Frederikspark had been Haarlem’s playground for ages and can be seen as the heart of Dutch football history.
In the 14th century, this area was given to the citizens of Haarlem by Albert I the Duke of Bavaria. Ever since, it has been a garden-style park. It got some restyling and a few villas have been built, but the green fields have alway been here. The Villa Welgelegen (original parts are from 1788) at the southern side of the park has been the residence of King Louis Napoleon, the brother of the French emperor. He used it as a palace. Nowadays it is the seat of the parliament of North Holland.
The park itself is still a great place to spot locals relaxing in the sun. People walk their dogs, do their workout routines, or play football on the trimmed fields between the posh villas and stately trees. They follow a long tradition. The first-ever football match in The Netherlands was played on this field, resulting in the first club team of the country: Haarlem FC. The club isn’t playing professional football anymore after a tragic bankruptcy.
However, this small park can be seen as the place where the orange football craziness in the Netherlands started.