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Hoofddorp, Netherlands - panoramio (24).jpg
Windmill in Hoofddorp
Haarlemmermeer vlag 2019.svg
Haarlemmermeer wapen 2018.svg
Coat of arms
Map - NL - Municipality code 0394 (2019).svg
Location in North Holland
Coordinates: 52°18′N4°42′E / 52.300°N 4.700°E / 52.300; 4.700 Coordinates: 52°18′N4°42′E / 52.300°N 4.700°E / 52.300; 4.700
Country Netherlands
Province North Holland
  Body Municipal council
   Mayor Marianne Schuurmans-Wijdeven (VVD)
  Total185.29 km2 (71.54 sq mi)
  Land178.66 km2 (68.98 sq mi)
  Water6.63 km2 (2.56 sq mi)
4 m (−13 ft)
 (January 2019) [4]
  Density863/km2 (2,240/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Haarlemmermeerder
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Parts of 1100, 1400, 2000 and 2100 ranges
Area code 020, 023, 0252, 0297
Website www.haarlemmermeer.nl

Haarlemmermeer ( [ˌɦaːrlɛmərˈmeːr] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. It is a polder, consisting of land reclaimed from water; the name Haarlemmermeer means Haarlem's lake, still referring to the body of water from which the region was reclaimed in the 19th century.


Its main town is Hoofddorp. It is one of the largest towns (population 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 Randstad agglomeration. The Netherlands' main international airport Schiphol is located in Haarlemmermeer.


Topographic map of Haarlemmermeer, June 2015 Gem-Haarlemmermeer-OpenTopo.jpg
Topographic map of Haarlemmermeer, June 2015

The original Haarlemmermeer lake is said to have been mostly a peat bog, a relic of a northern arm of the Rhine which passed through the district in Roman times. In 1531, the original Haarlemmermeer had an area of 26.0 square kilometres (10.0 sq mi), and near it were three smaller lakes: the Leidsche Meer (Leiden Lake), the Spiering Meer, and the Oude Meer (Old Lake), with a combined area of about 31 square kilometres (12 sq mi).

The four lakes were formed into one by successive floods, with the Haarlemmermeer name being applied to the combined lake. Villages disappeared in the process. One of those villages was Vennep, after which the modern Nieuw-Vennep was named. In Dutch, the tendency for lakes to grow over time is called the waterwolf.During the Dutch War of Independence, the waters of the Haarlemmermeer were the scene of the Battle of Haarlemmermeer, a naval engagement between a Spanish fleet and the ships of the Dutch rebels known as "Sea Beggars", who were trying to break the Siege of Haarlem.

Historic map of the Haarlemmermeer before reclamation. Oude Haarlemmermeer.jpg
Historic map of the Haarlemmermeer before reclamation.

The Haarlemmermeer could be a dangerous place during storms. It claimed a famous victim on 7 January 1629, when Frederick Henry of the Palatinate, son and heir of Frederick V, the "Winter King" drowned trying to cross it. By 1647 the new Haarlemmermeer had an area of about 150 square kilometres (58 sq mi), which a century later had increased to over 170 square kilometres (66 sq mi).

In 1643, Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater proposed to dike 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 Amsterdam, and another on Christmas Day sent them in the opposite direction to submerge the streets of Leiden, that the mind of the nation was seriously turned to the matter.

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

First, a canal was dug around the lake, called Ringvaart (Ring Canal), to carry the water drainage and boat and ship traffic which had previously gone across the lake. This canal was 61 kilometres (38 mi) long, and 2.40 metres (7.9 ft) deep, and the excavated earth was used to build a dike from 30 to 50 metres (98 to 164 ft) wide around the lake. The area enclosed by the canal was more than 180 square kilometres (69 sq mi), and the average depth of the lake 4 metres (13 ft). As the water had no natural drainage, it was calculated that probably 1000 million tons of water would have to be raised by mechanical means.

Pumping Station Cruquius Pumping engine Cruquius.jpg
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 Hayle: the Leeghwater, the Cruquius (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 of water 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 170.36 square kilometres (65.78 sq mi) recovered from the waters brought in 9,400,000 guilders, 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. [5]

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 Leiden 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 16 July 1855. Its first mayor was Matthijs Samuel Petrus 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 Holland, Friesland and Brabant, 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 Airport is the major civilian aviation hub in the Netherlands, using 15% of Haarlemmermeer's land area. In 1926, Amsterdam's municipal council took over the management of Schiphol. After Stockholm's airport, Schiphol was the second airport in Europe to have hardened runways, in 1937–1938. The name Schiphol means "ship hole" and refers to the many ships lost due to storms in the former lake.

In the first half of the 20th century, a number of steam railway lines were built in Haarlemmermeer; most were abandoned only a couple of decades later. On 1 January 2019, the municipality of Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude merged with Haarlemmermeer. [6]

Population centres

The municipality of Haarlemmermeer consists of the following cities, towns and villages: Aalsmeerderbrug, Abbenes, Badhoevedorp, Beinsdorp, Boesingheliede, Buitenkaag, Burgerveen, Cruquius, De Hoek, Haarlemmerliede, Halfweg, Hoofddorp, 't Kabel, Leimuiderbrug, Lijnden, Lisserbroek, Nieuwe Meer, Nieuwebrug, Nieuw-Vennep, Oude Meer, Penningsveer, Rijsenhout, Rozenburg, North Holland  [ nl ], Schiphol, Schiphol-Rijk, Spaarndam (partly), Spaarnwoude, Vijfhuizen, Vinkebrug, Weteringbrug, Zwaanshoek, Zwanenburg.

Monuments and parks

Cruquiusmuseum entrance, taken from Cruquiusmuseum park Brokstuk-gemaal-blijdorp-polder.jpg
Cruquiusmuseum entrance, taken from Cruquiusmuseum park


TransPort Building - Houses the head offices of Martinair and Transavia.com Martinair and Transavia offices Schiphol-Oost.JPG
TransPort Building - Houses the head offices of Martinair and Transavia.com

Four airlines, Arkefly, [7] KLM Cityhopper, [8] Martinair, [9] and Transavia.com have their headquarters on the grounds of Schiphol Airport in Haarlemmermeer. [10] The airline alliance SkyTeam has its offices in the World Trade Center Schiphol building on the grounds of Schiphol Airport. [11] [12] Schiphol Group, which operates the airport, has its head office on the airport property. [13] Iran Air has its Netherlands sales office in the World Trade Center building. [14] Nippon Cargo Airlines has its Europe regional offices there as well. [15] Corendon Dutch Airlines has its head office in Lijnden, Haarlemmermeer. [16] Lijnden also has the Amsterdam branch office of Corendon Airlines. [17]

Also, the international organization representing air navigation service providers (air traffic controllers), Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) has its headquarters in Schiphol Airport.

At one time KLM had its head office on the grounds of Schiphol Airport. [18] Its current head office in Amstelveen had a scheduled completion at the end of 1970. [19] When Air Holland existed, its head office was in Oude Meer, Haarlemmermeer. [20] [21] At one time NLM CityHopper had its head office at the airport. [22]



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 Amsterdam Sloterdijk, A9 from Alkmaar to Diemen and the A44, from Nieuw-Vennep to Wassenaar.

Calatrava bridges

Calatrava bridge - Cittern Calatrava-Breck-Citer--w.jpg
Calatrava bridge - Cittern

In the presence of HM Queen Beatrix in 2004 three bridges designed by the Spanish 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. All the bridges are currently being repaired.


Schiphol Airport Amsterdam Schiphol Airport entry.jpg
Schiphol Airport

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


Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the Dutch National Railways, serves the municipality with three stations: Hoofddorp, Nieuw-Vennep, and Schiphol Airport (which serves high speed rail as well).

There was a network of local steam railways across Harlemmermeer in the early 20th century, the Haarlemmermeer railway lines.

Railway Leiden Centraal to Schiphol (part of line 10), with stations (municipalities in bold) and official station abbreviations:

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 Diep to the IJsselmeer, passable for ships with masts over 6 meters tall. There is also a connection to the Kaag Lake system (Kagerplassen), 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 Aalsmeer, boosting the economy. In the 1950s this lock was closed and the canals are once again no longer used for shipping.


Local government

Boardroom of the local government in Hoofddorp Raadzaal Haarlemmermeer.jpg
Boardroom of the local government in Hoofddorp

The municipal council of Haarlemmermeer consists of 39 seats, which are in 2014 divided as follows:

National government

The Netherlands Aviation Safety Board, during its existence, had its head office in Hoofddorp in Haarlemmermeer. [23] The Dutch Transport Safety Board, the successor agency, was established on 1 July 1999 and the Netherlands Aviation Safety Board was merged into the agency at that time. [24]

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

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

To honour the relationship, three structures in Hoofddorp are named after the sister cities: The Cebu Citybridge and the Hódmezővásárhely fountain.

Notable people

Hendrik Colijn, 1925 Hendrik Colijn (1925).jpg
Hendrik Colijn, 1925
Tineke Netelenbos, 2015 Tineke Netelenbos (2015).jpg
Tineke Netelenbos, 2015
Fanny Blankers-Koen, 1988 Fanny Blankers-Koen 1988.jpg
Fanny Blankers-Koen, 1988


Related Research Articles

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol airport in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, known informally as Schiphol Airport, is the main international airport of the Netherlands. It is located 9 kilometres southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer in North Holland. It is the third-busiest airport in Europe in terms of passenger volume and the busiest in Europe in terms of aircraft movement. The airport is built as a single-terminal concept: one large terminal split into three large departure halls.

Aalsmeer Municipality in North Holland, Netherlands

Aalsmeer is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Its name is derived from the Dutch for eel (aal) and lake (meer). Aalsmeer is bordered by the Westeinderplassen lake, the largest open water of the Randstad, and the Ringvaart Canal. The town is located 13 km (8 mi) southwest of Amsterdam.

Hoofddorp village in The Netherlands

Hoofddorp is the main town of the Haarlemmermeer municipality in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands. In 2009, the population was just over 73,000. The town was founded in 1853, immediately after the Haarlemmermeer had been drained. Hoofddorp is located 52° 18′ 21.96″ N and 4° 41′ 26.52″ E.

Nieuw-Vennep Place in North Holland, Netherlands

Nieuw-Vennep is a town in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, and lies about 10 km southwest of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. It has about 31,300 inhabitants, half of which live in the newly built district of Getsewoud. The built-up area of the town was 3.71 km2, and contained 7,513 residences. The wider statistical area of Nieuw-Vennep has a population of around 40,000. In 2001, Nieuw-Vennep had 17,886 inhabitants, which later doubled due to the development of Getsewoud.

Spaarne river in Haarlem

The Spaarne is a river in North Holland, Netherlands. This partially canalized river connects the Ringvaart to a side branch of the North Sea Canal. It runs through Haarlem, Heemstede, and Spaarndam.

Ringvaart Ringvaart of the Haarlemmermeer Polder

The Ringvaart is a canal in the province of North Holland, the Netherlands. The Ringvaart is a true circular canal surrounding the Haarlemmermeer polder and forms the boundary of the Haarlemmermeer municipality. Ringvaart is also the name of the dike bordering the canal.

Cruquius, North Holland Village in North Holland, Netherlands

Cruquius is a village in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, and lies about 4 km northwest of Hoofddorp.

Lijnden Village in North Holland, Netherlands

Lijnden is a village in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, and lies about 10 km west of Amsterdam.

Badhoevedorp Place in North Holland, Netherlands

Badhoevedorp is a town in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, and lies next to the Ringvaart around Haarlemmermeer at the side of the polder bordering Amsterdam / Amstelveen.

Oude Meer Hamlet in North Holland, Netherlands

Oude Meer is a hamlet in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, and lies about 7 km east of Hoofddorp.

A4 motorway (Netherlands) highway in the Netherlands

The A4 Motorway, also called Rijksweg 4, is a motorway in the Netherlands, running from Amsterdam southwards through the cities of The Hague and Rotterdam, to the Belgian border near Zandvliet, north of the city of Antwerp. The A4 is divided into two parts: the first and longest part from Amsterdam to the A15 near the city of Rotterdam. The second part starts near Heijningen, where the A29 and the A4 meet, going to the Belgian border.

Zuidtangent bus route

Zuidtangent is the former name of the bus rapid transit service between Haarlem, Nieuw-Vennep, and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The Zuidtangent has been established in 2002 and was renamed R-net (Randstad-net) in 2011 when it became part of the eponymous regional service. Across the entire R-net network vehicles will be painted into the original Zuidtangent colour palette of dark grey and red.

Museum De Cruquius museum in Cruquius, the Netherlands

The Museum De Cruquius occupies the old Cruquius steam pumping station in Cruquius, the Netherlands. It derives its name from Nicolaas Kruik (1678–1754), a Dutch land-surveyor and one of many promoters of a plan to pump the Haarlemmermeer dry. Like many well-educated men of his time, he latinized his name to Nicolaus Samuel Cruquius. During his lifetime the issue of the Haarlem Lake and how to pump it dry was international news, as the following excerpt from the Virginia Gazette on 31 May 1751 illustrates:

Nieuw-Vennep railway station railway station in the Netherlands

Nieuw-Vennep is a railway station in Nieuw-Vennep, Netherlands located on the Weesp–Leiden railway. It the second station in Nieuw Vennep; there existed an earlier one on the Hoofddorp–Leiden railway. This station opened in 1912 and closed in 1936.

Weesp–Leiden railway

The Weesp–Leiden railway is a railway line in the Netherlands which runs between the cities of Weesp and Leiden; the line also passes through and serves Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Amsterdam Airlines airline

Amsterdam Airlines was a Dutch charter airline with its head office in Schiphol-Rijk on the grounds of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands. Founded in 2007, Amsterdam Airlines used to provide both charter and wet lease services. It ceased its operation on October 31, 2011 and went bankrupt on November 22.

Amsterdam Lelylaan station railway station in the Dutch city of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Lelylaan is a railway, metro, tram and bus station in west Amsterdam. It is served by trains of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen and metros of the GVB. The station opened on 1 June 1986. It is located on the Amsterdam-Schiphol railway, a few km south of Amsterdam Sloterdijk railway station. South of this station, trains turn west towards Schiphol railway station, while metros turn east towards Amsterdam Zuid railway station. The station is located in the Amsterdam borough of Slotervaart, on a long viaduct spanning three roads.

Corendon Dutch Airlines airline

Corendon Dutch Airlines is a Dutch charter airline headquartered in Lijnden, Haarlemmermeer. It is a sister company of the Turkish Corendon Airlines and the Maltese Corendon Airlines Europe.

Amstelveenseweg metro station metro station

Amstelveenseweg is an Amsterdam Metro station in the south of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The station opened in 1997 and is served by line 50 and 51.

Schiphol Airport railway station railway station in the Netherlands

Schiphol Airport railway station is a major passenger railway station in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands. It is located directly beneath the terminal complex of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and is operated by the Nederlandse Spoorwegen. The station's six platforms are accessible via twelve escalators and three elevators located in the main concourse of the airport. The original station was opened in 1978, and the current station was opened in 1995. It connects the airport to Amsterdam and to various other cities in the Netherlands, as well as to Belgium and France.


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