Haarlem: The City of Flowers
Back in the 16th century when tulips and tulip bulbs were worth their weight in gold, Haarlem is still today, a global supplier of tulips and other flowers. Thus, The City of Flowers!
Haarlem is a city and municipality in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland and is situated at the northern edge of the Randstad, one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe. Haarlem itself, had a population of 159,556 in 2017.
The city is located on the river Spaarne, situated about 20 km (12 mi) west of Amsterdam and near the coast on the North Sea. Haarlem has been the historical center of the tulip bulb-growing district for centuries and bears its other nickname ‘Bloemenstad’ (flower city) for this reason.
The name Haarlem or Haarloheim actually means ‘home on a forested dune’, and gave its name to Harlem USA in 1658, when the Dutch built a fort there to protect New Amsterdam from Indian attacks. In 1219 the knights of Haarlem were celebrated by Count Willem I, because they had conquered the Egyptian port of Damietta defeating the Muslims there during the 5th Crusade to take back Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslims.
In the 14th century all the city’s buildings were made of wood, and fire was a great risk. In 1328 nearly the whole city burnt down. Rebuilding it would take more than 150 years. Then again on June 12,1347 there was another fire in the city. The original shape of the old city was square, which was inspired by the shape of ancient Jerusalem.