Find Businesses and Services in Den Helder, North Holland
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. Ferries sail between Den Helder and the island of Texel to the north. 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 village where city grew out of, Helder was a name for a second small hamlet. Due to its strategic location at the tip of the North Holland peninsula, multiple fortifications were built in the area. The area began to be called Helledore ("Gate to hell", 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 assemble near Den Helder and sail from there to the oceans of the world. In the 1820s, the Noordhollandsch Kanaal shipping 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 metres. Den Helder acted as a naval base as early as the 18th century.
An Anglo-Russian invasion force landed at Den Helder in August 1799 and captured the Batavian navy there. French emperor Napoleon, visiting Den Helder in 1811, was impressed with the town's strategic location and ordered the construction of a fort (Kijkduin) and naval dockyards (Willemsoord). The docks were built in the years 1813-1827. In 1947 it officially became the Royal Netherlands Navy's main centre of operations. Den Helder continues to be the navy's main base today. The Koninklijk Instituut Marine (Royal Naval Academy) is also located in the city. The old naval dockyards of Willemsoord, located in the north of the city, now house restaurants, a cinema, and other recreational facilities. The naval docks and administration have moved to a new location further east.
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