THE WONDERS OF HAARLEM AND GROTE KERK
For centuries, Haarlem, the capital city of northern Holland, has been the hub of the bulb region and carries the name “City of Flowers” with pride. A walk around the historic buildings, canals and streets of this ancient Dutch marvel reveals both its modern and contemporary charm. The Calvinist Grote Kerk, the statue of printing pioneer Laurens Janszoon Coster, the innovative painting of Frans Hals and the events that led to the creation of the Corrie Ten Boomhuis house museum which drew the attention to the Jewish question in Nazi times all contribute to Haarlem's unique buzz.
What we will see
- Walk around the City of Flowers
- Visit to Grote Kerk: amazing example of Gothic architecture in the Netherlands
- Fantastic Grote Markt square and statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster
- Frans Hals Museum (external visit)
- Corrie Ten Boomhuis house museum (external visit)
- Free time to purchase souvenirs and for lunch
What we will do
- We leave the port of Ijmuiden behind us on a coach headed towards Haarlem. A short drive away, Bloemenstad or the City of Flowers welcomes us with its old canals and picturesque streets resembling a miniature Amsterdam where we tour the sights on foot. One of the oldest cities in Holland, Haarlem boasts wonderful historic buildings.
- One of these is the Grote Kerk where we visit the interior. The imposing Calvinist building is dedicated to Belgian monk Saint Bavo from Ghent and is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in the country. Grote Kerk has a Latin cross layout while the exterior, which should have featured two bell towers, remained unfinished. The interior is characterised by simple elements and a prevailing white colour white and is where the tomb stone of the famous painter Frans Hals can be found.
- Grote Kerk dominates Grote Markt square, where we find another important symbol of Haarlem: the statue depicting printing pioneer Laurens Janszoon Coster which is affectionately called “lautje” by the locals.
- We continue our walking tour through the Frans Hals Museum with a precious collection of artwork by the most prominent painters from the Dutch Golden Age as well as the vastest collection in the world of paintings by Frans Hals, known mostly for his portraits of Haarlem citizens and group portraits.
- We then pass by the house of Corrie Ten Boom, now the Corrie Ten Boomhuis house museum with its privileged position in the city centre. Most of the building is still the way it used to be in the 1940s and it is also possible to see the “hiding place”, i.e. the small room behind Corrie’s bedroom wall where the Jews and other people persecuted by the Nazis used to hide. The museum is also home to a library on the topic.
- After our walk around Haarlem, we have some free time to continue admiring the city’s beauty, purchase a few souvenirs or enjoy lunch in one of the city’s restaurants.
- The excursion ends with a coach transfer to the port of Ijmuiden.
What you need to know
- We recommend that you book early because only a limited number of places are available.
- This excursion is reserved for guests who do not disembark at Ijmuiden