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The three-lined market square is bordered with many restaurants and cafes. I reccomend you to visit one of these and to take excellent holland white beer – Wieckse witte (not sure the spelling is correct).
This is where it's all happening
Haarlem is a small, relaxing break from Amsterdam and this is a good place to spend some time. Grote Markt is a large square in front a massive church. This is where the tourists gather and where the souvenir shops for Haarlem are. Try the fish from the stand accross the church for a real Dutch eating experience.
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.
VERWEY HAL AND VLEES HAL....
Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art.
The VERWEY HAL collection of modern and contemporary Art, which I can recommend to you...
The VLEES HAL: exhibition space for temp. exhibitions.
Visit the 'Vleeshal'. It's...
Visit the 'Vleeshal'. It's build in 1603 and now also a part of the Frans Halsmuseum. I didn't had the time to visit it yet but the outside is also very beautiful.
Now it's a building for expositions.....
Visit the Verweyhal, also a...
Visit the Verweyhal, also a part of the Frans Halsmuseum. You can see the modern art-collection of the museum. This building is named by the impressionist Kees Verwey (1900-1995), of course there
is a lot of work from hin to see. Also some work to see from the famous 'Cobra'-group.
I also didn't had the time to visit but I'm sure it will be the first thing to do when I visit Haarlem again...........
The city hall of Haarlem is located on the Grote Markt opposite the St. Bavo church. The oldest parts of the building were built way back in 1250!! You can only visit the Stadhuis when you made an appointment in advance.
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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It stands on the very place from where the history of the city began (Pfalzgraf castle). It was reconstructed several times and as the result you can see Reinassance loggia on the left wing.
It's the historical kernel of the city. It's surrounded by Gild houses as it's usual for Medieval town building traditions.
The day I was in Haarlem there was a contemporary market on the old Market square, though all these tents prevented me of taking proper pics ;)))
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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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.
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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!
- Historical Travel
The centre of historical Haarlem
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.....
- Historical Travel
Laurens Jansz Koster,
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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