Cities in the Netherlands

North Sea Region

The Story of IJmuiden

Similar to the town of Hoek van Holland (which came into being because of the opening of a seaway), IJmuiden only has been in existence since 1870, when the Noordzeekanaal was built. It had 1500 inhabitants in 1890. The name was coined by prof. Vissering, and literally means ‘mouth of the IJ’. The Noordzeekanaal connect the North Sea with the IJ in Amsterdam. The three-kilometres-long pier is an attraction in itself while the beach has come into its own, especially as a hiking site.

The town is part of the municipality of Velsen and suffered heavy damage and demolition in the war years because of its maritime importance. Velsen/IJmuiden is home to the Hoogovens steelworks. The municipal hall was built after a design by famed architect Dudok. Its North Sea locks are among the largest in the world and one set is able to close off a shipping lane of 50 meters wide and 12 meters deep. Velsen was inhabited in Roman times when a North Sea port was built.

As with Hoek van Holland, IJmuiden for many 19th century sea-bound emigrants was the last part of the homeland they saw on their one-way journey.

Famous son: Adriaan Morrien (1912) writer/poet.