Bergen, North Holland

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Bergen (About this sound pronunciation ) is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Its North Sea beaches make it a popular destination for tourists, especially Germans. In 2001, the municipality was expanded to include the former municipalities of Egmond and Schoorl.

Since about 1900, Bergen has been the home of many painters, writers and architects. Some of the work of this "Bergen School" is on exhibit at Museum Kranenburgh. The neighbourhood of Park Meerwijk, constructed in 1915, is made up entirely of villas in Amsterdam School style. There are regular art fairs in Bergen, as well as an annual music festival (the Holland Music Sessions in August) and arts festival (the Kunsttiendaagse in October).

North of the town of Bergen are the Schoorlse Duinen, a nature area with the highest and widest dunes of the Netherlands, which reach about 59m (195 ft) above sealevel, and are more than 5 km (3 miles) wide in some places.

Other points of interest in the municipality include the aquarium in the seaside village of Bergen aan Zee, the Auto Union Museum in Bergen with a collection of classic cars, and the historical museums Het Sterkenhuis (Bergen) and Museum van Egmond (Egmond aan Zee).

The town of Bergen is home to the European School, Bergen.

Contents

Population centres

The municipality of Bergen consists of the following cities, towns, villages and/or districts: Bergen, Aagtdorp, Bergen aan Zee, Bregtdorp, Camperduin, Catrijp, Egmond aan den Hoef, Egmond aan Zee, Egmond-Binnen, Groet, Hargen, Rinnegom, Schoorl, Schoorldam (partly), Wimmenum.

History

The town of Bergen developed around a chapel and is mentioned as far back as the tenth century. An old local legend is the "Miracle of Bergen", which is said to have occurred during the St. Elisabeth's Flood of 1421. The story goes that the schout (sheriff) of Bergen found a chest containing hosts (the thin wafers used in Holy Communion) from the church of Petten which had floated to Bergen during the flood. The seawater that penetrated the chest had turned into blood. There is also a second miracle story, thought to have occurred in 1422, whereby hosts turned into blood. On the site where the miracle of Bergen is said to have happened, a chapel was erected. Bergen became a place of pilgrimage and Roman-Catholic processions were held at the site for centuries and are still ongoing today.

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