Posts

hunger winter
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Dutch History; the Hunger Winter.

Towards the end of WW2, a famine took place in the occupied Netherlands, instigated by the German forces during the winter of 1944-45. It is estimated some 22,000 Dutch citizens died of starvation. Operation Market Garden. Operation…
Zwarte Piet
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Dutch History; Zwarte Piet.

Zwarte Piet is a controversial character – whether you believe him to be racist or not, in this article we will be taking a look instead at Zwarte Piets’ history, where did he come from, and who exactly is he. Zwarte Piet (Black Pete)…
Marc de Haan
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Dutch History; Sint-Maarten Dag, the Dutch Halloween.

Sint-Maarten (St. Martin's Day) is a popular children's feast day in many parts of the Netherlands. On the evening of November 11th, small groups of children can be heard going up and down the street singing songs and reciting poems, equipped…
canal© Siebe Baarda
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Dutch History; The oldest Tow Canal and the Amsterdamse Poort.

The Haarlemmertrekvaart is a canal between Amsterdam and Haarlem. It was dug in 1631, making it the oldest tow-canal in Holland. Travel on tow canals was historically done by barges which were towed by animals and sometimes men, on…
Hofje
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Dutch History; Haarlem the home of the Hofjes

A hofje is a Dutch word for a courtyard with almshouses around it. They have existed since the Middle Ages. A hofje provided housing for elderly people (mostly women). They were privately funded and served as a form of social security. Hofjes…
Anthony Fokker
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Dutch History; Anthony Fokker, the Haarlem mechanic who changed the face of WWI.

Anthony Fokker, also known as the Flying Dutchman, built his first plane in 1910 and taught himself to fly. During WWI he introduced the gear system that made it possible to fire a machine gun through the propeller arc without hitting the blades. Anthony…
Henry Hope
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Dutch History; Henry Hope, the American who picked Haarlem for his pleasure Palace.

Henry Hope (1735–1811) was an Amsterdam merchant banker born in Boston, in Britain's Massachusetts Bay Colony in North America. He was a key figure in the Dutch East India Company and made a fortune. He built the Villa Welgelegen in Haarlem. Henry…
William the Silent
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Dutch History; William the Silent. How the Prince of Orange became an outlaw.

William the Silent or more commonly known as William of Orange was the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs that started the Eighty Years' War. He was born in the House of Nassau as Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. He became…
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Dutch History; Corrie ten Boom, how a watchmaker turned into a hero.

Corrie ten Boom was the first licensed female watchmaker in the Netherlands, who, along with her father, and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II by hiding them in her closet. Born in Haarlem…
Haarlem
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Dutch history; Molen de Adriaan the cement mixer.

The windmill, Molen de Adriaan was built on the foundations of the Goevrouwetoren by Adriaan de Booys, an industrial producer from Amsterdam. The Goevrouwetoren, or Goede Vrouwtoren (Goodwife Tower), was a tower built to help defend Haarlem…
Johan de Witt
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Dutch History; the gruesome murder of prime minister Johan de Witt.

After a disastrous defeat in the 'raamjaar', Johan de Witt and his brother was murdered and eaten by an angry mob, but is this true? A largely forgotten figure, Johan de Witt was once a key figure in Dutch politics. He was elected Grand…