpse to the other rows full of golden cheeses upstairs.

Hatches in the floor for ventilation cheese warehouse
Hatches in the floor for ventilation cheese warehouse

How much Dutch cheese can you taste?

Before you go upstairs, better weigh yourself on the large weighing scale. On the second floor, hidden from view is a beautiful room where the not so small cheese tastings are done. Each piece of cheese is presented on a cutting board with a very special instrument amusingly called: guillotine. You slice off a piece of cheese, let it melt on your tongue and then sip a bit of the red or white wine or the port. Depending on which cheese you’re tasting of course.

After having tasted the different cheeses with the wine and port, you have to find your way back to the entrance of the Reypenaer cheese warehouse. Be aware of the hatches in the floor, if you fall through the hole and land on top of a cheese, this has severe consequences to the maturing process and taste of the Dutch golden treat.

The Guillotine at an old Dutch cheese tasting
The Guillotine at an old Dutch cheese tasting

There is much more to see, hear, feel, taste in the Reypenaer cheese warehouse and in Woerden. I would therefore like to invite you to join the City & Cheese Tour Woerden, a full all senses experience.

Daytrip Amsterdam Woerden

Woerden, known as the capital of the green heart, is in the midst of the Dutch countryside and is perfect for a daytrip from Amsterdam, the train from the capital takes about 30 min. The city is also easily reachable with train from Utrecht, Leiden and other cities in the Randstad such as The Hague and Rotterdam.


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Vera ter Beest

Make your heart b(l)oom and explore Holland by bike with Verita's Visit Holland.
Born on a bicycle and raised in Delft (NL) I love the Dutch countryside. With Verita's Visit Holland I organise bike tours & team events. I take you on and off the beaten track to meet tulip growers, cheese farmers and lords of castles. My specialisation: Keukenhof area, Cheese farm region and Delft countryside. Just send me an e-mail at veritasvisit(@) to get more info.

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