Grote Markt, Haarlem

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    Stadthuis

    by leics Written Apr 4, 2015

    The Stadthuis is one of the three buildings which really stand out on Haarlem's Grote Markt (the others being St Bavo and the Vleeshal). It stands on the west of the square.

    Originally, from around 1100, there was a wooden building on the site which was used as a hunting lodge by the Counts of Holland. William ll (who preferred to live in Den Haag) donated the lodge to the city but it was largely destroyed by fires in 1337 and 1351.

    A new building was commissioned and what you can see today includes part of that early Medieval (1400s) building as well as later additions from the early 1600s. Before the changes of the 1600s only the front par of the building was used as a city hall. The rear was used as cloisters for a Dominican monastery.

    The building still functions as Haarlem's city hall, with administrative offices, the tourist information office and regular weddings. I haven't yet managed to see inside it, having always mistimed my visits, but I know that it houses many interesting historical artefacts as well as being of architectural interest itself.

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    Laurens Jansz Koster,

    by leics Written Apr 4, 2015

    Laurens Jansz Koster was born in Haarlem somewhere around 1370 and died somewhere around 1440. You'll find a large, verdigris-green statue of him in Haarlem's Grote Markt.

    Why? Because Koster, it seems, had the idea of printing at roighly the same time as Gothenburg and some people consider that Koster was the first to invent printing.

    Koster was an important Haarlem citizen, a sexton of St Bavo's church and at some point the city treasurer. The story is that he was carving letters from bark for his grandchildren when he noticed that the letters left an impression in the sand, and that gave him the idea of printing.

    Not enough evidence remains to prove one way or the other whether Koster actually invented printing. There are certainly no books or documented known to have been printed by him and the first Dutch book which can be accurately dated is from 1471.

    Whatever the truth of the story, Koster has long been regarded as a Haarlemer of great importance. The present statue dates, I believe, from 1856.

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    The centre of historical Haarlem

    by leics Written Apr 4, 2015

    Haarlem's huge Grote Markt is remarkably well-preserved, as long as you look above the horrid modern shopfronts which disfigure some of its buildings.

    For centuries this place has been the heart of Haarlem, the market square where stall-holders sell their wares on market days (Mondays and Saturdays, although the Monday market was very small when I visited) now just as they did hundreds of years ago.

    Ten streets lead onto the Grote Markt, a clear indication of its function as a central point, and since the square has been pedestrianised it has returned to something more like its past appearance. The wonderful Grote Kerk of St Bavo is still there, along with the ancient Vleeshal and the ornamented Stadthuis (both dating from the 1600s), and there are numerous cafes, bars and restaurants in the surrounding buildings.

    It would be very difficult to visit Haarlem without arriving in the Grote Markt at some point. I suggest you make a beeline for it as soon as you arrive, sit awhile and absorb a view which is much the same as the one you'd have seen 400 years ago.....

    Monday market Grote Markt gables
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    The Vleeshal

    by leics Updated Apr 4, 2015

    Haarlem's 'Vleeshal' (flesh hall) stands in the Grote Markt.

    The building dates from 1603 and, until the 1700s, it was the only place in Haarlem from which fresh meat could be sold. Preserved meats were sold in Warmoesstraat, at the side of the building.

    The Vleeshal was in use as a meat-market right up to 1840. In later years it housed the National Archives and Haarlem's public library but since 1950 it has been an art gallery/exhibition space for the Franz Hals Museum, with a small archaeological museum in the cellar.

    I particularly like the intricate gable ends (the building was designed by one Lieven de Key) but it is the ox-heads which fascinate. Their job, like the ram's head above them, was to indicate the function of the building to those who could not read (the vast majority of the population)....but it is the look of complete surprise on the faces of those oxen which most appeals!

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    Grote Markt / Big Market square

    by pieter_jan_v Updated Feb 15, 2015

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    The Haarlem Grote Market is a big square in center city. In its early days the square had no pavement and was called Het Sant (The Sand).
    The following buildings are located around the square:
    -Grote of Sint-Bavokerk church (80 meters high and the landmark of Haarlem)
    -The city hall
    -De Hoofdwacht
    -De Vishal (Fish Hall)
    -De Vleeshal (Meat Hall)
    -De Verweyhal

    A number of statues are located on the square; the one of Laurens Janszoon Coster is the best known one.

    Regular events on the square:
    -The Monday- and Saturday street market-
    -The fairs
    -The annual Jazz weekend
    -The comic book week
    -The musicians March in June

    Grote Markt - Haarlem Grote Markt and the the St. Bavo Church - Haarlem
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    Verweyhal

    by pieter_jan_v Written Jan 26, 2015

    The Verweyhal is a building at the corner of the Grote Markt (Big Market square) and the Grote Houtstraat street. It is named after Haarlem's famous painter Kees Verwey.

    The building dates from 1880 and was designed by architect A.J. van Beek. He won a contest to design a building for the local cultural society "Trou moet Blycken". Unfortunately the cost to build the building was more than the society could provide, even after renting out the ground floor as shop space. When the money ran out, the city bought the building, which in 1925 was sold to the Spaarnebank.

    In 1978 the city again became the owner and some municipal departments were housed here.
    In 1992 the building was renovated to become a part of the Hallen museum, with this part devoted to Kees Verwey.

    Verweyhal - Haarlem Verweyhal - Haarlem
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    VLEESHAL

    by breughel Updated Jul 29, 2013

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    This is certainly the most elegant building of the Grote Markt. The Haarlem town authorities wanted a rich decorated meat market, a real prestige building and that is what the town architect Lieven de Key (one of the many Flemish immigrants) provided in 1604 by using much natural stone in combination with bricks.
    The style of the Vleeshal is described by some as "Hollands Renaissance" because of the many ornaments; "manierist" style is also used.

    Regulations inside the Vleeshal were very strict: no slaughtering, no walking around, no playing and, very understandable, dogs were strictly prohibited. The rent for the butcher was high: 30 florins per year.

    The Vleeshal as well as the Verweyhal are now an annexe of the Frans Hals museum under the name "De Hallen".
    This summer (2013) De Hallen Haarlem shows a retrospective of modern and contemporary Dutch portraiture from the past hundred years.

    Vleeshal and Verweyhal Vleeshal facade Isaac Israel temporary exhibition
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    Grote Markt

    by mvtouring Written Dec 2, 2012

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    You will visit Grote Markt wether you wanno or not. The Grote Markt is the central market square of Haarlem and has been so for centuries. It is the centre-piece for many of Haarlem's famous buildings, including the City Hall, The Vlesshal, Hoofwacht and Saint Bavo Cathedral. The Grote Marky square is very lively and is still very much the focal point of the city, with many bars and restaurants around the square. A colourful market is held here on Mondays and Saturdays.

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    Town Hall - Stadhuis

    by Mikebb Updated Nov 29, 2012

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    We visited Haarlem on an overcast day late August 2013. Not an ideal day for photos but pleasant enough to walk this small city.
    The Stadhuis is located on Grote Markt at the opposite end to the Grote Kerk (St Bavo's).
    The day we visited much of the building was covered for renovations, however we were able to appreciate the grandness of the building built 1690.
    The Stadhuis is open to the public 9am to 4pm , Monday to Friday. Not open Saturday and Sunday.

    Stadhuis  - Town Hall Haarlem Stadhuis - Section of Town Hall Stadhuis - Anno 1630 Stadhuis - Right Side of Town Hall Stadhuis - Close Up Side of Building
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    Cafes & Restaurants Surround Grote Markt

    by Mikebb Updated Nov 28, 2012

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    Grote Markt is the centre of the Old Town, a large square with the Grote Kerk at one end and Town Hall at the other end.
    On the sides of the Grote Markt there are many restaurants and cafes, most also provide wine and beer.The buildings are multi story and all look as though they have been there for centuries.

    We enjoyed our coffee and Dutch Apple Cake as we absorbed the activity around this vibrant square.

    Enjoying Dutch Apple Cake with View of Cathedral Restaurants on Opposite Side of Grote Markt Grote Markt - Cafes & Restaurants Everyside
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    Dutch Applecake - First Choice with Coffee

    by Mikebb Updated Nov 24, 2012

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    After walking around for a few hours enjoying the Haarlem historic sights we came to Grote Markt. A huge square with Grote Kerk dominating the scene with a supporting cast of magnificent historic buildings defining the square.

    Many of the buildings now have resturants and cafes operating from the ground floor. Make your choice, they all have outdoor tables providing excellent view of the Grote Markt & Kerk.

    We chose the Dutch Applecake with coffee. Far too much for one person, but we ordered one each and managed not to leave any for the hovering pidgeons.

    Dutch Applecake with Cream - Nothing Better!
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    Grote Markt

    by June.b Updated Jun 19, 2010

    I didn't actually surveyed much of Haarlem area as I was in fact most of the time in Amsterdam even though my first 2 nights is in Haarlem.

    So I cannot offer much "things to do or see".

    For one, Grote Markt juz cuz I stayed right in the midst of it. Grote Markt is the main market square - and it's the biggest - in Haarlem. People choose to converge here because of the large plaza and several dining options and outdoor cafes.

    Plus your voice echoes when you shout, laugh or raise your conversations at night -- might be the effect of your voice bouncing against the tall walls of the St. Bavo church? Believe me, it does, because I could hear laughters and conversations from my hotel room on 3rd floor from the window that sounds like coming from a big tin drum.

    I mean, seriously?

    .
    I think there are also some kind of market selling different stuff during the day maybe on certain days cuz when I came back late afternoon from Amsterdam some mobile stores are packing and a mobile plants shop is still there.

    The cute-looking red building that is the city hall is also situated in the Grote Markt, the Vleeshal (translated literally as "meat hall).

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    Grote Markt

    by Britannia2 Written Jul 28, 2009

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    A large pleasing city square that has the famous St Bavo Kerk within , the statue of Coster a number of shops and cafes/restaurants. Famous as the only place in Holland where a waiter tried to short change me so beware. Coster was an important citizen of Haarlem and held the position of sexton (Koster) of Sint-Bavokerk. He probably perished in the plague that Haarlem suffered in 1439-1440. Thought by the Dutch to be the man who invented printing - I thought it was Caxton in England and the Germans claim to have the worlds first printer too! However its an impressive statue and probably Hollands best city square - very big and open with a real sense of space that is spoiled by the pofferjte food van in its middle. At least its traditional - it would be a burger van in other countries.

    Grote Markt This catering van spoils the beautiful square Beautiful gables in the Grote Markt
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    GROTE MARKT in 1696

    by breughel Written Aug 2, 2007

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    When you look at this painting of the Grote Markt in 1696 by Gerrit Berckheyde and a photo made this summer there is not so much difference.
    What is different is the statue of Laurens Coster, the bicycles instead of horses and the Verweyhal (build in1880) next to the Vleeshal.

    Grote Markt Haarlem 1696, by Gerrit Berckheyde Grote Markt Haarlem 2007
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    GROTE MARKT - Vishal (Old) Fish market.

    by breughel Written Aug 2, 2007

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    Alongside the St-Bavo church, left from the main entrance, is a low building from 1796 which was once the fish market and is now an exhibition hall for modern art.

    Before this modern "vishal" existed an older one from 1603 also next to the church as shown by this painting from 1692 by Gerrit Adriaensz Berckheyde (see photo).
    One would ask why put a fish market, and its odours at a period were refrigeration was not common, next to a church?

    It happens that on this side of the church the fish market was always in the shadow of the high church building what was obviously better for the freshness of the fish.
    The painting shows very well the contrast between this part in the shadow and the town hall of Haarlem, in the back of the painting, well in the sun.

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