Haarlem’s residents are very proud of their Haarlemmerhout park. The centuries-old forest was refurbished in the English landscape style in 1830; rich traders took their families here to find peace and quiet. Two hundred years later the Haarlemmerhout is still a beautiful and peaceful oasis. Hidden between the monumental trees are a tea house, music chapel, deer camp, petting farm and pancake restaurant.
Haarlemmerhout has special ties with Napoleon. Towards the end of the 18th century a rich banker commissioned a rural mansion, ‘Paviljoen Welgelegen’, at the Haarlemmerhout. He was not able to enjoy it for a long time because when the French army invaded Holland, the banker fled to England. The French Emperor Napoleon made his brother Louis Napoleon responsible for the Kingdom of Holland; Louis acquired ‘Paviljoen Welgelegen’. Princess Wilhelmina lived at the mansion after the French invasion and it has been serving as the province hall of North Holland since 1930. However, it is locally still called Napoleon’s palace.
Festivals at the Haarlemmerhout
The Haarlemmerhout is popular among the young and old. Children play at the petting farm, families have picnics in the meadows on beautiful days, and the sportive come for a run. The chapel hosts concerts on a regular basis. Bevrijdingspop (the liberation pop festival) is the biggest festival organised here. On 5 May each year thousands of music fans take over the park to enjoy performances by national and international artists.
If you want to visit the Haarlemmerhout park, you can walk there in a straight line from the Grote Markt and through the Grote Houtstraat in about 15 minutes.