Aerial view over Noordwijk aan Zee
Location in South Holland
|o Body||Municipal council|
|o Mayor||Wendy Verkleij-Eimers (VVD) (VVD)|
|o Total||74.94 km2 (28.93 sq mi)|
|o Land||58.37 km2 (22.54 sq mi)|
|o Water||16.57 km2 (6.40 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|o Density||734/km2 (1,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Noordwijk (Dutch pronunciation: ['no:rtik] ) is a town and municipality in the west of the Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of 74.94 km2 (28.93 sq mi) of which 16.57 km2 (6.40 sq mi) is water and had a population of 42,859 in 2019.
On 1 January 2019, the former municipality of Noordwijkerhout became part of Noordwijk.
Besides its beaches, Noordwijk is also known for its bulb flower fields. It is located in an area called the "Dune and Bulb Region" (Duin- en Bollenstreek).
Noordwijk is also the location of the headquarters for the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), part of the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA's visitors' centre Space Expo is a permanent space exhibition.
Noordwijk aan Zee was founded around 1200 as a fishing village. Until the beginning of the 19th century, fishing remained its primary business, but then began to be replaced by the growing tourism industry. Nowadays because of its long sandy beaches, it is a popular resort town with 1,000,000 overnight stays per year. It has a lighthouse and a KNRM rescue station. Furthermore, it has a reformed church (1647) with a pulpit from the 17th century.
Noordwijk aan Zee is rated as the 12th richest location in the Netherlands. Beer magnate Freddy Heineken has built a villa there with the characteristic green roof.
A small part of the indigenous population of Noordwijk aan Zee speaks Noordwijks, a very original Dutch dialect, which sounds like Katwijks, but in Noordwijk the dialect is almost gone, compared to Katwijk, where more people speak in (partly) dialect.
Because of the martyrdom of Priest Jeroen in 857, the Archbishop of Utrecht made Noordwijk-Binnen a pilgrimage location in 1429. Both the Catholic and Protestant churches here are named after this priest.
Noordwijk-Binnen has retained its historic character and is therefore protected by the Dutch Monument Law. An interesting historic view is shown by the picture of Gerard van der Laan with the view to the Jeroenskerk. In the foreground is a canal with two sailboats for inland waterways.
The area around Noordwijk-Binnen has long been an important part of the regional bulb flower industry. The dunes were dug out and transformed into fields for the cultivation of bulb flowers. The territory of Noordwijk still exists for a large part from spirit grounds. The bulb region is formed of Noordwijk together with surrounding municipalities.
North (and to a lesser extent south) of Noordwijk spreads a relatively vast dune area, in which a varied wild flora and fauna (with among others pine forests and deer) is observable for bikers, walkers and gallopers. North of Noordwijk, large areas of dunes are covered by the natura 2000 act. Part of which holds house to the Kennemer Zweefvlieg Club.
Public figures who lived in Noordwijk or sought recovery were Thomas Mann, Maria Montessori (buried in Noordwijk) among others, the entrepreneur Alfred Heineken, ex-Empress Soraya, the poet Henriette Roland Holst, the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, the writer Stefan George, the pianist Pia Beck , the tenor Jacques Urlus, the writer Margriet de Moor as well as painters and artists such as Marinus Gidding, Gerard van der Laan, Max Liebermann,Daniël Noteboom, Jan Hillebrand Wijsmuller and known film actors.
Noordwijk is also home of football coach Louis van Gaal.
Part of Martin Ritt's adaptation of John le Carre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), starring Richard Burton, was filmed at Koningin Astrid Boulevard in Noordwijk. This is where Burton's character Alec Leamas is taken for initial interrogation after appearing to defect to the East.
Just north of Noordwijk, buried in the North Sea dunes, lies one of the biggest and most extensive bunker complexes in the Netherlands of the World War II Atlantic Wall defenses, constructed under Nazi Germany occupation. Some 80 bunkers and underground structures housed 180 soldiers, and were connected by 400 metres (a quarter-mile) of tunnels, equipped with narrow rail-tracks for moving heavy ammunition. The central, S414 design, fire command bunker alone counts three-man-high stories deep, and with walls up to 3 metres (10 feet) thick, it consists of more than 1,800 m³ of concrete - the equivalent content of some 300 modern cement trucks. Four heavy gun bunkers housed 155mm cannons and doubled as living quarters. Two other large bunkers stored ammunition.
The fire control bunker offered an excellent view of the coastal sea, used for observation and ballistic trajectory calculation, to control the entire gun battery. In 2001, the central command bunker was reopened as a museum, refitted with mostly original equipment. Because the Germans kept the men busy building further bunkers, pill-boxes, etc., by war's end the complex counted almost one underground structure for every two men.
Noordwijk beach on a non-summers day, when kitesurfers have all the room there