Haarlem, in the past usually Harlem in English, is a city in the Netherlands. It is also the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was one of the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic. The city is located on the river Spaarne, about 20 km west of Amsterdam and near the coastal dunes. It has been the historical center of the tulip bulb-growing district for centuries and bears the nickname 'Bloemenstad' (flower city), for this reason. The municipality of Haarlem also comprises part of the village of Spaarndam, a newer housing estate forming part of the municipality of Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude.