gemeente (municipality), northwestern Netherlands, on the IJsselmeer (lake). Founded about 1300 and chartered in 1357, it was the capital of medieval West Friesland. Its horn-shaped harbour (for which it is named) was one of the principal ports of the Netherlands until the Zuiderzee silted up in the 18th century. The first great net for herring fishing was made in Hoorn in 1416. Willem Schouten (who discovered the passage around Cape Horn [Hoorn]) and Jan Pieterszoon Coen (the Dutch East Indies empire builder) were born in Hoorn.
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