"It's a scam!" Haarlem Off The Beaten Path Tip by OlafS

Haarlem Off The Beaten Path: 61 reviews and 61 photos

Haarlem claims to be the city where printing was invented. The true story is that in ca. 1560 romours were spreading that this had happened in ca. 1440 and that the idea was stolen and taken to Mainz where Gutenberg became famous with it. In 1588 this rumour became myth, and the 'inventor' was given the name Laurens Janszoon Coster. People actually started to believe the story. In the 17th century the house was found were the ficticious Coster supposedly had lived. A book was found that supposedly was printed by Coster. In 1628 Coster was given a face for the first time. Later a statue was fashioned after this image, which still stands in Haarlem. All good and nice, but let's not forget that the guy never existed!

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  • Updated Apr 29, 2003
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