Siege of Alkmaar

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Siege of Alkmaar
Part of the Eighty Years' War
Beleg van Alkmaar 1573 (Frans Hogenberg).jpg
The Siege of Alkmaar by Frans Hogenberg
Date 8 October 1573
Location Alkmaar (present-day Netherlands)
Result Decisive Dutch victory
Dutch Republic Dutch Rebels Spain Spain
Commanders and leaders
Jacob Cabeliau Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo
800 Geuzen, ca.1,300 civilians 6,500 to 16,000 troops
Casualties and losses
24+ geuzen, 13 civilians over 500
A painting showing unfinished fortifications

The Siege of Alkmaar (1573) was a turning point in the Eighty Years' War. The burghers of the Dutch city of Alkmaar fought off the Spanish (who had set up their camp in Oudorp) between August 21 and October 8, 1573, with boiling tar and burning branches from their renewed city walls. This battle forced the Spanish commander, Don Fadrique, the son of the hated Alva himself, was defeated and retreated.

A first hand account of the siege exists in the diary of Nanning van Foreest, a local city councillor. The site also been the site of several archaeological examinations of the remains of the battle.[1]


  1. ^ The Routledge Handbook of the Bioarchaeology of Human Conflict Routledge, Dec 17, 2013. pg. 456
  • The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. Greenwood Publishing Group, Jan 1, 2006 . pg 12