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Originally the city started out between Spaarne, Oudegracht, Ridderstraat, Bakenessergracht and Naussaustraat.
In the 14th century the city expanded, and the Burgwalbuurt, Bakenes and the area around the Oudegracht became part of the city.
Haarlem became wealthy with toll revenues that it collected from ships and travellers moving on this busy North-South route.
However, as shipping became increasingly important economically, the city of Amsterdam became the main Dutch city of North Holland during the Dutch Golden Age.
Again on 12 June 1347 there was a fire in the city.
Newer sections of Spaarndam lie within the neighbouring municipality of Haarlemmermeer.
The city is located on the river Spaarne, giving it its nickname 'Spaarnestad' (Spaarne city).
The modern city encompasses the former municipality of Schoten as well as parts that previously belonged to Bloemendaal and Heemstede.
Apart from the city, the municipality of Haarlem also includes the western part of the village of Spaarndam.
After a siege from the surrounding area of Kennemerland in 1270 a defensive wall was built around the city.