on the square are beautiful old buildings like the Westfries Museum, the Waag and the statue of Jan Pieterszoon Coen (he was born in Hoorn) This square is the beginning of a shopping area
"Rode Steen"(the red stone) is called that way because of all the blood that flew after an execution. The stone on the square is a copy. The original red stone, soaked through blood you can find in the Westfries Museum
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.
While in Hoorn visit the Westfries Museum, This beautiful 1632 building holds 17th-century artifacts brought from Indonesia by ships of the United East India Company (V.O.C.), armor, weapons, paper cuttings, costumes, toys, naive paintings (which embody a style that is deliberately "childlike"), coins, medals, jewels, civic guards' paintings, porcelain, and a second-floor exhibit that details the town's maritime history. There are also tapestries and 17th- and 18th-century period rooms. A collection of Bronze Age relics is exhibited in the basement. The museum is open April through September, Monday through Friday from 11am to 5pm, Saturday from 2 to 5pm, Sunday from noon to 5pm; October through March, Monday through Friday from 11am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5pm. Admission is 4€ for adults, 2€ for seniors and children under 17.
You find this old house a few steps from the museum of the 20th century.
Maybe you think this house is sinking away. Wrong! The 16th century building experts did this on purpose. So the woodwork will stay dry most of the time when it's raining. The house has a nice wooden rain-water drain.
Across from one of Hoorn's most beutiful facades, where the Houten Hoofd begins and flanked by mast and rigging, the striking semi-circular Hoofdtoren (Main Tower) has stood watch since 1532 at the intersection of the inner and outer harbours.It forms part of the former town wall.
As I said, I was in a hurry that day. Only when it was too late I realized that I missed a few important buildings. Ther's a truly mahnificent city-gate, the Koepoort, a fantastic defensive tower, the Hoofdtoren, and yet another tower, a bit smaller but still worth a good look, the Mariatoren.
The Roman Catholic H.H. Cyriacus en Franciscus dates from 1879-1882 and was designed by A.C. Bleys. This architect, who was born in Hoorn, later designed the St. Nicolaas in Amsterdam, which in many ways is a bigger and perfected version of this church. Unusual for a Roman Catholic church is the neo-Renaissance style it was built in. Catholic churches in that period were mostly in neo-Gothic style; neo-Renaissance was the preferred style of the protestant 'enemy'.
The Grote Kerk ('Great Church') was built in 1881-1883 after a predecessor had burned down in 1879. The church was designed by architect C. Muysken and is in neo-Renaissance style. It's no longer in use as a church, inside are now apartments and at least one shop.
Hoorn is one of several towns in a region that used to belong to Friesland but was conquered by Holland in the 13th century, after three centuries of agression . Yes, already then Holland tried to dominate all of the Netherlands. It took them four more centuries before that goal was completely accomplished.
The name of this region is Westfriesland and Hoorn was its capital. This region used to have its own "parliament" which met in this building, called Statencollege and which was built in 1632. As the current name suggests this is now a museum. I'm not sure of what. Anyway, it's an impressive little building, but somehow I think the proportions are a bit strange.
A nice early-Renaissance facade graces this former hospital, which dates from 1563. It's now used for exhibitions of the work of local artists. It's also known as Boterhal ('butter hall'), a reminder of the period when butter and eggs were sold here.
The Noorderkerk is a three-aisled building in Gothic style. Work started in 1441, but since 1426 a wooden church had stood at this location, dedicated to Mary. The nave was completed in 1450, followed by the choir and the transept in 1453. Later side-aisle were added that since 1519 give the church from the outside the appearance of a hall-church. The church has a clock that is positioned like a signboard.
The Oosterkerk ('east church') has a facade in Manneristic style, possibly designed by Hendrick de Keyser and built in 1616, but apart from that the building is Gothic. This is the former church of St. Anthonis, built in 1519. Traditionally this was the church of the sailors. Like the Noorderkerk this church has a clock which is positioned like a signboard.
The Lutheran church dates from 1769 and was built in Classical style with Rococo influences. It replaced a hidden church which was built behind several houses and could not be seen from the street, as the official reformed church demanded. In 1922 the church was shortened at the backside.
Several organisers offer guided city walking tours.
I recommend you to go to the HEMA, the strating point for the guided tours in the summer.
Travelling through te past in wooden coaches, pulled by an authentic coal fired steam locomotive dating back till 1900 is possible throughout the year between the towns of Hoorn and Medemblik.