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There was a stream called "De Beek", dug from the peat grounds west of the river Spaarne as a drainage canal.

Over the centuries the Beek was turned into an underground canal, as the city grew larger and the space was needed for construction.

The old defenses proved not to be sufficiently strong for the expanded city, and at the end of the 14th century a 16½-metre high wall was built, complete with a 15-metre wide canal circling the city.

In 1304 the Flemish threatened the city, but they were defeated by Witte van Haemstede at Manpad.

Haar, however, has several meanings, one of them corresponding with the location of Haarlem on a sand dune: 'elevated place'.

The name Haarlem or Haarloheim would therefore mean 'home on a forested dune'.

This implied a number of privileges, among which the right for the sheriff and magistrates to administer justice, instead of the Count.

This allowed for a quicker and more efficient judiciary system, more suited to the needs of the growing city.

Nowadays many of them are on the Dutch Heritage register known as Rijksmonuments.

Over time it began to silt up and in the 19th century it was filled in.

The location of the village was a good one: by the river Spaarne, and by a major road going south to north.

After a siege from the surrounding area of Kennemerland in 1270 a defensive wall was built around the city.

Most likely this was an earthen wall, with wooden gates.

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