Visit Holland - The Netherlands


Hoorn  is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. It is located on the IJsselmeer, 35 kilometres north of Amsterdam, and acquired city rights in 1357.

Hoorn has 70,196 inhabitants (CBS: 3 March 2010). The area of the municipality is 52.49 km² (32.62 km² consists of water, mainly the Markermeer), and consists of the following villages and/or districts: Blokker, Hoorn, Zwaag, and parts of Bangert and De Hulk.

Cape Horn, the most southerly point of the Americas, was named after the town by Willem Schouten, who rounded it in 1616. The Hoorn Islands of the Oceanian nation of Wallis and Futuna are also named after this city. this city..

Westfries Museum HoornThe origin of the name Hoorn, even in old spelling Hoern(e) or Hoirne, is surrounded in myths. Hoorn's name, according to Old Frisian legends, is derived from the stepson of King Redbad (Radboud), called Hornus. Another story about the origin of the name is that it is derived from a sign depicting a post horn in an early 14th-century hanging outside one of the establishments situated on the Roode Steen Square. A third version says that the name was derived from the horn shape of one of its first ports. The author of the 'Origo Civitatis Hornensis' (see page. 256, 'Uit de schemer van Hoorns verleden') assumes that name Hoorn was derived from Damphoorn. Damphoorn is the medieval name for a weed that could be made into whistles, which grew in abundance in the area outside the dykes of Hoorn. Chronicler Velius rejects this statement because there are no old historical entries that Hoorn was called Damphoorn. He wrote: The name was from the start Hoorn: not (against better judgement) derived from the weed Damphoorn, if t'ghemeyne ghevoelen van noch heden hout (De name was van eersten af Hoorn: niet (behoudens beter oordeel) van het kruyt Damphoorn, als t'ghemeyne ghevoelen van noch heden hout). Velius also rejects the assertion that the name's origin is Dampter Horn: a neighbourhood of the village Dampten, which flooded and had fallen into disuse.

The name is most probably derived from Hornicwed, a name that is popping up in early mediaeval documents. The medieval meaning of hornic is 'corner', with wed or wedor being the medieval word for water. Many places and neighbourhoods in the Netherlands are called, even today; Heurne, Huurne and Horn. Hornicwed would therefore refer to the location of a corner on the coastline: the location of Hoorn at the Zuiderzee. We see hornic in the meaning of 'corner' also reflected in another municipality in the mediaeval County of Holland: Uithoorn, meaning uithoek, which refers to a certain occupied area (or corner) at some distance.

It is also sometimes argued that hornic refers to a corner in a dike, but this raises doubts: the coast of the Zuiderzee was originally farther away from Hoorn compared to the present day: the Westfriese Omringdijk ran, originating from the West, in a straight line to Schardam and in front of this dyke there were then low-lying tracts of land, where the village of Dampten was located according to Velius. This area was abandoned and flooded after 1391, following the abandonment of the old dyke. A new dyke was build farther inland, resulting in a bay which is now the Hoornse Hop. Hoorn was already in existence then.

The Hoofdtoren (harbour) from the lakeFounded in 716, Hoorn rapidly grew to become a major harbour town. During Holland's 'Golden Age' (or 'Golden Century'), Hoorn was an important home base for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and a very prosperous centre of trade. The Hoorn fleet plied the seven seas and returned laden with precious commodities. Exotic spices such as pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and mace were sold at vast profits. With their skill in trade and seafaring, sons of Hoorn established the town's name far and wide. Jan Pieterszoon Coen (1587–1629) is famous for his violent raids in Dutch Indies (now Indonesia), where he "founded" the city of Batavia in 1619 (now Jakarta). He has a big statue on the Rode Steen square in the center of Hoorn.

In 1618 Willem Ysbrandtsz Bontekoe (1587–1657) undertook his first and only voyage for the VOC. His story of his travel and hardship found its way into the history books when he published his adventures in 1646 under the title Journael ofte gedenckwaerdige beschrijvinge van de Oost-Indische reyse van Willem Ysbrantsz. Bontekoe van Hoorn, begrijpende veel wonderlijcke en gevaerlijcke saecken hem daer in wedervaren ('Journal, or memorable description, of the East-Indian voyage of Willem Ysbrantz. Bontekoe of Hoorn, comprising many wondrous and dangerous things experienced by him'). In 1616, the explorer Willem Corneliszoon Schouten braved furious storms as he rounded the southernmost tip of South America. He named it Kaap Hoorn (Cape Horn) in honour of his home town.

Hoorn's fortunes declined somewhat in the eighteenth century. The prosperous trading port became little more than a sleepy fishing village on the Zuiderzee. Following the Napoleonic occupation, there was a period during which the town gradually turned its back on the sea. It developed to become the market for the entire West Frisian agricultural region. Stallholders and shopkeepers devoted themselves to trading in dairy produce and seeds. When the railway and metalled roads came to Hoorn in the late nineteenth century, the town rapidly took its rightful place as a conveniently located and readily accessible centre in the network of towns and villages which make up the province of Noord-Holland. In 1932, the Afsluitdijk, or Great Enclosing Dyke, was completed and Hoorn was no longer a seaport.

The years after the Second World War saw a period of renewed growth. At the centre of a flourishing horticultural region, Hoorn developed an extremely varied economy. During the 1960s, Hoorn was designated an 'overflow' city to relieve pressure on the overcrowded Randstad region. Thousands of people swapped their cramped little apartments in Amsterdam for a family house with garden in one of Hoorn's modern new developments.

On 26 March 2007, Hoorn celebrated 650 years as a city: in 1357 Hoorn was awarded city rights by the Count of Holland after a lump sum payment of 1500 "schilden" to the Count.

*  Affichemuseum
*  Historisch Museum Turkije-Nederland
*  Museumstoomtram Hoorn-Medemblik
*  Museum van de 20e Eeuw
*  Speelgoedmuseum De Kijkdoos
*  Westfries Museum
*  Oudheidskamer Kaap Hoornvaarders

Latest news

Germaine Kruip reveals the invisible in Amsterdam's Oude Kerk

From November 25, 2015 until March 27, 2016 under the title Geometry of the Scattering, the Oude Kerk presents an exhibition by Dutch artist Germaine Kruip. With the cooperation of curator Krist Gruijthuijsen, an ensemble of works was selected that has never been exhibited in the Netherlands before. Together with new work inspired by the monumental Oude Kerk, such as A Square, Spoken and Simultaneous Contrast, this exhibition also includes previous work that has been specially adapted for the exhibition space, including Column Untitled (2011) and Marble Untitled (2009).


Amsterdam Art Weekend from 26 – 29 November 2015

Amsterdam Art Weekend, from 26 – 29 November, turns Amsterdam into a city that breathes contemporary art. More than fifty participants.The fourth edition of Amsterdam Art Weekend, one of the most important art events of Amsterdam, takes place during the last weekend of November - not coincidentally the same weekend the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten opens its doors to the public.


City guide Amsterdam + Metropole region, an accessible route of Amsterdam's highlights

The guide has been developed by Accessible Travel Netherlands in cooperation with two other Amsterdam based companies; Field Factors and Starbikes Rental.


D(esign)-day Maastricht is looking for good design

D(esign)-day will host its tenth edition in May 2015. This special anniversary edition will unite exceptional, innovative, and unique designers from the Netherlands and abroad at one extraordinary location, and will feature an interesting programme that challenges both participants and visitors.


Rotterdam rises twenty places on the world ranking of convention cities

Rotterdam has been acclaimed as the second-ranking convention city in the Netherlands for the sixth year running. The metropolis on the Maas is sharing second place with The Hague this year.


Amsterdam: a creative and diverse capital

According to recent research carried out by the Martin Prosperity Institute, Amsterdam is one of the best developed cities in the world based on ‘the three T’s of economic development: Tolerance, Talent and Technology’.