Facts and Figures
Velsen and Santpoort
The origin of the municipality is thevillage of Velsen, today squeezed in between the motorway and the NorthSea canal, but in the days of old an agrarian community situated betweenthe dunes and the Wijkermeer lake. There are signs of habitation from asearly as the Bronze age and it is still bearing traces of Roman rule bymeans of a fort and a harbour in the Wijkermeer lake.
Velsen was a place of pilgrimage in theMiddle Ages. Devotees visited the city to honour the holy Engelmundus andto be cured from all kinds of physical disorders.
Santpoort has had a joint administrationwith Velsen throughout the centuries. The lords of Brederode were "artisansof the delicacies of Velsen and Santpoort".
IJmuiden and the North Sea canal
The rural quietness of the municipalityabruptly ended when, in 1876, the North Sea canal was opened. The IJ andthe Wijkermeer lake were impoldered especially for this purpose. Many labourersdecided to stay in the area and became, together with the staff for thesea locks and the customs and excise personnel, the first inhabitants ofthis area. The new settlement was baptized IJmuiden by King William the3rd.
The village developed quickly. Not asmany expected because of expanded shipping movements, but rather becauseof the flourishing fishing industry in the area. At the end of the 19thcentury the fishing fleet was enriched with a new harbour, developed bythe State of Holland, wherein later the States fish auction was to be established.IJmuiden grew to become the most important harbour for the supply of seafish to the country, a position which is consolidated to this day.
The digging of the North Sea canal dividedthe city of Velsen into two parts. The population cluster of Velsen-Northdeveloped itself in the vicinity of the rising industries such as the steelovens and the paper mills.
Demolition and construction
The development of IJmuiden that hadstarted in 1876 abruptly and cruelly ended with the outbreak of the secondWorld War. Evacuation of the inhabitants and demolition of about a thirdof the houses in IJmuiden made Velsen to become one of the Dutch citiesthat were hit hardest. With an energetic approach to the reconstructionVelsen developed into a modern city by the sea, the centre of which becameIJmuiden-East. A new city hall, designed by the famous architect Dudok,was built here in 1965. New neighbourhoods sprung up along the dunes; Zeewijkand Duinwijk.
In November 1984 the first stone waslaid for the new residential nucleus Velserbroek. Six thousand flats havebeen planned in this old polder. Besides that, facilities have to be developedlike schools, shops and social/cultural services that are needed for anurban area where about 16.000 people will be living.
The municipal Coat of Arms
The Coat of Arms of the municipalityof Velsen consists of a gold coloured lamb (the Lamb of God) carrying abanner, pictured against a blue background. On the (cross) banner a SaintAndreas cross is depicted. The oldest known example of the Coat of Armsof Velsen dates from the middle of the 17th century. It is unclear whatthe original colours have been like. In 1816 the High Court of Noblemendecided on the present blue and yellow.
The surface of the municipality of Velsenis 5.287 hectares, 950 hectares of which are forest and wetlands. 807 hectaresis built up area, 500 hectares industrial estate, 242 hectares are parksor public gardens, 1075 hectares arable land and 630 hectares of water.