Ratianda travels the entertainment buzz!

15 January 2010

Haarlem Up-Close & Personal

Coming to you from Haarlem, our Columnist of Ratianda proudly brings you "Haarlem, Up-Close & Personal".

Firstly, Haarlem had a total population 148 885 in 2009. The municipality of Haarlem also comprises part of the village of Spaarndam, a newer housing estate of this village forms part of the neighbouring municipality of Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude.

The city is located on the river Spaarne, about 20 km west of Amsterdam and near the coastal dunes. It has been the historical center of the tulip bulb-growing district for centuries and bears the nickname 'Bloemenstad' (flower city), for this reason.

How it began?
The oldest mentioning of Haarlem dates from the 10th century. The name comes from "Haarlo-heim" or "Harulahem", which means 'place, on sand covered with trees, higher than the others'. There was a stream called "De Beek", dug from the peat grounds west of the river Spaarne as a drainage canal. Over the centuries the Beek was turned into an underground canal, as the city grew larger and the space was needed for construction. Over time it began to silt up and in the 19th century it was filled in. The location of the village was a good one: by the river Spaarne, and by a major road going south to north. By the 12th century it was a fortified town, and Haarlem became the residence of the Counts of Holland

OKAY! Back to the present... (I know you're getting sleepy, me too... lolx)
The weather is cool but freezing at the same time. It's a very classic, yet, "heavenly" view not to be missed!
Here are some pictures taken next to the River Spaarne in Haarlem (the Northern side of Holland).

Along the river Spaarne,was formerly the Maria Stichting (sort of a foundation), a Roman Catholic Hospital and Childrens Orphanage

Oh! Before I forget, do notice that the river is utterly frozen! People ice skate here too.
There are also boat houses on the river too.

Ooo... Do not miss this! Haarlem's very own friendly neighborhood 24/7. A sight not to be missed!

Want to know more about Haarlem? Click Here

Would love to shout out a great big "THANK YOU" to our Columnist of Ratianda all the way from The Netherlands!
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