Haarlem is one of the medium-sized cities of the Randstad. The municipality includes
the city of Haarlem and the western part of the village Spaarndam. Haarlem is situated
on the river Spaarne to which the city the nickname 'Spaarne City' derives. It has
been the historical center of the tulip bulb-growing district for centuries and bears
the other nickname 'Bloemenstad' (flower city), for this reason.
The name Haarlem is probably derived from 'Harloheim. This is the meaning of a home
(heim) on a high sandy (her) in the forest (lo).
The municipality has 148,092 inhabitants (November 30, 2008, source: CBS) and is
the second largest city after Amsterdam North-Holland. The urban agglomeration Haarlem
(Haarlem, Heemstede, Bloemendaal and Bennebroek) has about 190,000 inhabitants and
the city of Haarlem (South Kennemerland and IJmond) more than 400,000 inhabitants.
Haarlem has an important regional function. The primary supply is from the northern
part of South Holland bulb, South Kennemerland, IJmond and part of the Haarlemmermeer.
The city is seat of the Bishop Diocese of Haarlem and Amsterdam.
The city of Haarlem, in its turn part of a larger metropolitan area, the metropolitan
region of Amsterdam. This region covers a large part of the north of the Randstad.
There are more than 2 million people.
The motto of Haarlem is Vicit vim virtus, which is Latin for Virtue conquered force.