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Alkmaar is a Dutch city and municipality in the province of North Holland, with an area of 31.20 km², of which 1.94 km² corresponds to the area occupied by water, and a population on January 1, 2014 of 94 866 inhabitants, with a density of 3,244 h / km².
The municipality also includes the towns of Koedijk and Oudorp. These towns that formerly formed separate nuclei are today linked by the urbanization carried out between 1970 and 1990, during which the city doubled its number of inhabitants. It is expected that on January 1, 2015, it will merge with Schermer and Graft-De Rijp
Alkmaar obtained the city rights in 1254. The oldest part of it is seated on a sandbar that offered some protection against the sea. Even so, the city is only a few meters above the rest of the area, which constitutes one of the polders.
In 1573 the city was besieged by the troops of Felipe II during the Eighty Years' War. The end of the siege of Alkmaar on October 8 is still celebrated every year in the city.
Currently the city is best known for its traditional cheese market, specializing in local varieties. The city has a cheese museum and a beer museum