Hoorn was founded in the 14th century as a trading settlement and received its municipal charter in 1356. Its heyday was in the 16th century, when it was the leading port in the Zuiderzee. In 1573 a naval battle took place off the coast here between a Spanish fleet and the combined fleets of Enkhuizen, Edam, Monnickendam and Hoorn, in which the Spanish admiral was taken prisoner. In the 17th century the town began to decline, and many merchants moved to Amsterdam.
The construction of the Afsluitdijk cut its harbor off from the open sea. Hoorn was the birthplace of the navigator Willem Schouten (1580-1625), who in 1616 rounded the southern tip of America and gave the name of his home town to Cape Horn. Other natives of the town were Jan Pieterszoon Coen (1587- 1629), who established Dutch colonial authority in the East Indies, and Abel Tasman (1603-59), discoverer of New Zealand and Tasmania.
I took this picture at the entrance of the harbour. You can catch a glimpse of our river boat just to the right. As if the statues were looking at our "strange" ship...
The old tower, circa 15th, century is now a restaurant
A navel battle told in pictures. In Hoorn even buildings can tell tall tales.
Notice the leaning house in the center. The building on the right is holding it up.