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Haarlemmermeer (population: 127,750 in 2004) is a municipality in the north-western Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. The municipality covers an area of 185.28 km² (of which 5.52 km² water). It is a polder, land created from the sea. The name Haarlemmermeer means "Lake Haarlem".

The main town is Hoofddorp. It also comprises Schiphol Airport. There are train stations there and in Nieuw-Vennep.

The municipality of Haarlemmermeer includes the following towns, villages and townships: Aalsmeerderbrug, Abbenes, Badhoevedorp, Beinsdorp, Boesingheliede, Buitenkaag, Burgerveen, Cruquius, De Hoek, Kabel, Leimuiderbrug, Lijnden, Lisserbroek, Nieuwe Meer, Nieuwebrug, Oude Meer, Rijsenhout, Rozenburg, Schiphol/Rijk, Vijfhuizen, Weteringbrug, Zwaanshoek, Zwanenburg.


The Haarlemmermeer is said to have been a relic of a northern arm of the Rhine which passed through the district in the time of the Romans. In 1531 the Haarlemmermeer had an area of 6430 acres (26 km²), and in its vicinity were three smaller sheets of water: the Leidsche Meer, the Spiering Meer, and the Oude Meer, with a united area of about 7600 acres (31 km²).

The four lakes were formed into one by successive inundations, whole villages disappearing in the process, and by 1647 the new Haarlemmermeer had an area of about 37,000 acres (150 km²), which a century later had increased to over 42,000 acres (170 km²).

As early as 1643 Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater proposed to endike and drain the lake. Similar schemes, among which those of Nikolaas 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 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.

A canal was first dug round the lake for the reception of the water ftnd the accommodation of the great traffic which had previously been carried on (ringvaart). This canal was 38 miles (61 km) in length, 123146 ft (38 km) wide, and 8 ft (2.4 m) deep, and the earth which was taken out of it was used to build a dike from 30 to 54 yd (30 to 50 m) broad containing the lake. The area enclosed by the canal was rather more than 70 mile² (180 km²), and the average depth of the lake 13 ft 1.5 in (4 m), and as the water had no natural outfall it was calculated that probably 1000 million tons would have to be raised by mechanical means.

This amount was 200 million tons in excess of that actually discharged. Three steam-engines, de Leeghwater, de Cruquius en de Lynden, were built. Pumping began in 1848, and the lake was dry by July 1, 1852. At the first sale of the highest lands along the banks on the 16th of August 1853, about 28 per acre was paid; but the average price afterwards was less. The whole area of 42,096 acres (170 km²) 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 sufficiently fertile, 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 for working them. Corn, seeds, cattle, butter and cheese are the principal produce.

The roads which traverse the commune are bordered by pleasant-looking farm-houses built after the various styles of Holland, Friesland or Brabant. Hoofddorp, Venneperdorp or Nieuw Vennep, Abbenes and the vicinities of the pumpingstations are the spots where the population has clustered most thickly.

Haarlemmermeer now is the name of the municipality in the province of North Holland, constituted by the law of the July 16, 1855. Its population increased from 7237 in 1860 to 16,621 in 1900.

The first church was built in 1855; in 1877 there were seven. In 1854 the city of Leiden laid claim to the possession of the new territory, but the courts decided in favor of the nation.

In 1917 a military airport was built near the old fort Schiphol. Nowadays, this airport is one of the major civilian aviation hubs.

In 1926 the Amsterdam municipality took over the management of Schiphol. After the airport of Stockholm, Schiphol was the second airport in Europe to have hardened runways in 1937-1938.

External links

  • Official Website (http://www.haarlemmermeer.nl)
  • [1] (http://www.sdu.nl/staatscourant/gem/gem194nh.htm)

Template:Province North Holland pde:Haarlemmermeer id:Haarlemmermeer nl:Haarlemmermeer


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