Haarlem in Haarlem

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Haarlem (formerly referred to as Harlem in the English language) is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic. Haarlem lies in the northern part of the Randstad, one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe.

By the end of 2010 Haarlem had a total population of 150,611. Previnaire's son went on to create the Haarlemsche Katoenmaatschappij, which made a kind of imitation batik cloth called "La Javanaise" that became popular in Belgian Congo.<ref name=textiel/>

Train & tram

In 1804 Richard Trevithick designed the first locomotive. The government of the Netherlands was relatively slow to catch up, even though the King feared competition from newly established Belgium if they would construct a train track between Antwerp and other cities. Dutch parliament balked at the high level of investment needed, but a group of private investors started the Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij on 1 June 1836. It took three years to build the first track, between Haarlem and Amsterdam along the old tow canal called the Haarlemmertrekvaart. The ground there was wet and muddy. On 20 September 1839 the first train service in the Netherlands started. The train had a speed of about 40 kilometers per hour. The train service gave the Beijnes company, and indirectly the whole economy of Haarlem, a strong boost, and the effects of this can be seen in the Haarlem railway station, now a rijksmonument. Instead of more than 2 hours, Amsterdam was now only 30 minutes away. The old passenger service by trekschuit along the Haarlemmertrekvaart was quickly taken out of service in favor of the train service which was quicker and more reliable. In 1878 a Beijnes-made horse tram started servicing passengers from the railway station to the Haarlemmerhout woodland park, and in 1894 the Eerste Nederlandsche Electrische Tram Maatschappij (ENET) was founded with cars built by Beijnes and became the first Dutch electric tram, which ran in Haarlem from 1899 onwards.

Water management

Though the old trekvaart is closed for water traffic today, thanks to these early rail developments, it is still possible to travel by boat from Amsterdam to Haarlem, via the ringvaart or the North Sea Canal. Pleasure boating in the summer has become an important Haarlem tourist attraction, though it is not possible to travel all of the old canals as in Amsterdam. The creation of new land in the Haarlemmermeer from 1852 onwards, meant that the city could no longer refresh the water in its canals using the Spaarne river. The increase in industry made the water quality even worse, and in 1859 the Oude Gracht, a city canal, stank so badly in the summer, that it was filled in to create a new street called the Gedempte Oude Gracht.

Expanding borders

From 1879 the population of the city almost doubled in thirty years, from 36,976 to 69,410 in 1909. Not only did the population grow, but the city was expanding rapidly too. The Leidsebuurt district was incorporated into Haarlem in the 1880s. A small part of (the now defunct) municipality of Schoten was incorporated in 1884 because the council of Haarlem wanted to have the hospital (Het Dolhuys) inside the municipal borders. This hospital was situated at "het bolwerk" on Schoten's territory.

20th century

In the beginning of the 20th century the city expanded north. As early as 1905 an official plan was presented by the Haarlem municipality for expansion. However, the surrounding municipalities did not agree, and it would take 25 years to come to an agreement. On 1 May 1927 the municipality of Schoten became part of Haarlem, as well as part of Spaarndam, Bloemendaal and Heemstede. The population increased at once with 31,184 citizens.

In 1908, a renewed railway station was opened. The station was elevated, so traffic in the city was no longer hampered by railway crossings. In 1911, Anthony Fokker showed his plane, de Spin to the audience in Haarlem by flying around the Sint-Bavokerk on Queen's Day.

Later the expansion of the city went southwards (Schalkwijk) and eastwards (Waarderpolder). In 1932, Vroom & Dreesmann, a Dutch retailer built a department store at Verwulft. Many buildings were demolished, except one small chemist's shop on the corner, "Van der Pigge", who refused to be bought out and which is now encapsulated by the V&D building.

Haarlem in World War II

During World War II, the Dutch heroine Hannie Schaft worked for a Dutch resistance group; she was captured by the Germans and executed just before the end of the war in 1945. Despite her efforts and those of her colleagues and private families such as the Ten Booms, most Haarlem Jews were deported, the Haarlem Synagogue was demolished and the Jewish hospital was annexed by the St. Elisabeth Gasthuis. Several Haarlem families, whether they were politically active in the NSB or not, suffered from random attacks, as the Haarlem writer Harry Mulisch described in his book De Aanslag. Haarlemmers survived during the Hunger Winter by eating tulip bulbs stored in sheds in the sandy fields around the city.

From 17 September to 21 September 1944, parts of Haarlem-Noord (north of the Jan Gijzenvaart) were evacuated by the Germans to make place for a defensive line. The stadium of HFC Haarlem, the soccer club, was demolished. Hundreds of people had to leave their houses and were forced to stay with other citizens, who did not welcome them with open arms, since many were already starving.

From 22 September there was gas available only two hours per day. Electricity stopped on 9 October. The German occupiers built a thick, black wall through the Haarlemmerhout (in the south of the city), as well as at the Jan Gijzenvaart in the evacuated area. The wall was called Mauer-muur and was meant to help defend the city.

In 1944 the family of Corrie ten Boom was arrested by the Nazis; they had been hiding Jews and Dutch resistance workers from the German occupier throughout the war.

Post war

Haarlem never really recovered after the war. After the war much of the large industry moved out of the city, such as the banknote printing firm of Joh. Enschedé. The center of industry and shipping had definitely shifted towards Amsterdam. Though the population had been decimated from starvation, a new wave of immigrants came to the city from the former colonies in Indonesia. This brought some government funding for building projects. In 1963 a large number of houses was built in Schalkwijk.


Haarlem has had a Christian parish church since the 9th century. This first church was a "daughter church" of Velsen, which itself was founded in 695 by St. Willibrord. It was a wooden church at the site of the current Grote Kerk on the Grote Markt (central market square). Haarlem was granted its first known indulgence by Clement V in 1309, during the Avignon Papacy. In 1345 Haarlem received city rights as a result of population growth and the church was expanded. Later, after the fires of 1347 and 1351, Haarlem was again granted a Portiuncula indulgence in 1397 for funding to rebuild the church. This indulgence would be used again and again over the centuries to fund expansion and restoration activities.

Having been granted papal rights from Avignon was perhaps the reason that the ties to Rome were never very strong in Haarlem, since the building most commonly called the Cathedral in the center of town only held a cathedra for 19 years, from 1559 to 1578. This Grote Kerk or Sint-Bavokerk was originally a parish church devoted to Maria, but was later named after the patron saint of Haarlem, Saint Bavo, who descended from Heaven regularly to free the Haarlemmers from invaders, most recently when the Kennemers and West-Friesians attacked in 1274. This is allegedly how the Haarlem war cry "Sint Bavo voor Haarlem" originated, which was used during the siege against the Spaniards in 1572 that eventually resulted in an underground cathedra called the Sint Josephstatie, on the Goudsmitsplein.

Officially, the church in the center of town is called the Grote Kerk, since it is Dutch Reformed and they do not believe in patron saints. Nearly everyone in Haarlem refers to it as the Sint Bavo, however. This makes it quite confusing for tourists, because Haarlem also has another Cathedral of Saint Bavo, situated on the Leidsevaart. This duality began with the Reformation troubles of 1566.

The Roman Catholic parish of Haarlem became a Diocese in 1559 (Dioecesis Harlemensis) and the first bishop of Haarlem was Nicolaas van Nieuwland (born in 1510). He accepted the position on 6 November 1561. In 1569 he was advised to resign by the Duke of Alva, because of his reputation for drinking (Dronken Klaasje). He had a good reason to drown his sorrows, because he feared the Catholic Spanish invaders as much as the native Dutch reformers. The Grote Kerk was initially spared from iconoclasm, because the city's mayor ordered the closing of the church for several months in 1566. That gave the various groups in Haarlem the time to quietly remove many of the treasures from the church and stash them safely in underground chapels. All symbols and statues linked to the Roman Catholic faith were removed from the cathedral. Since many groups already had their own chapels in the Grote Kerk, this was conducted in an orderly way. However, after the siege of Haarlem was lost, the Spanish army restored Roman Catholic iconography. The guilds had to restore their old altars, at great expense. Since Haarlem was quite poor after the siege, this led to many of the chapels and other Catholic churches being abandoned and used for other purposes. The Bakenesserkerk, where 1500 soldiers were held before being killed by the Spanish after their victory, was used to store turf for fifty years.

Van Nieuwland was succeeded by Godfried van Mierlo, who would be the last bishop in communion with Rome Haarlem would know for 300 years. In 1578 after the Spanish were defeated, the church was attacked on Sacrament day (29 May), this time by soldiers of the Prince of Orange. One of the priests was killed, and many objects in the church were destroyed. This event, called the Haarlemse Noon, forced the bishop to flee the city. Fortunately, many treasures were still safe 500 yards away in the underground Catholic church. The city council confiscated the Sint Bavo Kerk and all of its daughter churches, and later converted them along the tenants of the Evangelical Reformed Church. The new (and current) name became Grote Kerk. Old Catholics and the Lutherans, though officially tolerated, went underground. Both Protestants and Catholics alike felt that when all political unrest had subsided, the Catholics could regain control of "their" church. However, the Dutch Protestants had also removed all Catholics from local government and feared that they would have to pay damages to the Catholics if they were allowed their own churches again. All over the Netherlands, new Catholic churches were subsidized, called Waterboard churches, for their similarity to Waterboard pump stations (they were designed by the same architect in Neo-classical style), and in Haarlem they built the St. Joseph kerk in the Jansstraat in 1841. It was not until 1853 that a new Roman Catholic bishop was installed in the St. Joseph kerk. As this church grew, a new cathedral, again called the Cathedral of Saint Bavo, was built at the Leidsevaart (canal to Leiden) in 1898. The Bishop of Haarlem has a formal residence on the Nieuwe Gracht canal.

There is also an Old Catholic bishop of Haarlem.

The Frans Hals Museum, which was the Haarlem municipal museum, has still in its collection today many pieces confiscated from the churches during the Haarlemse Noon.

Culture and entertainment


There are several museums in Haarlem. The Teylers Museum lies on the Spaarne river and is the oldest museum of the Netherlands. Its main subjects are art, science and natural history, and it owns a number of works by Michelangelo and Rembrandt. Another museum is the Frans Hals Museum of fine arts, with its main location housing Dutch master paintings, and its exhibition halls on the Grote Markt housing a gallery for modern art called De Hallen. Also on the Grote Markt, in the cellar of the Vleeshal is the Archeologisch Museum Haarlem, while across the square on Saturdays, the Hoofdwacht building is open with exhibitions on Haarlem history.

Other museums are Het Dolhuys (a museum of psychiatry), the Ten Boom Museum (a hiding place for Jews in World War II) and the Historisch Museum Haarlem, across from the Frans Hals Museum.

Theater, film and cultural centers

The city contains several theatres, cinemas and other cultural attractions (apart from the museums). The Philharmonie is a concert hall in the centre of the city near the Grote Markt. Next to it is the Toneelschuur theatre, which also has some movie theatres (often referred to as the Filmschuur). The Stadsschouwburg on the Wilsonsplein reopened in 2008 after a major renovation and can seat 698.

There are two more cinemas in Haarlem. Cinema Palace was established in 1915 and is one of the oldest cinemas in the Netherlands. The other is the Brinkmann cinema, located on the Grote Markt.

The Patronaat is a pop music hall, one of the largest in the Netherlands of its kind. It is a popular night spot among many of the city's residents and others.


Every year in April the bloemencorso (flower parade) takes place. Floats decorated with flowers drive from Noordwijk to Haarlem, where they are exhibited for one day. In the same month there is also a funfair organized on the Grote Markt and the Zaanenlaan in Haarlem-Noord.

Bevrijdingspop is a music festival to celebrate the Dutch liberation from the Nazis after World War II. It is held every year on 5 May, the day that the Netherlands were liberated in 1945, at the Haarlemmerhout. At the same location, the Haarlemmerhoutfestival is also held every year, which is a music and theatre festival.

Other yearly events on the Grote Markt are "Haarlem Jazzstad" (a jazz festival), "Haarlem Culinair" (a culinary event) and the "Haarlemse Stripdagen" (Haarlem comic days).


Haarlem is home to many different sport clubs practicing a great diversity of sports.

There are several amateur association football clubs. Haarlem also had a professional football club, HFC Haarlem, which went bankrupt in January 2010. Another Haarlem based football club still in existence is Koninklijke HFC (Royal Haarlemsche Football Club). It was founded by Pim Mulier in 1879 as the first football club in the Netherlands, making it the oldest club in Dutch history.

Tennis club HLTC Haarlem, founded in 1884, and judo association Kenamju, founded in 1948, are also the oldest Dutch clubs in their sports.

Haarlem is known for hosting several international sports tournaments as well: the Haarlemse Honkbalweek (Haarlem Baseball Week), a baseball event held every two years at the Pim Mulier Stadium (named after Pim Mulier), and the Haarlem Basketball Classic, a basketball event.

The first international bandy match was played between Haarlem and Bury Fen Bandy Club.

Cultural references

  • Folk singer Al Stewart mentions Haarlem in his song "Amsterdam".
  • The train station of Haarlem was part of a set during the movie Ocean's Twelve.
  • The book Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire is set in Haarlem.
  • The book The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas, père has several scenes in Haarlem, most notably the ending, and it is the Horticultural Society of Haarlem that offers a reward for a black tulip.
  • In 1628 a chemist in Haarlem goes broke, and decides to join the VOC to sail to the East. His name, Jeronimus Cornelisz, will always be connected with the Batavia ship.

Buildings and locations

Since the 18th century, Haarlem has historically had more museums per inhabitant than any other city of the Netherlands. It also has the highest number of defunct museums per inhabitant.

  • The city is notable for its many hofjes: almshouses built around courtyards. These were mainly privately funded houses for elderly single women. Nowadays there are 19 hofjes in Haarlem; many open to the public on weekdays. Many hofjes are still owned by the original foundations, and are still mainly used for single elderly women.
  • The Grote Markt (central market square), with:
    • the City Hall
    • the Vleeshal or meat market (home to two museums)
    • the Hoofdwacht
    • the Grote or Sint-Bavokerk
  • Stadsbibliotheek Haarlem, the Haarlem Public Library, an historic landmark
  • The Janskerk has an exhibition area in the former choir
  • Sint-Bavo Cathedral
  • Castle ruin Huis ter Kleef
  • The Teylers Museum is the oldest museum of the Netherlands
  • Frans Hals Museum of Art
  • Haarlem Historisch Museum
  • The Ten Boom Museum
  • Het Dolhuys Museum of Psychiatry
  • Windmill De Adriaan
  • The Amsterdamse Poort city gate
  • The art nouveau railway station of Haarlem
  • Theater De Toneelschuur
  • Villa Welgelegen (parts are open to the public)
  • Haarlemmerhout park
  • The Bosch and Vaart neighbourhood
  • The monumental buildings of the Stedelijk Gymnasium Haarlem Latin School of Haarlem, also host of the Haarlem Model United Nations


Haarlem is served by two railway stations of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways). From Haarlem railway station there are 6 trains an hour to Amsterdam, with a journey time of 15 to 20 minutes, 6 trains an hour to Leiden and The Hague (two stations), and 2 trains an hour to Zandvoort aan Zee. On the east of Haarlem, there is Haarlem Spaarnwoude, which has 2 trains per hour to Amsterdam.

The city is also served by several bus lines of Connexxion. These buses traverse a large region around Haarlem, including Amsterdam. There is a special bus rapid transit too, called the Zuidtangent which is operated by Connexxion. This bus goes from Haarlem to Amsterdam via Schiphol Airport.

Local government

The municipal council of Haarlem consists of 39 seats, which are divided as follows:

  • PvdA - 11 seats
  • VVD - 7 seats
  • CDA - 4 seats
  • GroenLinks - 4 seats
  • StadsPartij/Leefbaar Haarlem - 4 seats
  • D66 - 2 seats
  • Actiepartij - 1 seat
  • SP - 7 seats
  • ChristenUnie/SGP - 1 seat
  • Partij Spaarnestad - 1 seat
  • Senior Citizen's Party (Ouderenpartij) - 1 seat

Police and law enforcement

The police services in Haarlem are provided by the Kennemerland police corps. The city of Haarlem also employs uniformed municipal enforcement officers, their duties consist of parking, sanitation, traffic, permit enforcement, and patrols throughout the city.


Local beer

Beer brewing has been a very important industry for Haarlem. The heyday of beer brewing in Haarlem goes back to the 15th century, when there were no fewer than 100 breweries in the city. When the town's 750th anniversary was celebrated in 1995 a group of enthusiasts re-created an original Haarlem beer and brewed it again. The beer is called Jopenbier, or Jopen for short, named after an old type of beer-barrel.

Jopen Koyt and Jopen Adriaan are based on old recipes from 1402 and 1407 respectively. Jopen Adriaan is named after the windmill that re-opened in 2002. Jopenbier also features a bock beer and a light beer ("spring beer"). Jopenbier is now generally available again, mainly in the Haarlem area. Initially the beers were brewed at brewery De Halve Maan in Hulst but now they are brewed at De Koningshoeven, the brewery of La Trappe, in Tilburg. A local chess-club is called "De Haarlemse Jopen".

Harlem, Manhattan

In 1658, Peter Stuyvesant, the Director-General of the Dutch colony of Nieuw Nederland (New Netherland), founded the settlement of Nieuw Haarlem in the northern part of Manhattan Island as an outpost of Nieuw Amsterdam (New Amsterdam) at the southern tip of the island. After the English capture of New Netherland in 1664, the new English colonial administration renamed both the colony and its principal city "New York," but left the name of Haarlem more or less unchanged. The spelling changed to Harlem in keeping with contemporary English usage, and the district grew (as part of the borough of Manhattan) into the vibrant center of African American culture in New York City and the United States generally by the 20th century.

Twin cities

  • Osnabrück, Germany, since 1961
  • Angers, France, since 1964
  • Derby, United Kingdom (friendship link)
  • Mutare, Zimbabwe

See also

  • Zuid-Kennemerland National Park
  • Harlem


  • Ach lieve tijd: 750 jaar Haarlem, de Haarlemmers en hun rijke verleden, F.W.J.Koorn (red), Vrieseborch, Zwolle 1984
  • Deugd boven geweld: een geschiedenis van Haarlem, 1245-1995, G.F. van der Ree-Scholtens (red), Uitgeverij Verloren, Hilversum 1995
  • Geschiedenis en beschrijving van Haarlem, van de vroegste tijden tot op onze dagen, F. Allan, J. J. van Brederode, Haarlem 1874
  • Statistics are taken from the SDU Staatscourant

External links

Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haarlem