Historic Haarlem

During our visit to Amsterdam last November, we took two trips outside the city. The first was to Haarlem, just 15 minutes away by train. As we left the station and walked towards the main square, we were already noticing lots of interesting historic and decorative buildings.

The square, Grote Markt, is the heart of the city  where we admired St Bavokerk, the 14th century Town Hall, and a statue to Laurens Coster who is believed by Haarlemmers to have a claim, along with Gutenberg, to be the inventor of moveable type.

There is a small Tourist Information Office in the Town Hall, so we headed there to pick up a walking map of the old town which we followed for the rest of the day. At first we passed mostly shops, some of which retained traditional signs such as this chemist (1849) and baker (1900).

Then we turned into residential areas, a higgledy-piggledy mix of narrow streets, small squares, churches and alms-houses.

Our steps then led us to 62 Groot Heiligland, formerly a poorhouse where the artist Frans Hals (1582-1666) spent his final years, and now a museum dedicated to him. We saw two interesting exhibitions, The Art of Laughter and A Global Table – both very good, but long over now so no point in me recommending them! Do you recognise Frans Hals’s friend in the bottom picture?

It seems our walk took us down to the canal after the museum. I really should write these trips up nearer the time – even with my map, I’m struggling to remember what all the buildings are, so much of the gallery below is not captioned.

A last hurrah for some more decorative features:

Then, in the faded light of late afternoon, we arrived back at Grote Markt from where we headed for the train.

With a few minutes to wait, we admired the art deco station, a national monument.

My Fitbit recorded 20,355 steps on this day, the second highest for our week in Amsterdam. The highest (almost 26,000) was the other day trip we did, to Utrecht. A post on that is coming soon – if I can remember it! In the meantime, this post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk – today she’s in the beautiful North Yorkshire town of Knaresborough.

86 thoughts on “Historic Haarlem

  1. Joanne Sisco May 2, 2018 / 12:37

    It’s amazing how far you can walk when sightseeing! You may not remember the names / purposes of all the buildings, but they still make for wonderful photos and memories.

    This series of posts on the Netherlands has made me miss my (Dutch) mother. In my head I can hear her pronouncing the names of things and places in your stories 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh May 2, 2018 / 15:49

      Oh, I’m so pleased to bring back happy memories, I didn’t know your mother was Dutch.


  2. Dr Sock April 25, 2018 / 07:36

    I am very taken with the decorative panels set into the buildings. I especially like the visual narratives, like the St. Elysabets guesthouse panel and the one where the man witha long spear is stabbing something. Fascinating!



    • Anabel Marsh April 25, 2018 / 07:52

      We were specifically looking out for these panels having admired so many in Amsterdam – they are totally fascinating!


  3. pommepal April 24, 2018 / 06:20

    Another interesting place and it is amazing how far you walk when there is so much to see.


  4. BeckyB April 22, 2018 / 06:35

    Oh another gorgeous walk. Loving the art deco.


  5. JEN Garrett April 22, 2018 / 01:39

    That art is really amazing! I love noticing art within architecture. The other day I pointed out a tiny mural of fairies near our home to my daughter. She found a penny near the mural and insisted the fairies had left it there. Later, she dropped the penny and we couldn’t find it so she told me, “Oh well, the fairies took their penny back.”


    • Anabel Marsh April 22, 2018 / 08:32

      Yes, so do I. Once you start looking for it, it is everywhere. Your daughter has a good imagination!


  6. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy April 21, 2018 / 18:23

    One of my work colleagues has been in Amsterdam this week. I had to call him yesterday (no rest for lawyers on vacation!), and he raved about the city. They went especially to see the tulips, and he says that is worth the trip alone.


    • Anabel Marsh April 21, 2018 / 19:25

      Oh yes, we visited Keukenhof Gardens for the tulips and other bulbs on a previous visit. It is amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. rosemaylily2014 April 21, 2018 / 08:58

    I love the photographs Anabel – you get a real sense of being on the walk with you. I don’t need captions to enjoy as I can get feel of the place. I do the same thing though – by the time I write up my posts I can’t remember all the exact locations! Haarlem looks a lovely historical town and a great day trip from Amsterdam 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh April 21, 2018 / 10:23

      Thanks! Haarlem was beautiful, glad you got the feel of it. Probably most people don’t look at the captions anyway, but I can’t shake that librarian mindset that everything has to be indexed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rosemaylily2014 April 24, 2018 / 03:40

        I have always captioned photos but have recently stopped doing that and am now just letting the photos speak for themselves. I know what you mean though it is nice to index them for posterity but hopefully they link to the text!


          • rosemaylily2014 April 24, 2018 / 07:25

            I felt it added a lot of time on to the writing of my posts without too much benefit. I find it easier to just slot the photos in – hopefully matching the text as much as possible!

            Liked by 1 person

  8. susan@onesmallwalk April 20, 2018 / 15:55

    Such a great day-trip. Love the up-dated oil with John’s face. Someone at the museum has a wonderful sense of fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh April 20, 2018 / 17:21

      I’m always amazed that John is willing to stick his head into these things and be photographed! He’s game.

      Liked by 1 person

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