The History of Alkmaar

Curious about the history of Alkmaar? Read more about it on this page.

Rich trading place

In the year 1254, Alkmaar was granted city rights by Count Willem II of Holland. From that moment on, the town prospered. Many of the beautiful historical facades that you encounter in the city centre are remnants from the time Alkmaar was a rich trading area. A lot of cheese was sold!


The most important date in Alkmaar's history is 8 October, 1573. This is the day when the courageous people of Alkmaar defeated the Spanish army in the Eighty Years' War. Every year to this day, Alkmaar's victory is celebrated around 8 October in what is known as 'Alkmaar Ontzet', and the Victory celebrations.

Festival Kaeskoppenstad

Fancy taking a look at the Alkmaar of 1573? Visit the historic Kaeskoppenstad festival on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 June, 2017, in the old centre of Alkmaar. A special journey back in time to the year that Alkmaar experienced its important victory.

Historical Association Alkmaar

The Historical Association (HVA) in Alkmaar is committed to preserving all the historic beauty of the city. The HVA organises city walks, excursions and lectures.