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Zoetermeer

Netherlands, Zoetermeer
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"Zoetermeer" () is a city in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of 37.06 km² (of which 2.15 km² is water). A small village until the late 1960s, it had 6,392 inhabitants in 1950 .By 1 March 2007 this had grown to 118,483, making it the third largest population center in the province of South Holland, after Rotterdam and The Hague, and the largest suburb of The Hague.

The name "Zoetermeer" (Dutch for "Sweet Lake") refers to the former fresh lake at the site of the town.

istor
In the tenth century Zoetermeer was a small village, primarily home to farmers and fishermen. In the 13th century a village centre was formed, which still exists as the historic Dorpsstraat. Until the 17th century there was a lake, called the Zoetermeer. A reminder of this is the "Noord Aa" at the northern edge of town, an artificial lake was created when tons of sand were needed as building material for the foundations for new housing development, and the area north of Zoetermeer provided a good source.

Until 1935 the village centre was split into two villages, Zoetermeer and Zegwaard. The standard of living at the time was said to be higher in Zoetermeer than in Zegwaard. Seghwaert, an older way of spelling of Zegwaard, is now the name of a neighbourhood outside the old village centre.

The old town centre
Zoetermeer began to grow slightly when the first train service came around 1868. A few decades later the Numico factory started near the station. The real growth started in 1966, when there was an urgent need of houses from people around The Hague. From then they started to build new quarters around the old village centre, so Zoetermeer began to grow and became a city in the meantime.

Although Zoetermeer nowadays has the image of a modern city, there are still remains of the past. Like the old village centre with its small houses and the church with late medieval 15th century clock tower (on picture, wooden top from 1642), and the old farms, surrounded by modern houses nowadays.

Lake Dobbe divides the old town from the new city centre, with the medieval village centre on one side of the lake and the modern high-rise and skyscrapers on the other side.

eighbourhood
Zoetermeer is divided into 10 neighbourhoods. Every neighbourhood has at least one (smaller) shopping mall and a tram stop.

These neighbourhoods have the following names (in brackets the year the neighbourhood was designated, although some of the neighbourhood already existed before designation):
Aerial view of Zoetermeer.
*Buytenwegh de Leyens (1974)
*Dorp (1962)
*Driemanspolder (1965)
*Meerzicht (1969)
*Noordhove (1986)
*Oosterheem (1999)
*Palenstein (1966)
*Rokkeveen (1987)
*Seghwaert (1975)
*Stadscentrum (1978)

conom
Wind turbine with observation deck at Siemens factory in Zoetermeer
Zoetermeer is a so called ICT-city which means Zoetermeer has a modern infrastructure and a lot of schools that offer ICT-related education. Also 20% of the population of Zoetermeer already has an ICT-related job. Siemens and Toshiba also have factories in Zoetermeer. The municipality of Zoetermeer designates a comparatively large part of the budget to computers for schools.

To stress the ICT-tradition of Zoetermeer, the city is the first in the world to have a city hall in Second Life. Zoetermeer is sometimes referred to as the Dutch Silicon Valley.

ransportatio
ight rai
The former Zoetermeer Stadslijn urban railway was rebuilt as light rail recently. The stadslijn was the only urban railway in The Netherlands. It had 12 stations in Zoetermeer and ran to and from The Hague Central Station.

The new light rail system is part of the RandstadRail network between The Hague, Rotterdam and Zoetermeer. Besides the rebuilt Stadslijn, which now has 13 stations, the new line Oosterheemlijn leads to a new suburb called Zoetermeer Oosterheem. It will count up to 30,000 inhabitants when completed, making it the largest quarter of Zoetermeer. The Oosterheemlijn currently has three stations, but will be extended to Rotterdam in the future via Bleiswijk and Berkel.

eavy rai
Zoetermeer has two stations on the main railway between The Hague and Utrecht. Zoetermeer-Zegwaard, built when the city was connected by railway in 1868, burnt down in 1906. On its location stands Zoetermeer-Oost. Zoetermeer station, the main station, is more recent.

The HSL-Zuid high speed line from Amsterdam to Paris passes Zoetermeer on its eastern side. Although there have been proposals to open a station on the line, this seems highly unlikely., on www.stationsweb.nl

otorwa
Zoetermeer is next to the A12 motorway, connecting The Hague with Utrecht, Arnhem and Germany.

eligio
Zoetermeer is the only place in the Netherlands with a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is situated near the old village centre.
and

ntertainment and recreatio
This former new town used to be a suburb of The Hague, as many residents worked, shopped and were entertained in The Hague. With the growth of Zoetermeer came a large theatre, mega cinema, and other entertainment such as go-karts, laser gaming, survival centre, and a golf centre. The "Locomotion" discothèque, the first mega disco of The Netherlands, is the oldest of them.

nowWorl
SnowWorld indoor ski slope
SnowWorld was the first indoor ski slope made of real snow in Europe, opened in 1996. It now has three slopes, of which the 200 meter slope is the longest. Plans are being made to build a new 500 meter slope. SnowWorld attracts over a million visitors each year, making it the most important tourist attraction in Zoetermeer.

utch Water Dream
Dutch Water Dreams (DWD) is an artificial Olympic wild water rafting circuit. It is a copy of the one being built in China for the 2008 Olympic Games and is mainly used for training by European rafting teams, and also for team building and recreation. DWD also has an indoor wave boarding centre.

ilverdom
Silverdome is an indoor Olympic ice skating track and convention centre. It is used as a training centre for the KNSB, the Dutch Olympic and world championship ice skaters. Outside the skating season it is used as a convention centre and concert hall and for large raves.

ndoor Div
There are plans to build an indoor diving centre in Zoetermeer. 70 m in diameter and 30 m deep, it will be the largest indoor diving centre in the world. There will be a coral reef and underwater caves and a large beach around the edge. 10,000 life tropical fish should make it as realistic as possible.

ark
Zoetermeer has many parks, the biggest being the "Westerpark" on the west side of town. It is almost as large as Central Park in New York. Other notable parks are the "Buytenpark", the "Westerpark", the "Aldo van Eijkpark", the "Binnenpark", the "Van Tuyllpark (with Dutch Water Dreams and Aquapark Keerpunt), the "Hoekstrapark", the "Wilhelminapark", the "floriade park", the "Seghwaertse Hout" and the "Seghwaertpark".

At the north side there is a lake, the "Zoetermeerse Plas", often called "Noord Aa" because it is in the Noord Aa Recreational Area. There is a beach along one side of the lake and a marina on the other. Wind- and kite surfing, sailing and fishing are the most popular activities on the lake.

On both the west and east side of the city forests are being planted, called "Balijbos" (west side) and Bentwoud (east side). These forests are intended to form a "natural" barrier between The Hague and Zoetermeer.

irtual Zoetermee
Virtual Zoetermeer is a game made by the municipality of Zoetermeer. It lets you rebuild the city of Zoetermeer. It kind of looks like SimCity and is in Dutch. The game can be downloaded .

There used to be a castle in Zoetermeer, called Palenstein. You can experience the life in the castle in game.

ister cities and twin town
* Nitra, Slovakia
* Jinotega, Nicaragua
* Xiamen, Fujian, People"s Republic of China

References



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Category:Municipalities of South Holland
Category:Cities, towns and villages in South Holland

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Dieser Artikel stammt aus der freien Enzyklopädie Wikipedia und kann dort bearbeitet werden. Der Text ist unter der Lizenz Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike verfügbar. Fassung vom 25.02.2021 21:07 von den Wikipedia-Autoren.
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