Some history on Haarlem in Nederland

Photographs of Haarlem

Haarlem : Grote Houtstraat [c.1956]
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Haarlem : Stadhuis [c.1948]
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Haarlem : St. Bavokerk [c.1937]
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Haarlem : Kaasmarkt met Waaggebouw [c.1918]
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Contemporary Photographs

Haarlem : Sign for Apotheek at Gierstraat 3 [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 18th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

This striking wooden sign denotes a chemist's shop at Gierstraat 3. The shop still retails Haarlemmerolie, a remedy invented in the 17th century by the schoolmaster Claes Tilly. Claimed to be a remedy for all ailments, many people of Haarlem make a regular trip here to top up their medicine cabinet. However, not everyone is convinced that the oil contains any beneficial effects. Quackery is a term that gets banded about, though some suggest that one cannot rule out the positive benefits of a placebo.

Haarlem : Shop Interior of Apotheek at Gierstraat 3 [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 18th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

Whether one is a believer or sceptic, there is no denying the charm of the shop of A. J. van der Pigge, an emporium dating from 1849. With apothecary jars, ancient scales and old memorabilia, it is something of a time capsule. The building is wedged within a former department store that boasts elements of art deco. Vroom & Dreesmann, the Dutch chain of department stores, wanted the whole corner plot. Buying up all the old properties, the company cleared the site. However, the proprietor of this old shop dug his heels in and refused to sell. As a result the department store was erected around the defiant retailer who refused to budge. It now remains a marvellous juxtaposition within the cityscape of Haarlem.

Haarlem : Korte Houtstraat [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 18th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

The occupants within the narrow streets of Haarlem have very little space for gardening. However, the residents of Korte Houtstraat clearly have green fingers for they have created a little oasis within the city. This has seemingly started a trend as other thoroughfares have also made the best of their limited space to help the local insects and invertebrates.

Haarlem : Catharijnebrug [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 18th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

We just happened to roll up to Catharijnebrug as it was being closed. Designated as a national monument in 1999, the swing bridge was built to the designs of Jacques Leijh in 1902-3. A former Catharijne Bridge was a wooden structure, a drawbridge that up to the 18th century formed part of the fortifications around Haarlem.

Haarlem : Molen De Adriaan [2024]
© Photo taken by author on May 18th, 2024. DO NOT COPY

On the bank of the River Spaarne, the Molen De Adriaan dates from 1779. The favourable height of the windmill was achieved by its construction on the foundations of the Goe Vrouwtoren, part of the former fortifications at Catrijnenpoort. It was Adriaan de Boois who obtained permission to construct the mill. He sold the smock mill to a tobacco merchant in the early years of the 19th century. The mill subsequently converted tobacco rolls into snuff powder. From 1865 the mill was used for the production of flour. The original mill was destroyed by fire in 1932. Both war and economics meant that the reconstruction did not take place until the end of the 20th century. It re-opened as a museum and events space in 2002.

Haarlem Coat-of-Arms

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