1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Haarlem

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HAARLEM, a town of Holland in the province of North Holland, on the Spaarne, having a junction station 11 m. by rail W. of Amsterdam. It is connected by electric and steam tramways with Zandvoort, Leiden, Amsterdam and Alkmaar. Pop. (1900) 65,189. Haarlem is the seat of the governor of the province of North Holland, and of a Roman Catholic and a Jansenist bishopric. In appearance it is a typical Dutch town, with numerous narrow canals and quaintly gabled houses. Of the ancient city gates the Spaarnewouder or Amsterdam gate alone remains. Gardens and promenades have taken the place of the old ramparts, and on the south the city is bounded by the Frederiks and the Flora parks, between which runs the fine avenue called the Dreef, leading to the Haarlemmer Hout or wood. In the Frederiks Park is a pump-room supplied with a powerful chalybeate water from a spring, the Wilhelminabron, in the Haarlemmer Polder not far distant, and in connexion with this there is an orthopaedic institution adjoining. In the great market place in the centre of the city are gathered together the larger number of the most interesting buildings, including the quaint old Fleshers’ Hall, built by Lieven de Key in 1603, and now containing the archives; the town hall; the old Stadsdoelen, where the burgesses met in arms; the Groote Kerk, or Great Church; and the statue erected in 1856 to Laurenz Janszoon Koster, the printer. The Great Church, dedicated to St Bavo, with a lofty tower (255 ft.), is one of the most famous in Holland, and dates from the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th centuries. Its great length (460 ft.) and the height and steepness of its vaulted cedar-wood roof (1538) are very impressive. The choir-stalls and screen (1510) are finely carved, and of further interest are the ancient pulpit sounding-board (1432), some old stained glass, and the small models of ships, copies dating from 1638 of yet earlier models originally presented by the Dutch-Swedish Trading Company. The church organ was long considered the largest and finest in existence. It was constructed by Christian Müller in 1738, and has 4 keyboards, 64 registers and 5000 pipes, the largest of which is 15 in. in diameter and 32 ft. long. Among the monuments in the church are those of the poet Willem Bilderdyk (d. 1831) and the engineer Frederik Willem Conrad (d. 1808), who designed the sea-sluices at Katwyk. In the belfry are the damiaatjes, small bells presented to the town, according to tradition, by William I., count of Holland (d. 1222), the crusader. The town hall was originally a palace of the counts of Holland, begun in the 12th century, and some old 13th-century beams still remain; but the building was remodelled in the beginning of the 17th century. It contains a collection of antiquities (including some beautiful goblets) and a picture gallery which, though small, is celebrated for its fine collection of paintings by Frans Hals. The town library contains several incunabula and an interesting collection of early Dutch literature. At the head of the scientific institutions of Haarlem may be placed the Dutch Society of Sciences (Hollandsche Maatschappij van Wetenschappen), founded in 1752, which possesses valuable collections in botany, natural history and geology. Teyler’s Stichting (i.e. foundation), enlarged in modern times, was instituted by the will of Pieter Teyler van der Hulst (d. 1778), a wealthy merchant, for the study of theology, natural science and art, and has lecture-theatres, a large library, and a museum containing a physical and a geological cabinet, as well as a collection of paintings, including many modern pictures, and a valuable collection of drawings and engravings by old masters. The Dutch Society for the Promotion of Industry (Nederlaandsche Maatschappij ter Bevordering van Nijverheid), founded in 1777, has its seat in the Pavilion Welgelegen, a villa on the south side of the Frederiks Park, built by the Amsterdam banker John Hope in 1778, and afterwards acquired by Louis Bonaparte, king of Holland. The colonial museum and the museum of industrial art were established in this villa by the society in 1871 and 1877 respectively. Besides these there are a museum of ecclesiastical antiquities, chiefly relating to the bishopric of Haarlem; the old weigh-house (1598) and the orphanage for girls (1608), originally an almshouse for old men, both built by the architect Lieven de Key of Ghent.

The staple industries of Haarlem have been greatly modified in the course of time. Cloth weaving and brewing, which once flourished exceedingly, declined in the beginning of the 16th century. A century later, silk, lace and damask weaving were introduced by French refugees, and became very important industries. But about the close of the 18th century this remarkable prosperity had also come to an end, and it was not till after the Belgian revolution of 1830-1831 that Haarlem began to develop the manufactures in which it is now chiefly engaged. Cotton manufacture, dyeing, printing, bleaching, brewing, type-founding, and the manufacture of tram and railway carriages are among the more important of its industries. One of the printing establishments has the reputation of being the oldest in the Netherlands, and publishes the oldest Dutch paper, De Opragte Haarlemmer Courant. Market-gardening, especially horticulture, is extensively practised in the vicinity, so that Haarlem is the seat of a large trade in Dutch bulbs, especially hyacinths, tulips, fritillaries, spiraeas and japonicas.

Haarlem, which was a prosperous place in the middle of the 12th century, received its first town charter from William II., count of Holland and king of the Romans, in 1245. It played a considerable part in the wars of Holland with the Frisians. In 1492 it was captured by the insurgent peasants of North Holland, was re-taken by the duke of Saxony, the imperial stadholder, and deprived of its privileges. In 1572 Haarlem joined the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain, but on the 13th of July 1573, after a seven months’ siege, was forced to surrender to Alva’s son Frederick, who exacted terrible vengeance. In 1577 it was again captured by William of Orange and permanently incorporated in the United Netherlands.

See Karl Hegel, Städte und Gilden (Leipzig, 1891); Allan, Geschiedenis en beschrijving van Haarlem (Haarlem, 1871-1888).