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Alkmaar travel guide — Alkmaar tourism and travel information

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Alkmaar travel guide

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about Alkmaar

Alkmaar (population 95,000) is a city in the north-western Netherlands, in the province of North Holland.

The municipality also comprises the following towns, villages and townships: Koedijk, Oudorp. These once separate villages are now all linked together by the suburban sprawl of buildings that arose between the late 70's and early 90's. During this time the population almost doubled.

Alkmaar was granted city rights in 1254. The oldest part of the city lies on a ancient sand bank that afforded some protection from the sea during medieval times. Even so, it is only a couple of metres above the surrounding region, which consists of some of the oldest polders in existence. A major point in history for the city was in 1573 when the siege of the city by the Spaniards under the leadership of the Duke of Alva was ended on the 8th of October. This was the first city in the Netherlands to be freed from the Spanish occupation, an occasion that is still celebrated every year on this day.

The city is nowadays mostly known for its cheese market. This traditionally takes place on Friday mornings between April and October. It is one of only four traditional Dutch Cheese Markets still in existence in the Netherlands. The traditional fare of this cheese market are those cheeses made in the local area, as opposed to the well-known brands of Dutch cheeses, i.e. Edam cheese and Gouda cheese. It is not actually possible to buy cheese at the market itself, which is really only a demonstration of how this merchants' market operated in times gone by. However, the show, which takes place in front of the medieval weighing house, is surrounded by many specialized stalls where it is possible to buy all kinds of cheese (and non-cheese) related products. The Weighing House is also the location of the local tourist office and the Cheese Museum. There is also a Beer Museum nearby.

The professional football team AZ is based in Alkmaar.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alkmaar".

This city is also known as: Alkmaar.

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