Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Netherlands - Den Helder
Greetings From Den Helder.
Sent by Antonet, a postcrosser from Netherlands.
This is from Wikipedia : Den Helder is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Den Helder occupies the northernmost point of the North Holland peninsula. It is home to the country's main naval base.
The Royal TESO ferryboat service operates the transportation link between Den Helder and the nearby Dutch Wadden island of Texel to the north.
The municipality of Den Helder consists of the following cities, towns, villages and/or districts: Den Helder, Huisduinen, Julianadorp, and the hamlets Friese Buurt and De Kooy.
The major areas of Den Helder are Old Den Helder, Nieuw-Den Helder, and De Schooten. Nieuw-Den Helder was built in the 1950s, following World War II, when there was a great need for additional housing. De Schooten was constructed in the 1960s.
Huisduinen was the original older part of the city, whereas Helder itself was a nearby smaller hamlet. Due to its strategic location at the tip of the North Holland peninsula, multiple fortifications were built in the area. The area likely began being called Helledore ("Hell's Door" or "Hell's Gate", later on Den Helsdeur) because of the "hellish" fortifications that prevented enemy ships from sailing into the Zuyderzee. The name Helder may also have come from Helle/Helde, which means hill or hilly grounds, or from Helre, which means a sandy ridge.
Den Helder has played an important part in Dutch shipping. During the Dutch Golden Age, ships would be assembled near Den Helder and sail from there the world's oceans. During the 1820s, the North Holland Canal was dug from Amsterdam to Den Helder. The lighthouse Lange Jaap was built in 1877 and is the tallest cast-iron lighthouse in Europe, at 63.45 meters (208.2 ft).