Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hoorn (population: 67,952 in 2004) is a municipality and a town in the north-western Netherlands, in the province of North Holland, and was the main market-town for the region of West-Friesland. The municipality covers an area of 52.24 km² (of which 32.93 km² is water).
The municipality of Hoorn also includes the following towns, villages and townships: Blokker , Zwaag.
Founded in 1357, Hoorn rapidly grew to become a major harbour town. During Holland's 'Golden Century', Hoorn was an important home base for the Dutch East India Company 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. In 1616, the explorer Willem Corneliszoon Schouten braved furious storms as he rounded the southernmost tip of America. He named it Kaap Hoorn (Cape Horn) in honour of his hometown.
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 Friesian 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.
Another famous person from Hoorn is Jan Pieterszoon Coen (1587-1629) who is famous for his raids in Dutch Indies (now Indonesia). He also founded the city of Batavia (now Jakarta). He has a big statue on the Roode Steen square in the center of Hoorn.
For the Count of Horne see Eighty Years' War.
Zwaag is a town on the north side of Hoorn. It received city rights in 1406. Zwaag was until 1980 a litle village with cadle holders and farmers. It became part of Hoorn around that time and Hoorn could grow bigger. Now almost all of the farmers has left the village and there are lots of houses and industy build over there. for more info http://plaats.nl/?Zwaag_Hoorn_Noord-Holland&town=2703&nset=1 (in Dutch)
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