According to a legend, Nieuwkoop was founded in the early twelfth century by a group of Gypsies. These Gypsies were unable to travel further due to a broken wagon wheel and decided to settle here permanently. The first inhabitants of Nieuwkoop, however, were not Gypsies, but people who settled there for peat excavation. Peat soils were excavated en masse and large pools were created, one of which was drained and transformed into an extensive peat meadow area. The other was turned into a lake and swamp area that is now known as the Nieuwkoopse Plassen. A beautiful natural and recreational area that at the end of the nineteenth century became a refuge for many artists who sought inspiration here. The Nieuwkoopse Plassen is a typical Dutch landscape where the past is still visible everywhere and where you can completely relax.