Haarlem, Bloemendaal, Bennebroek, Heemstede, Velsen, Santpoort- F.J. Nautz, 1836

“Nieuwe Kaart van Haarlems Schoone Omstreken” (New map of Haarlem’s beautiful surroundings). Copper engraving made in 1836 by Van Baarsel…

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Nieuwe Kaart van Haarlems Schoone Omstreken” (New map of Haarlem’s beautiful surroundings). Copper engraving made in 1836 by Van Baarsel & Tuyn based on the design by Haarlem land surveyor F.J. Nautz, and printed by Kunstdrukkerij van Wed. A. Koning & F.J. Brugman. Coloured by a later hand. Size: approx. 63 x 94 cm.

During the time of this map, Haarlem was said to be quite dull, “a city where wigs ruled and grass grew between the cobblestones. The city hall was governed in a way that maintained the status quo, preserving the peaceful rest of the wise forefathers. The city gates were closed very early in the winter evenings to prevent any pigeons from flying in or out of the city.” The economic life primarily revolved around crafts and was declining. Infant mortality was high, with 23 out of every hundred live-born children dying within their first year, mainly due to the consumption of contaminated cow milk diluted with polluted water from the canals.

There was no significant construction activity in the city during this period. On the contrary, it was quite the opposite. In the early 1820s, the decision was made to demolish the defense works, not to obtain more building land but to be relieved of the annual maintenance costs. The bastions and city gates were torn down. Only the Kennemerpoort was spared because the city still locked its gates at night, and customs officers stationed themselves at the gate during the day to collect taxes on various goods.

After the demolition of the bastions, the freed area was transformed into a promenade park, intended to give the city a more attractive appearance, with the hope that wealthy Haarlem residents would be encouraged to delay or abandon their plans to leave.

The map also shows the Haarlem dunes and villages like Bennebroek, Heemstede, Overveen, Bloemendaal, Santpoort, and the delightful country estates situated in between. In the seventeenth century, numerous prosperous merchants settled here, seeking to invest their money in land and escape the city during the summer months to enjoy country living. Some purchased medieval fortified houses or farmsteads and had them renovated, while others built entirely new country estates. Pastures and dune grounds were acquired and transformed into gardens, following the prevailing styles of the time: initially geometric squares, later elongated, and finally, the so-called English landscape gardens. For local shopkeepers and craftsmen, the annual migration of country estate residents in the spring meant a great deal of work. Orders were placed, tasks were assigned, and women and girls were hired as servants.

By the end of the eighteenth century and during the French Period in The Netherlands, the appeal of country living diminished due to economic difficulties. Many estate owners were forced to sell or demolish their country estates.

It would take another 45 years before the Haarlem-Leiden tramline was constructed. From 1880 onwards, several country estates were purchased, divided into plots, and developed with villas.

Price: Euro 3.450,-