Hoofddorp (literally translated as Main Village) is the main town of the Haarlemmermeer municipality in the province of North Holland. The city has a population of about 72 000. The town was founded in 1853, immediately after the Haarlemmermeer had been drained.
After the draining of the Haarlemmermeer, it was decided to establish two villages, Kruisdorp and Venneperdorp, in the centre of the polder. In 1868 they were renamed to Hoofddorp and Nieuw-Vennep respectively. The development of Hoofddorp was more prosperous than the growth of Nieuw-Vennep, and it rapidly became the most important place of the district, even though Badhoevedorp still had more inhabitants, due to its economic and administrative functions and favorable location.
In the late 19th century, Hoofddorp was included in the Defence line of Amsterdam. A fort was built next to the main canal, two batteries are now located in the outskirts of Hoofddorp and several casemates were built to the East of Hoofddorp.
A large dike known as the Geniedijk (Engineers’ dike) connects the fort at Hoofddorp with the batteries, the casemates, the fort at Vijfhuizen in the West and the fort at Aalsmeer in the East.
In 1856, the first windmill in the Haarlemmermeer was built by Dirk David van Dijk in the centre of Hoofddorp. It was called "De Eersteling" (The first). Due to increasing construction work around the windmill, it wasn’t able to operate for a long time, but in 1977 the mill was moved to another location near fort Hoofddorp. It has been operating regularly since that that moment and can be visited by the public.
On August 3rd, 1912, Hoofddorp was connected by train to Leiden, Aalsmeer and Haarlem. These railway lines, operated by the Hollandsche Electrische Spoorwegmaatschappij (HESM), were closed on December 31st, 1935.
In 1981, Hoofddorp was connected via railway for the second time, this time till Leiden and Schiphol Airport as a part of the Schiphollijn (Schiphol Line). The Southern High-Speed Line, that opened in 2007 is using the existing conventional track from Amsterdam Central Station to Hoofddorp, where it branches off onto a dedicated track. The trains themselves do not stop in Hoofddorp.
Hoofddorp is connected by many bus lines to many cities and towns in the immediate surroundings. Most bus lines are operated by Connexxion. In 2002, Hoofddorp was connected to Haarlem, Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Zuid Oost by the high quality bus line Zuidtangent. The Zuidtangent will be expanded by adding lines from Hoofddorp to Nieuw Vennep and Uithoorn.
Hoofddorp is well connected to several of the main roads in the Netherlands. At Knooppunt de Hoek, the A5 motorway branches off to Haarlem from the A4 motorway that leads to Amsterdam and The Hague. The A9 motorway can easily be reached via Badhoevedorp or the junction of the A4 and A9 at Knooppunt Badhoevedorp.
Hoofddorp itself lies on the crossing of the two main secondary roads in Haarlemmermeer: the N201 from Hilversum to Zandvoort and the N520, that runs alongside the main canal of the Haarlemmermeer and dissects the polder from North to South.
The borough Toolenburg is connected to a yet to be developed industrial area by the bridge Lute, that was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava as part of a series of 3 bridges over the main canal along the N520.
The secondary road N205 connects Nieuw Vennep to Haarlem and is part of the ring around Hoofddorp.
Well-known inhabitants of Hoofddorp
- Fanny Blankers-Koen: athlete
- Rob Witschge (1966): professional football player
- Johnny Heitinga: professional football player
- Richard Witschge: professional football player
- Rob Geus: television moderator
- Oscar Harris: singer
- Luke van Scheppingen: alias DJ Laid back Luke
- Dirk van het Klooster: baseball player