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' is a municipality in the Netherlandsmarker, in the province of North Holland. It is a polder, consisting of land reclaimed from water, and the name Haarlemmermeer means Haarlemmarker's Lake, still referring to the body of water from which the region was reclaimed in the 19th century.

Its main town is Hoofddorpmarker. It is one of the largest towns (pop. 70,030) in the Netherlands whose name is not used as the name of a municipality. This town, together with the rapidly growing towns of Nieuw Vennep and Badhoevedorp, forms part of the Randstadmarker agglomeration.

Population centres

The municipality of Haarlemmermeer consists of the following cities, towns, villages and/or districts: Aalsmeerderbrugmarker, Abbenes, Badhoevedorp, Beinsdorp, Boesingheliede, Buitenkaag, Burgerveen, Cruquiusmarker, De Hoek, Hoofddorpmarker, 't Kabel, Leimuiderbrug, Lijnden, Lisserbroekmarker, Nieuwe Meer, Nieuwebrug, Nieuw-Vennepmarker, Oude Meer, Rijsenhout, Rozenburg, Schipholmarker, Schiphol-Rijkmarker, Vijfhuizen, Weteringbrug, Zwaanshoek, Zwanenburg.

See location maps.

History

The original Haarlemmer Lake is said to have been mostly a peat bog, a relic of a northern arm of the Rhinemarker which passed through the district in Roman times. In 1531 the Haarlemmermeer had an area of , and near it were three smaller lakes: the Leidsche Meer, the Spiering Meer, and the Oude Meer, with a combined area of about .

Historic map of the Haarlemmermeer before reclamation.
The four lakes were formed into one by successive floods. Villages disappeared in the process. One of those villages was Vennep, which the modern Nieuw Vennep was named after. By 1647 the new Haarlemmermeer had an area of about , which a century later had increased to over . In Dutch, the tendency for lakes to grow over time is called the waterwolf.

In 1643, Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater proposed to endike and drain the lake. Similar schemes, among which those of Nicolaus Samuel Cruquius in 1742 and of Baron van Lijnden van Hemmen in 1820 are worthy of special mention, were brought forward from time to time. But it was not until a furious hurricane in November 1836 drove the waters as far as the gates of Amsterdammarker, and another on Christmas Day sent them in the opposite direction to submerge the streets of Leidenmarker, that the mind of the nation was seriously turned to the matter.

On August 1, 1837, King William I appointed a royal commission of inquiry; the scheme proposed by the commission received the sanction of the Second Chamber in March 1839, and in the following May the work was begun.

First, a canal was dug around the lake, fittingly called Ringvaart (Ring Canal), to carry the water drainage and boat and ship traffic which had previously gone across the lake. This canal was long, and deep, and the excavated earth was used to build a dike from 30 to 54 yd (30 to 50 m) wide around the lake. The area enclosed by the canal was more than , and the average depth of the lake . As the water had no natural drainage, it was calculated that probably 1000 million tons would have to be raised by mechanical means.

Pumping Station Cruquius
All of the pumping was done by steam mills, an innovation contrasting with the historic practice of draining polders using windmills. Three Cornish beam engines were imported from Haylemarker: the Leeghwater, the Cruquiusmarker (the largest Watt-design reciprocal stroke steam engine ever built and now a museum), and the Lijnden. Pumping began in 1848, and the lake was dry by July 1, 1852; 800 million tons were actually discharged. At the first sale of the highest lands along the banks on 16 August 1853, about 28 per acre was paid; but the average price afterwards was less. The whole area of recovered from the waters brought in 9,400,000 forms, or about 780,000, exactly covering the cost of the enterprise; so that the actual cost to the nation was only the amount of the interest on the capital, or about 368,000.

The soil is of various kinds, loam, clay, sand, and peat. Most of it is fertile enough, though in the lower portions there are barren patches where the scanty vegetation is covered with an ochreous deposit. Mineral springs occur containing a very high percentage (3.245 grams per litre) of common salt; and in 1893 a company was formed to work them.

In 1854 the City of Leidenmarker laid claim to the possession of the new territory, but the courts decided in favor of the nation. Haarlemmermeer became incorporated as a municipality in the province of North Holland by law on July 16, 1855. Its first mayor was M.S.P. Pabst. The first church was built in the same year and by 1877 there were seven. By 1860 its population was 7237, and 40 years later in 1900, it was 16,621.

Initially agriculture dominated in Haarlemmermeer. But with 99% of the land owned by a few wealthy land owners, poor harvests, and low commodity prices, life was very difficult for the tenant farmers. After 1900, the situation improved when commodity prices rose and most farmers owned their own land. Then greenhouse farming developed. Seasonal labourers, attracted by good pay, boosted the population by settling in the villages along the Ringvaart. Maize, seeds, cattle, butter, and cheese were the principal produce. Today, large industrial and office developments have become prominent, especially at Hoofddorp and Schiphol.

The roads which traverse the commune are bordered by pleasant-looking farmhouses built after the various styles of Hollandmarker, Friesland, and Brabantmarker, reflecting the various origins of the farmers. Hoofddorp, Venneperdorp or Nieuw Vennep, Abbenes, and the vicinities of the pumping stations are the spots where the population has clustered most densely.

In 1917 a military airport was built near the old fort of Schiphol. Nowadays, Schiphol Airportmarker is the major civilian aviation hub in the Netherlands, using 15% of Haarlemmermeer's land area. In 1926, Amsterdammarker's municipal council took over the management of Schiphol. After Stockholm's airportmarker, Schiphol was the second airport in Europe to have hardened runways, in 1937–1938. The name Schiphol means "ship hole". In the Dutch War of Independence there was a naval battle there.

Monuments and Parks

Cruquiusmuseum entrance, taken from Cruquiusmuseum park
  • Stelling van Amsterdammarker – the old defense line of Amsterdam crosses the Haarlemmermeer. Plans are being made to make this entire defense line walkable, but currently it is not possible to cross the major highway A4 that goes through it. This park is accessible at various points for recreation, including the Haarlemmermeersebos.
  • Haarlemmermeersebos – The largest public park in Haarlemmermeer and site of the International garden show Floriade in 2002, the park includes a large lake for swimming in the summer and a 40 meter manmade hill called Spotter's Hill.
  • Museum De Cruquiusmarker – the Cruquius museum resides in one of the steam mills used to pump the Haarlemmermeer dry and is open to the public for a demonstration of the steam engine and a model of the Netherlands waterways and polders. Because the Cruquius steam engine is the largest ever built, the museum is an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage. Behind the museum is a park.
The Hydra Pier -

Economy

Arkefly, Martinair, and Transavia.com have their headquarters on the grounds of Schiphol Airport in Haarlemmermeer.

Transportation

Roadways

One of the busiest freeways in the Netherlands, the A4 from Amsterdam to Den Haag, crosses right through Haarlemmermeer. Other freeways are the A5, from Hoofddorp to Badhoevedorp, A9 from Alkmaar to Diemen and the A44, from Nieuw Vennep to Wassenaar.

Calatrava bridges

In the presence of HM Queen Beatrix in 2004 three bridges designed by the Spanishmarker architect Santiago Calatrava were opened. The bridges span the main canal of the Haarlemmermeer and are named after three string instruments; Harp, Cittern, and Lute.Unfortunately, in 2006 two of those bridges' structures already displayed clear signs of corrosion.

Air transport

Schiphol Airportmarker, the principal international airport of the Netherlands is also situated in Haarlemmermeer. Its destinations are worldwide.

Railway

Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the Dutch national railway company, serves the municipality with three stations: Hoofddorp, Nieuw-Vennep, and Schiphol.

Water transport

The Ringvaart is an important waterway for commercial and recreational boats alike. A portion of it forms part of the sailroute from Hollands Diepmarker to the IJsselmeermarker, passable for ships with masts over 6 meters tall. There is also a connection to the Kaag Lake system (Kagerplassenmarker), which extends to Leiden and beyond.

There are several canals within Haarlemmermeer itself, the main ones are Hoofdvaart (Main Canal) and Kruisvaart (Cross Canal). But these had initially no connection to the outside waterways, meaning that goods had to be reloaded at the ring dike. In 1895 a double canal lock was built at Aalsmeermarker, boosting the economy. In the 1950s this lock was closed and the canals are once again no longer used for shipping.

Local government

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

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

The following cities have a sister city relationship with the Haarlemmermeer municipality:

References



External links




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