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Haarlem 1572-1573

The city besieged and defended

April 15 – August 28, 2022

 

Watch the trailer of Stefan de Groot's animated film below, which can be seen at the exhibition.

A special audio tour is available for this exhibition, narrated by Erik van Muiswinkel.

The year 1572 brought an important revolution in the Eighty Years' War: the creation of a new state, the Republic of the United Netherlands. This birth of the Netherlands as a state will receive both national and regional attention this year. The exhibition Haarlem 1572-1573 – The city besieged and defended outlines the seven-month siege of Haarlem by the Spanish troops led by Don Frederik, son of the Duke of Alva. Not just the Haarlemhis heroic deeds are highlighted, but the Spanish side of the story is also told. The exhibition can be seen from April 15 to August 30, 2022.

'The famous siege of Haarlem' that is what the Spanish historians call the siege. When the Spanish King Philip II wanted to restore peace in the Low Countries after the iconoclasm in 1566, he sent his most experienced general Don Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, third Duke of Alva, to the Netherlands. After the Spanish troops have massacred Zutphen and Naarden, they expect... Haarlem little resistance. Alva sends his son Don Frederik to the small city in the west where the city walls are known to be weak. A quick intake is obvious. But Haarlem manages to keep his besiegers out for seven months. Only when the Spaniards manage to cut off the city from the outside world will the Haarlemmers forced to surrender. Their only alternative was starvation.

An eye for both parties

The exhibition certainly does not ignore the heroic deeds of the Haarlemmers, but will mainly show daily life within the walled city. What did this look like and where did the Haarlemmers to do with it? Attention is also paid to the other side of the story. How did the besiegers view the resistance of the Haarlemmers and how did they experience the battle? Their side of the siege is also explained based on Spanish sources such as letters, prints, etc.

 

Birth of the Netherlands

In 2022, the Netherlands will commemorate the revolution of 1572. Together with more than thirty Dutch museums and heritage institutions, the Museum asks Haarlem attention to the issues from the time when the Netherlands revolted against the old Spanish government and chose William of Orange as its new leader. On April 1 that year, the Sea Beggars captured Den Briel. The Eighty Years' War in the Netherlands took an irreversible turn. The war resulted in the creation of a new state, the Republic of the United Netherlands. This birth of the Netherlands as a state will receive both national and regional attention this year. After all, after 450 years, the road to a free, tolerant, diverse and connected Netherlands still concerns people.