Old-Kronenburg (municipality)

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The third largest populated municipality of Kronenburg is Old-Kronenburg (Dutch: Oud-Kronenburg; Kronenburgish: Gamel-Kroneborg), which consists of the city of Noordeinde (850,000 inhabitants) and the villages of Pingjum, De Boskery and Blauwe Schans. Old-Kronenburg is the municipality that has the most agriculture; in other municipalities with areas not occupied by buildings or forests, farmers tend to do more cattle-breeding. Old-Kronenburg also contains the ruins of the old capital of Kronenburg(-City), which was destroyed in 1871 by a bombardment by the United States and wasn't rebuilt. Since then, Alexanderstad has been the capital of Kronenburg.

History

The municipality of Old-Kronenburg was created in 1919, without a real capital. The municipal institutions were located in the almost completely destroyed harbour of Kronenburg-City. In 1923 Noordeinde was built as future part of Alexanderstad; it expanded however to the north and enclosed the ruins of Kronenburg-City, as well as the municipal institutions. It was however only in 1950 that Noordeinde was recognised as a city and made capital of Old-Kronenburg. The original boundaries - and even some city walls - of Kronenburg-City still exist and are clearly visible on the map of Noordeinde. The remnants of Kronenburg-City are therefore often inaccurately considered by tourists as the Old Town of Noordeinde. This has brought the city some kind of identity crisis: on one hand, Noordeinde is a somewhat dull, modern city without much history of its own, so it benefits from the turbulent history of another city.

Noordeinde

Noordeinde has therefore in fact two city centres: the old Kronenburg and the modern centre of Noordeinde itself. The modern centre is formed by a large oval square (the Nicolaasmarkt), which is surrounded by modern buildings with a lot of wood and glass; an effect of the modernisation of the city which started at the beginning of the nineties and was finished in 2002 with the opening of the solemn New Nicolas Church ('Nieuwe Nicolaaskerk') on the northern side of the square. This church is still popularly called the 'Blue Church', based on the colour of the first Nicolas Church, which was destroyed by fire in the sixties. The new church fits perfectly in its surroundings of wood and glass; in the front wall, the account of the Creation is depicted, and the church has three crooked looking towers of dissimilar height, which each have a part of the traditional clock: the highest tower on the west side of the church has the digits, the lowest tower in the middle has the hour-hand and the middle tower on the east side has the minute-hand.

Other buildings on the Nicolaasmarkt are of course the city hall and the mayor's house, some other government institutions and the Guild and Craft Museum, which also has a presentation about the designers of the modernisation of Noordeinde, the architects Ruurd-Willem Haisma and Frank Theijsz. In the middle of the square there is a statue of king Alexander I sitting on a horse, and at the north and south side of the square are entrances to the subway that leads to Alexanderstad. According to some, the square could have some more trees.

Going to the north, the Hermesallee, an long avenue rich of trees, connects the Nicolaasmarkt to the old centre of Kronenburg-City. For tourists, this avenue - which is kept free of cars - is a nice walk between the sights of Kronenburg-City and the connection with Alexanderstad. The house prices at the Hermesallee were the highest of Kronenburg until the beginning of the financial crisis, but many companies that had their main offices in one of the stately buildings have since moved elsewhere. Between the ruins of Kronenburg-City new houses have been built, but many remnants can still be found that remind of old times. The official tour for tourists leads them criss-cross through several streets and alleys to historical atmosphere. Only in 2003 the information given during this tour has been rewritten to sound a bit less unfriendly towards the United States.

Otherwise, Noordeinde is mainly made up of residential areas and industry. The city has very unromantically been divided in eleven nameless, but numbered city quarters ('wijken'). Apart from one or two small museums, there is little to do for the average tourist. The huge shopping centre in Wijk 6 is an exception: this centre has of course the standard supermarkets and other standard shops, but there are also many exclusive little shops with cultural and religious themes. The building itself was designed by Frank Theijsz. In Wijk 6 one can also find the largest collection of religious communities of Kronenburg; in this quarter one can find e.g. the country's only (official) mosque.

Wijk 4 is the harbour of Noordeinde, from where ferries connect Kronenburg with the North American mainland. Also the island of De Boskery, with its villages De Boskery and Blauwe Schans, can be reached from the Wijk 4 harbour.

Pingjum and the island of De Boskery

The village of Pingjum lies north of Noordeinde and is separated from the city by only a small strip of fields. In order to maintain the authentic character of the village, it is forbidden to use this strip for anything other than nature or agriculture, according to a law from 1987. On the whole, Pingjum isn't that interesting a village. There is a small museum about native Americans that lived in Kronenburg and were partly extinguished, partly mingled with the new Kronenburg society. The 'Indian Museum' as it is still called in popular language, has been criticized for years because of the bad and, according to some, inaccurate quality of the information presented there.

The island of De Boskery is a popular summer destination for youth scouts. Because the woody island is rather small, and the fact that there are already two villages on it, the island authorities of De Boskery have limited the daily number of visitors. This limitation is strictly checked and has led to a large quantity of bureaucratic hassle.

Mayors

# mayor of Old-Kronenburg took office left office remarks
1 Cornelis van Harlingen 1919 1926
2 Edmund Bosman 1926 1929
3 Karel Lantinga Alkema 1929 1939
4 Fetze Hommema 1939 1944
Brian Charlesworth 1944 1947 Appointed by U.S. administration
5 Jan Wiegman 1947 1967
6 Elsbeth Venema-Ubbega (f) 1967 1974
7 Nico Styrup 1974 1979
8 Michiel Wolffs 1979 1986
9 Fred Remkes 1986 1995
10 Grete Tjepkema-Bunnema (f) 1995 1999
11 Sigurd Jörgensen 1999 2003
12 Alfred Dopper 2003 2012
13 Lena Ewen (f) 2012 incumbent
Municipalities and Overseas Territories of Kronenburg
Alexanderstad · Dietzland · Groningen · Koninginneland · Markenland · Oosterland · Oranjewijk · Old-Kronenburg · Waterland · West-Cod · Westerland · Zuiderland
Overseas provinces: Kronenburg Virgin Islands · White Islands
Overseas municipality: New-Stavoren