1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Medemblik
MEDEMBLIK, a seaport of Holland, on the Zuider Zee, the terminus of a branch railway from Hoorn, 10½ m. S. Pop. (1903), 3012. Once the capital of West Friesland and a prosperous town, many of its streets and quays are now deserted, though the docks and basins constructed at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries could still afford excellent accommodation for many ships. Close to the harbour entrance stands the castle built by Florens V., count of Holland, in 1285. It has been restored, and is used as a court of justice. The West church, formerly called after St Boniface, the apostle of Germany, was once the richest in Friesland, and belonged from an early date to the cathedral chapter at Utrecht, where, until the Reformation, the pastor of Medemblik had a seat in the cathedral. It contains the tomb of Lord George Murray (q.v.). Among the public buildings are the town-hall (17th century), weigh-house, orphanage, the old almshouse, the house (1613) of the Water Commissioners, and a large building formerly belonging to the admiralty and now used as a state lunatic asylum. There are many interesting brick houses, dating chiefly from the first half of the 17th century, with curious gables and picturesque ornamentation, carvings and inscriptions.