municipality in North Holland, the Netherlands

Schagen is a city and municipality in the centre of the North Holland Peninsula. The municipality also includes the beach-side town of Callantsoog.

Though not considered a part of the Bollenstreek, the same eye-catching brightly coloured flower fields can also be found around Schagen.

Understand edit

As a result of the land reclamation, the area is now littered with windmills.

Schagen is first mentioned in a 989 document that acknowledges the transfer of six farms owned by count Dirk II and his wife to the abbey of Egmond. It is not known whether the town has been founded at this point. What is known, is that Schagen got its city rights in 1415, but these rights were nullified not long after in 1426. One of the rights was re-granted the year after, and a keep was built. All city rights were re-granted in 1456, after which a church was built. The church and keep have given Schagen regional importance. Unlike the nearby cities of Alkmaar, Enkhuizen, Medemblik and Hoorn, Schagen saw little to no growth during the Dutch Golden Age. Growth only came to Schagen when new financial opportunities came with the 19th century land reclamation of the surrounding area. The railway from Alkmaar to Den Helder, which services Schagen was built in 1865, only helping the ongoing growth.

As the twentieth century progressed, Schagen's welfare slowly decreased. The agrarian sector shrunk especially after the Second World War. Schagen, however, was not fully dependent on farming, and therefore did not suffer too much from the agrarian downfall. The amount of inhabitants of the city grew again around 1960, from some 2,000 around 1865 to 5,000 one hundred years later and 19,000 in 2007.

Get in edit

By car edit

From Amsterdam, take the A9 heading for Haarlem, staying on the A9 until the road ends nearby Alkmaar. At this point, follow the signs to Heerhugowaard, staying on the N242. From here on, follow the signs to Schagen, which will get you onto the N508, followed by a right turn after a while onto the N245, which will take you directly to Schagen.

From Friesland, head for the Afsluitdijk via either Harlingen (N31) or Bolsward (A7). Go across the Afsluitdijk (A7) into North Holland, using exit 13 of the A7 (Wieringerwerf), followed by a right turn onto the N240. At the first roundabout you meet, head left onto the N248, which will then take you directly to Schagen.

By public transit edit

Schagen is found on the Amsterdam — Den Helder railway. The stations is serviced with both Intercity and Sprinter trains, which the latter one being the slower option. Trains run directly from Amsterdam, Utrecht, Nijmegen and even Maastricht on the other end of the country. From the 1 Schagen railroad station, busses serve the surrounding area. To get to Callantsoog, use bus 152, which travels to Julianadorp via Callantsoog.

Get around edit

The surrounding area is very much flat, and if the weather allows for it, when you should definitely get hold of a bike. You can also get an OV-Fiets at the train station, though this is discouraged for longer usage than a day.

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Routes through Schagen
Den Helder  N    S  AlkmaarHaarlemAmsterdam
Den Helder  N   S  AmsterdamUtrechtMaastricht
Den Helder  N   S  AmsterdamUtrechtNijmegen

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