The ‘Highlight tour Hoorn’ summary
In the ‘Highlight Tour Hoorn’ we visit the most important monuments, squares and streets of the city. Hoorn has no less than 368 national monuments. There are too many of them to see them all in one walk. But thanks to the compact city centre and a smart route we manage to combine the most beautiful places in this walk. However, you can assume that we will be on the road for two hours and that we will cover a distance of about 5 kilometres. Places we visit are the Statencollege, the Waag, the Hoofdtoren, the Oosterkerk, the Bossuhuizen, the Oosterpoort, the Mariatoren, the Burgerweeshuis, the Statenlogement, the Botermarkt and the Kerkplein. During this city walk I will tell you about the old and modern history of the city. No dry enumeration of facts, but beautiful stories about the city and its inhabitants!
Starting point and route of the ‘Highlight Tour Hoorn’
The best way to start the Highlight Tour Hoorn is at De Roode Steen. Here we can immediately see two beautiful monuments. During the hike we make a tour through the city centre where we come back to the starting point. The route looks like this:
- Starting at De Roode Steen (in front of the entrance of the Westfries Museum);
- Via the fish market, Foreestensteeg and the Italian zeedijk to the main tower (Hoofdtoren);
- Along the Veermanskade, Oude Doelende direction Oosterkerk;
- Via Het Grote Oost to the Bossuhuizen and the Oosterpoort;
- Then over the Draafsingel to the Mariatoren;
- From the Mariatoren to the Weeshuis and via the Muntstraat to the Statenlogement;
- Via the Wisselstraat and monastery gate to the Kerkplein;
- Around the Nieuwe Kerk, past the Boterhal in the direction of the Schoolsteeg;
- Through the Schoolsteeg and via Het Grote Oost back to the Roode Steen.
Note: In practice, the route may vary due to markets, events or limited access to alleys or streets. Prior to a guided tour, we will discuss the specific wishes in advance. We can then choose another route or another starting point by mutual agreement. I take into account the accessibility and accessibility of the streets for all participants in the tour.
Details of the ‘Highlight tour Hoorn’
- Duration: Approx. 2.0 hours (the walk can be extended and shortened!)
- Total walking distance: approx. 5 km
- Starting point: Roode Steen (central square)
- Booking and tuning specific wishes: contact us!
How did Hoorn get so many monuments?
During the 16th and 17th century Hoorn experienced its greatest prosperity, and the city participated in the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie. The WIC (West India Company), the Nordic Company (or Svalbard Company), the Admiralty of the Noorderkwartier, the West Frisian Mint and the College of Committed Councils of West Friesland and the Noorderkwartier were also located in Hoorn. As a result, Hoorn was the formal capital of the area above Amsterdam. In this time many of the characteristic buildings of Hoorn were built.
The 18th century in Hoorn is characterized by decline of the economy. At that time the harbours had become silted up, so that the ships preferred to transit directly to Amsterdam. Probably the worst period for Hoorn was the French period, when French troops were stationed in Hoorn. In this period, the old town hall on the Roode Steen was also demolished. In the 19th century Hoorn flourished again. The West Frisian countryside supplied more and more agricultural products and cheese, and these were traded in or via Hoorn. At the time, Hoorn was the largest cheese market in North Holland.
Due to the great decline (and poverty) in the 18th century, there was no money to realize new buildings and developments. As a result, many historic houses were spared demolition. When prosperity increased in the 20th century, more attention was fortunately paid to the historical value of many old buildings. Thanks to the efforts of the Vereeniging Oud Hoorn, many old buildings were saved from demolition. Citizens’ initiative in the 1970s prevented the district around the Italian Zeedijk from being completely demolished. Instead, a combination of restoration and new construction has been chosen in which the structure has been fully preserved.