We welcome OKV (Ondernemerskring Veenhuizen)


We are delighted to work with OKV, a group of entrepreneurs in the town of Veenhuizen. It can be seen as a kind of co-op of business people that strive to make Veenhuizen and surrounding more attractive for all, visitors, inhabitants and business alike - in balance. We have been working diligently with Christine Stille, board member and Mark terMaat, member and owner of Koffielust.

The mission of the co-op had to be translated into a site that allures to (aspirant) members and promote Veenhuizen and the members in balance. The site is to support all goals of the co-op being:

  1. Promotions for events by members and Veenhuizen and surroundings;
  2. Member registration and provide ability to customize pages for members of the co-op, who may have their own site or not. To promote their business, services and products; With catalog, galleries and other media;
  3. Share news in the press/media about actual news/information concerning all in and around Veenhuizen;
  4. Communicate about stakeholders and the co-op's involvement;
  5. Enable members to use the site for their own publications and events, contact information and otherwise;
  6. Improve communication of members with each other using mail lists, document sharing and newsletters;
  7. and more....

And together we have accomplished this in a relative short period of time. 

We thank the board and members for their trust in us and looking forward to add functionality as needed and do the need content management of the site.

Take a look at what we have accomplished, click here.

Veenhuizen Information







Veenhuizen  is a village with around 800 inhabitants in the province of Drenthe in the Netherlands. In the early 19th century, a reform housing colony for the poor and homeless was established in Veenhuizen. In the late 19th century, the complex was turned into a penal colony. The village became freely accessible in 1984 and has been part of the municipality of Noordenveld since 1998. The National Prison Museum is located here.

Penal colony

In the 19th century the Maatschappij van Weldadigheid went broke and the whole complex/village was taken over by the Department of Justice for use as a penal colony, of which "complex nr. 2" is in use today by the Nationaal Gevangenismuseum (National Prison Museum). The (staff) houses are concentrated around the now two remaining prison complexes. The other prison buildings that were added in 1900 are still in use today (albeit modernized several times since). The windows of the buildings have educational texts in large sculptured sills on the front, about two stories high to educate the people working in and around them. The texts used to correspond with the intended inhabitant. The headmaster's house said "knowledge is power", and the pharmacist's house said "bitter and sweet".

Veenhuizen used to be closed off to everyone but the inmates and the staff and their families lived in housing (most now newly built in the 1970s, 80's and 90's) provided by the department. The village was treated as private companies grounds which also meant that the police had no jurisdiction there, meaning that moped-riding youth were thus exempt from traffic violations.


Since 1984 the village is freely accessible for all and houses a tea-garden, a pub (for the very first time in its existence) as well as the national museum for correctional facilities.

The village is, despite its size, known throughout the Netherlands. Even national celebrities have done time there for driving while under the influence of alcohol. It has even been honored by its own rendition of Johnny Cash's "San Quentin" song, in Dutch.

The whole village, including the museum and remnants of the original early 19th century poorhouse-living project, was nominated to become a World Heritage site in 2011.


Welcome Koffielust - Veenhuizen
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Wednesday, 08 July 2020

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