Hillegom

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Hillegom (About this sound pronunciation ) is a town in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of 13.48 km² (8.38 mile²) of which 0.61 km² (0.38 mile²) is water.

The name Hillegom is derived from the abbey named Hijlighem (Old Frankish for "Holy Home"). This abbey no longer exists.

It is bordered by the municipalities of Bloemendaal, Bennebroek (to the north), Haarlemmermeer (to the east), Lisse (to the south), and Noordwijkerhout (to the west).

Hillegom is part of an area called the Duin- en Bollenstreek ("Dune and Bulb Region"). As such, a large portion of the local economy was traditionally geared to the cultivation of bulb flowers.

Contents

History

Hillegom was formed on the eastern edge of the coastal dunes where the old Leiden to Haarlem route crossed the Hillegommerbeek (Hillegom's Creek), not far from the shores of the Haarlemmermeer (Haarlem's Lake). Places with the suffix "-heim" (or variant spellings) usually developed before the year 1000 and therefore it is assumed that this may apply to Hillegom as well. In 1150 the abbot of Egmond had the rights to naming priests in Hillegom, indicating that a church or chapel existed there. In 1248 the count Willem II gave the Chapel of Hijllinghem and all its buildings to the Abbot of Egmond.

In the middle of the 14th century, Hillegom gained some prominence when the counts of Holland convened there 3 times for council. In 1369, there were 46 houses with a population of 283, growing to 67 houses and 412 people in 1477.

During the Eighty Years' War, Hillegom found itself several times between the opposing Spanish and Dutch Rebel armies, resulting in its near destruction in 1577. But after the middle of the 17th century, the area became prosperous through the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, growing on the sandy soil of fields dug out the dunes.

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