ALKMAAR, a town in the province of North Holland, kingdom of Holland, 244 m.
Alkmaar is a typical North Holland town, with tree-lined canals and brightly coloured 17th-century houses.
Just outside the town lies the Alkmaar wood, at the entrance to which stands the military cadet school which serves as a preparatoryschool for the royal military academy at Breda.
Alkmaar derives its chief importance from being the centre of the flourishing butter and cheese trade of this region of Holland.
Tramways connect Alkmaar with Egmond and with the pretty summer resort of Bergen, which lies sheltered by woods and dunes.
The name of Alkmaar, which means "all sea," first occurs in the 10th century, and recalls its former situation in the midst of marshlands and lakes.
As the captial of the ancient district of Kennemerland between den Helder and Haarlem, Alkmaar frequently suffered in the early wars between the Hollanders and the Frisians, and in 1517 was captured by the united Gelderlanders and Frisians.
In 1799 Alkmaar gave its name to a convention signed by the duke of York and the French general Brune, in accordance with which the Russo-British army of 23,000 men, which was defeated at Bergen, evacuated Holland.
Texel was already separated from the mainland in the 8th century, but remained a Frisian province and countship, which once extended as far as Alkmaar in North Holland, until it came into the possession of the counts of Holland.
The example Siege Haarlem of Haarlem was followed by Alkmaar, and with better and success.
His work Eratosthenes Batavus, published in 1617, describes the method and gives as the result of his operations between Alkmaar and Bergen-opZoom a degree of the meridian equal to 55,100 toises =117,449 yds.
Among interesting places may be mentioned Alkmaar, Heilo, Egmond, Kastrikum and Beverwyk, which, like Velzen a few miles south, was granted by Charles Martel to Willebrord, the apostle of the Frisians, in the first half of the 8th century.
Purmerend, Alkmaar and Enkhuizen are the chief market centres.
The state first began to encourage the construction of these local light railways by means of subsidies in 1893, since when some of the most prominent lines have come into exist ence, such as Purmerend - Alkmaar (1898), Zutphen - Emmerich (1902), along the Dedemsyaart in Overysel (1902), from 's Hertogenbosch via Utrecht and Eindhoven to Turnhout in Belgium (1898), and especially those connecting the South Holland and Zeeland islands with the railway, namely, between Rotterdam and Numansdorp on the Hollandsch Diep (1898), and from Breda or Bergen-op-Zoom, via Steenbergen to St Philipsland, Zierikzee and Brouwershaven (1900).
The practical discovery of the instrument was certainly made in Holland about 1608, but the credit of the original invention has been claimed on behalf of three individuals, Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Jansen, spectacle-makers in Middelburg, and James Metius of Alkmaar (brother of Adrian Metius the mathematician) .
The sieges of Haarlem, Neth er- Alkmaar and Leiden saved Holland from being lands.
The following eighteen towns sent representatives: South Quarter - (I) Dordrecht, (2) Haarlem, (3) Delft, (4) Leiden, (5) Amsterdam, (6) Gouda, (7) Rotterdam, (8) Gorinchem, (9) Schiedam, (10) Schoonhoven, (11) Brill; North Quarter: - (12) Alkmaar, (13) Hoorn, (14) Enkhuizen, (15) Edam, (16) Monnikendam, (17) Medemblik, (18) Purmerend.
It has communication by railway and canal in every direction; steam-tramways connect it with Edam, Purmerend, Alkmaar and Hilversum, and electric railways with Haarlem and the seaside resort of Zandvoort.
Cornelius van Drebbel, at Alkmaar, first employed cochineal for the production of scarlet in 1650.