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HOOFDDORP

Hoofddorp is a city part of the Haarlemmermeer polder in North Holland, Netherlands. Hoofddorp, translated in English means Head Village (or Main Village). Its the main village in the former lake named Haarlemmermeer, which turned into a polder due to land reclamation.

In the late nineteenth century Hoofddorp was included in the Defense line of Amsterdam. A fort was built next to the main canal, two batteries were located in what are now the outskirts of Hoofddorp, and several casemates were built to the east of Hoofddorp. A large dike known as the Geniedijk (Engineers' dike) connected the fort at Hoofddorp to the batteries and the casemates, and ultimately to the fort at Vijfhuizen in the west and the fort at Aalsmeer in the east.

In 1856, the first windmill in the Haarlemmermeer was built in the centre of Hoofddorp by Dirk David van Dijk. It was called "De Eersteling" (The first). Due to increased building around the mill it eventually fell into disuse. In 1977 the mill was moved to another location near fort Hoofddorp. It has operated regularly from that time and is now open to the public.

The Historic Museum Haarlemmermeer describes the history of the Haarlemmermeer. In the museum are a lot of things like prints, old documents, reconstructions and decors tell a story about life in the Haarlemmermeer from 1852 when the land was drained until today.

Hoofddorp is very close to Amsterdam. Just about a half hour on a train. It is on the other side of the main highway from the dutch airport Schiphol. Very handy by the way when we go abroad. Hoofddorp has a green side of the city with a few large recreational ponds that can be used for swimming, windsurfing or just enjoying the beautiful view. The most important option is the possibility to run around this nice, green city.

The city center is in fact one big shopping mall, so in daytime there is a lot to do for those who like shopping.

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