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Europe is one of the five inhabited traditional continents of the Earth. Physically and geologically, Europe is the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, west of Asia. Europe is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and to the southeast by the waterways adjoining the Mediterranean to and including the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains. On the east, Europe is divided from Asia by the water divide of the Ural Mountains and by the Caspian Sea. Europe is the world's second-smallest continent in terms of area and third-largest continent after Asia and Africa in population.
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, capital of North Holland province. The city is located by the river Spaarne, about 20 kilometers west of Amsterdam and near the coastal dunes. It is the center of a flower-growing district and the export point for bulbs, especially tulips. The municipality of Haarlem also comprises part of the village of Spaarndam, a newer housing estate forming part of the municipality of Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude. The population in 2005 was 147,153, density is 4,978 per square kilometers.
Haarlem's cultural life also prospered, with famous painters like Frans Hals and Jacob van Ruisdael, the architect Lieven de Key and Jan Steen who made many paintings in Haarlem. On the Grote Markt, the central market square, there's a statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster who is allegedly the inventor of the printing press. In 1628 a chemist in Haarlem goes broke, and decides to join the VOC, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie  to sail to the East. His name, Jeronimus Cornelisz, will always be connected with the Batavia ship.
The city is famous for its many hofjes almshouses built around courtyards. These were mainly privately funded houses for elderly single women. Nowadays there are 19 hofjes in Haarlem and many open to the public on weekdays. Many hofjes are still owned by the original foundations, and are still mainly used for single women.
Haarlem is said the place of best geographical environment and can trace its origins back to prehistoric times. It enjoys a very positive reputation with worldwide travelers.

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