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Title: Purmerend  
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Subject: A7 motorway (Netherlands), Fleur Agema, North Holland, Lieja Tunks, Vincent van der Voort
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Purmerend city centre
Purmerend city centre
Flag of Purmerend
Coat of arms of Purmerend
Coat of arms
Highlighted position of Purmerend in a municipal map of North Holland
Location in North Holland
Country Netherlands
Province North Holland
 • Body Municipal council
 • Mayor Don Bijl (VVD)
 • Total 24.56 km2 (9.48 sq mi)
 • Land 23.39 km2 (9.03 sq mi)
 • Water 1.17 km2 (0.45 sq mi)
Elevation[3] 0 m (0 ft)
Population (May 2014)[4]
 • Total 79,532
 • Density 3,400/km2 (9,000/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Purmerender
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postcode 1440–1448
Area code 0299
Website .nl.purmerendwww
Population pyramid of Purmerend.

Purmerend (   ) is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. The city is surrounded by polders, such as the Purmer, Beemster and the Wormer. The city became the trade center of the region but the population grew relatively slowly. Only after 1960 did the population start to grow from around 10,000 to around 80,000 by the 2010s. From the 1960s onwards Purmerend has seen major expansions and continues to do so. These expansions have turned Purmerend into a commuter town; many inhabitants of Purmerend work in Amsterdam (14,200 in 2011),[5] go to school or spend their leisure time in Amsterdam. Purmerend is part of the Randstad, one of the largest conurbations in Europe.[6]


Early history

Purmerend was created out of the small fishing village Purmer, which was situated on the land between the Purmermeer (Purmer Lake), the Beemstermeer (Beemster Lake) and the Wormermeer (Wormer Lake) on the south bank of the river De Weere, which used to connect the former Purmermeer and Beemstermeer.

Purmerend was founded by a rich banker from [7][9][10] This meant merchants from outside of Purmerend could now offer their merchandise for sale on the market. Before 1484 only food products for its own population were allowed to be sold.[11]

Medieval drawing of the fortified castle Slot Purmersteijn.
Drawing of the Purmerend skyline from 1674.

17th century

By 1500 Purmerend had grown considerably, as can be seen on maps dating from that period. They show that the town had a rectangular shape and was crossed by two roads: one leading north-south, the other east-west. The draining of the Beemster Lake in 1612 and the Purmer Lake in 1622 resulted in a great loss in fishing grounds to Purmerend. However, the new and fertile soil favoured agriculture and livestock breeding, making Purmerend prosperous again. Purmerend now became the centre of an agricultural region, the produce of which was sold on the markets of Purmerend.

20th century

During World War II Purmerend was occupied by German forces on 14 May 1940. After five years of occupation, the city was liberated by Canadian and other allied forces on Wednesday 9 May 1945.[12]

21st century

Purmerend was named Kermisstad van Nederland.[13] (Funfair City of the Netherlands) in 2003. After the funfair, Purmerend is most famous for its cattle market, the so-called koemarkt (“cow market”), where cattle are sold and traded, mostly cows and sheep. After the outbreak of many cattle diseases between 1995 and 2001 the cattle market was not allowed any more. It was reinstated on a smaller scale on January 2002.[9]

After 400 years Purmerenders saw the last cattle auction at the original location in downtown Purmerend in 2008. The auction was moved to the "Baanstee Oost" industrial area, in the north side of Purmerend. This was decided for various reasons: freeing up downtown traffic congestion, allowing for more parking area downtown, more room for auction grounds and ease of moving trucks around at the new site.

Geography and climate


Satellite photo of the city of Purmerend. (centered)
Purmerend lies on a swampy and watery area known as Waterland. When the first settlers began cultivating the land, consisting mostly of turf (veen), they dug ditches that run parallel to each other to drain excess water. As a side effect of this process the land began to sink. This resulted in a never-ending battle against the water. And made agriculture near impossible at the time. It also meant that any structure needed to be built on an artificial Terp or natural hill. The former being true for Purmerend which was built on the bank of the river De Where, that linked the former Beemster and Purmer lakes.
Autumn in Purmerend - 2013


Dutch Topographic map of Purmerend (town), as of March 2014.


Bierkade in Purmerend

Purmerend is made up of the following districts.

  • Centrum ('het stadje')
  • Zuiderpolder
  • Overwhere-Noord
  • Overwhere-Zuid
  • De Gors
  • De Gors-Zuid
  • De Gors-Noord
  • West
  • Purmer-Zuid
  • Purmer-Noord
  • Wheermolen
  • Weidevenne
  • Baanstee-West
  • Baanstee-Oost
  • Baanstee-Noord
  • De Koog
  • Molenkoog
  • Hazepolder

The municipality of Purmerend also contains the towns/hamlets of Purmerbuurt and partially the Purmer. (The Purmer is shared with Edam-Volendam and Waterland)


Avg high °C
Avg low °C
Source: [KNMI]

Public transport

Public transportation is mainly focused on Amsterdam, with several bus services and a train service via Zaandam.

There are 3 train stations in Purmerend, in the north, centre and south. These are:

The bus station in Purmerend is called "Tramplein" (or, Tram Square), but not because any trams run in Purmerend today. History is that a tram ("'t Boemeltje") ran from Amsterdam Centraal to Purmerend, ending at the Tramplein location. Although the tram service discontinued years ago, the end stop has retained the name Tramplein.

In 1951 The Ramblers had a hit commemorating the tram service "’t Boemeltje van Purmerend".

Local government

Former city hall. Now a museum.

The municipal council of Purmerend consists of 35 seats, which are divided as follows since the elections of March 2010:

Leefbaar Purmerend
Stadspartij P'93
- 7 seats
- 6 seats
- 3 seats
- 3 seats
- 3 seats
- 3 seats
- 3 seats
- 2 seats
- 2 seats

The mayor of Purmerend is Don Bijl (VVD).

Born in Purmerend

Notable people born in Purmerend:

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Purmerend is twinned with:


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ (Dutch)
  6. ^ Randstad
  7. ^ a b (Dutch) Waterlandziekenhuis
  8. ^ (Dutch) Archived July 24, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b (Dutch) Archived February 11, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Museum of Purmerend Archived February 11, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ (Dutch) Archived August 18, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ (Dutch)
  13. ^ (Dutch)
  14. ^ (Dutch) Official Purmerend Website - Archived February 6, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ (Czech) Official Jihlava website -
  16. ^ (Dutch) Official blog of the Mayor of Purmerend - Archived February 6, 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Official website
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