|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Lies Spruit (PvdA)|
|• Total||16.05 km2 (6.20 sq mi)|
|• Land||15.69 km2 (6.06 sq mi)|
|• Water||0.36 km2 (0.14 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1 m (3 ft)|
|Population (August 2013)|
|• Density||1,422/km2 (3,680/sq mi)|
|Demonym||Lissenaar or Lisser|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Lisse ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of 16.05 km2 (6.20 sq mi) of which 0.36 km2 (0.14 sq mi) is water. Its population was 22,312 in 2013. Located within the municipal boundary is also the community De Engel.
The history of Lisse is closely related and similar to the neighboring towns of Hillegom and Sassenheim. Based on a document from 1198 which makes official mention of the town's name, Lisse celebrated its 800-year anniversary in 1998, although there is an indication that there was already a settlement there in the 10th century.
In the Middle Ages, Lisse was a small settlement; there were only 50 houses in 1500. Because of prolonged warfare (particularly the wars of Charles the Bold and the Eighty Years' War), poverty was prevalent. Its population lived from agriculture, animal husbandry, and peat harvesting.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Lisse was, like Hillegom, home to many estates of rich merchants and nobility. The forests and gardens of the Keukenhof, Meerenburg, Wildlust, Zandvliet, Overduin en Akervoorde, Wassergeest, Grotenhof, Ter Specke, Dubbelhoven, Rosendaal, Veenenburg en Berkhout, Middelburg, Ter Beek, and Uytermeer estates all added to the town's beauty and glory.
Yet in the following centuries, every one of these estates (except Keukenhof) was removed to make way for the cultivation of bulb flowers. The sandy soil in Lisse's surroundings were highly suitable for its growth provided the soil was fertilized. The nearby dunes were excavated and forests cut down progressively over time for more fields for the flower business. This brought employment and prosperity to this area.
In the 20th century, the bulb flower business continued to boom, resulting in the establishment of auction and trading houses, large-scale cultivators and cooperatives. Today, Lisse exports bulbflowers in large quantities to over a hundred countries worldwide.
Located at the centre of the "Dune and Bulb Region" (Duin- en Bollenstreek), Holland's flower-growing region, Lisse is also a major tourist attraction. During the spring when the fields around Lisse are in a colourful bloom, hundreds of thousands of local and foreign tourists visit the area. Ironically, the only remaining estate that was not removed for flower cultivation (Keukenhof) became world-famous for its flower displays.
Tourism and attractions
The most popular attractions in Lisse is Keukenhof, open only during spring when the tulips are flowering. Also each spring a flower parade called the Bollenstreek Bloemencorso is held through the main streets of Lisse. In August the fantasy festival Castlefest is held in the gardens of Castle Keukenhof.
Other places of interest are the museums:
- Huys Dever, a restored castle tower from the 14th century
- Castle Keukenhof, part of the Keukenhof estate but open year-round
- Museum De Zwarte Tulp (Black Tulip Museum), exhibiting the history of the Dutch' bulb-growing region
Notable people born in Lisse
- Joseph Smit (1836-1929), zoological illustrator
- Jacob Veldhuyzen van Zanten (1927-1977), KLM aircraft pilot and captain
- Adrianus Johannes Simonis (26 November 1931), cardinal and archbishop of Utrecht
- Jenny Arean (4 October 1942), singer, actress and comedian
- Harry Mens (29 January 1947), real estate broker and television presenter
- Rene Elfering (15 September 1964), businessman and hockeycoach
- Hans Kroes (3 June 1965), freestyle and backstroke swimmer
- Bastiaan Ragas (30 June 1971), actor and singer
- Hannah Jong (Born 1967), artist
- "Mw. A.W.M. (Lies) Spruit" (in Dutch). Gemeente Lisse. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- "Postcodetool for 2161BS". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
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