Coordinates: 52° 37′ 54″ N, 4° 45′ 1″ E
Alkmaar is famous for its traditional cheese market from April until early September. The oldest part of Alkmaar, with 400 monuments, lies on an ancient sand bank that gave some protection from the sea during medieval times. The earliest mention of the name Alkmaar is in a 10th century document. As the village grew into a town, it was granted city rights in 1254. Its vicinage consists of some of the oldest polders in existence. Older spellings include Alckmar. Alkmaar has many medieval buildings that are still intact, most notably the tall tower of Sint-Laurenskerk.