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Things to do in Hoorn


PLACE NAMES




Hoorn
Onder de Boompjes 22 - +31 229 273 570
info@oudhoorn.nl


The origin of the name Hoorn, even in old spelling Hoern(e) or Hoirne, is surrounded in myths. Hoorn's name, according to Old Frisian legends, is derived from the stepson of King Redbad (Radboud), called Hornus. Another story about the origin of the name is that it is derived from a sign depicting a post horn in an early 14th-century hanging outside one of the establishments situated on the Roode Steen Square. A third version says that the name was derived from the horn shape of one of its first ports. The author of the 'Origo Civitatis Hornensis' assumes that name Hoorn was derived from Damphoorn. Damphoorn is the medieval name for a weed that could be made into whistles, which grew in abundance in the area outside the dykes of Hoorn. Chronicler Velius rejects this statement because there are no old historical entries that Hoorn was called Damphoorn. He wrote: The name was from the start Hoorn: not (against better judgement) derived from the weed Damphoorn, as the current sentiment holds (De name was van eersten af Hoorn: niet (behoudens beter oordeel) van het kruyt Damphoorn, als t'ghemeyne ghevoelen van noch heden hout). Velius also rejects the assertion that the name's origin is Dampter Horn: a neighbourhood of the village Dampten, which flooded and had fallen into disuse.

The name is most probably derived from Hornicwed, a name that is popping up in early mediaeval documents. The medieval meaning of hornic is 'corner', with wed or wedor being the medieval word for water. Many places and neighbourhoods in the Netherlands are called, even today; Heurne, Huurne and Horn. Hornicwed would therefore refer to the location of a corner on the coastline: the location of Hoorn at the Zuiderzee. We see hornic in the meaning of 'corner' also reflected in another municipality in the mediaeval County of Holland: Uithoorn, meaning uithoek, which refers to a certain occupied area (or corner) at some distance.

It is also sometimes argued that hornic refers to a corner in a dike, but this raises doubts: the coast of the Zuiderzee was originally farther away from Hoorn compared to the present day: the Westfriese Omringdijk ran, originating from the West, in a straight line to Schardam and in front of this dyke there were then low-lying tracts of land, where the village of Dampten was located according to Velius. This area was abandoned and flooded after 1391, following the abandonment of the old dyke. A new dyke was built farther inland, resulting in a bay which is now the Hoornse Hop. Hoorn was already in existence then.

Museums

  • Museumstoomtram Hoorn-Medemblik
  • Westfries Museum



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