HAARLEMMERMEER

Haarlemmermeer is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. It is a polder, consisting of land reclaimed from water, and the name Haarlemmermeer means Haarlem’s Lake, still referring to the body of water from which the region was reclaimed in the 19th century.

Its main town is Hoofddorp. It is one of the largest towns (pop. 70,030) in the Netherlands whose name is not used as the name of a municipality. This town, together with the rapidly growing towns of Nieuw-Vennep and Badhoevedorp, forms part of the Randstad agglomeration. The Netherlands’ main international airport Schiphol is located in Haarlemmermeer.

The Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava (born Valencia, 1951) has built high-tech bridges and amazing, eye-catching spage-age white, shimmering buildings all over the world. Three of his marvelous works in Holland are bridges, which span a tiny canal, the Hoofdvaart (main canal) in the Haarlemmermeer polder (Haarlem lake polder).

These bridges have been built at excessive cost because the local town government wanted to make an expensive architectural splash to put this place on the world map. Upkeep of the structure, which was put into use in 2004 and has since required many fixes (including the shiny coating of paint) has cost many more millions of Euros later on. The LED lighting system at night is also amazing, responding to ambient natural light and changing light intensity as needed.

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