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The Municipality of Velsen :

 

 


The municipality of Velsen

                               
                                                                   Town Hall Velsen

The municipality of Velsen -with about 66.000 inhabitants- is existing of the following parts:
IJmuiden (the biggest part), Old Velsen, Velsen-North,Velsen-South, Santpoort-North, Santpoort-South, Driehuis, Velserbroek (youngest part of Velsen and arised in 1986) and a recreation area called Spaarnwoude.

The origin of Velsen dates back from the bronze-age. A lot of objects from the Roman Time have been found (and still are) in this area.
The oldest part of the municipality of Velsen is Oud-Velsen (Old-Velsen), with a church in Roman style and dating from the 12th century.

From 1866 until 1876 a (big) canal was digged (by hand), straight from Amsterdam to the Northsea. The Northseacanal divided the village of (Old)Velsen into two parts: Velsen-North and Velsen-Zuid (of which Oud-Velsen is a part). Too, the dunes were digged through and locks were built to allow ships to enter from and to the Northsea, to go to Amsterdam and other inside-harbours ánd to prevent that seawater will overflow Amsterdam and surroundings. The growing city at the beginning of the canal (seaside), was called IJmuiden, meaning the 'mouth of the IJ'. The IJ is a former lake (now reclaimed and drained).

One of the 4 present locks, opened in 1929, was for very many decades the biggest lock of the world: 400 metres long, 50 metres wide and 15 metres deep. Since some years Antwerp (Belgium) has the biggest.

 big lock second lock sluice  sluice

Too, within the locks complex there is a special sluice, with an enormous pump to get rid of rain- and riverwater from the Dutch provincies, preventing overflow of the continent.

At the seaside we find a very wide beach and 2 piers. Some decades ago both piers were lengthened: northern pier 2½ kilometres and the southern pier 3½ kilometres into the sea.
In order to enter exactly in the middle of the 2 piers, there are two lighthouses, one 'little' at the beach and a steel 'big' one, more land inwards. If both lights above each other (at night), or both lighthouses in line (during the day): you are right in the middle between those two piers.
    

Seacurrent deposited a lot of sand at the outer side of the southern pier. Now new hotels, restaurants, houses, etc. have been  built on it. Also, a rather big lake arised. Velsen is promoting this area (called 'IJmuiden at sea') to the tourists.

Also in IJmuiden area, close to the locks and piers,  we find fisheryharbours, with modern fish industries distributing their products all over the world, quays for big ferry boats and passengerships and one can eat delicious fish in this area.  

On the other (northern side) of the locks there is a big steelwork plant. Means a lot for the economy of Velsen.
                                        


On the north and particularly on the south of Velsen, we find national parks, dunes and  woodland. In IJmuiden you will find several watertower and one of them has a very special shape.

Next to Velsen the beautiful city of Haarlem and at a distance of about 20 kilometres the capital of Holland, Amsterdam, is situated.
         
Windmills are found in this municipality, but also in the near surroundings.
In  Santpoort-Noord (North) you can admire the windmill 'De Zandhaas' ( 'Sand Hare'). It's still working and grinding special flour for bakers.
     

    And, not to forget, we have to mention the youngest area of Velsen: Velserbroek, which arised as from 1986.
At the left you see the front of the shopping centre 'Velserbroek'.               

At the left you see the front of the shopping centre 'Velserbroek'.               

In this quarter of the Municipality of Velsen you find several streets called after Galle and Sri Lanka:
      
 -Galle Promenade
      -Maan Bastion                           
       -Zon Bastion
       -Aurora Bastion
       -Neptunus Bastion                                                               
       -Closenberg Bastion
       -Clippenberg Bastion
       -Ster Bastion
       -Vesting Plein
       -Sri Lanka Bastion
       -Ceylon Bastion
       -Colombo Bastion
       -Matara Bastion
      -Maan Bastion                           
       -Zon Bastion
       -Aurora Bastion
       -Neptunus Bastion                                                               
       -Closenberg Bastion
       -Clippenberg Bastion
       -Ster Bastion
       -Vesting Plein
       -Sri Lanka Bastion
       -Ceylon Bastion
       -Colombo Bastion
       -Matara Bastion

The following names have been derived from the Fort of Galle:
Maan Bastion (Moon Fortress), Zon (Sun), Aurora, Neptunus (Neptun) and Ster (Star).
Clippenberg and Closenberg from the well-known hotels and Vesting Plein means Fortress Square.