Like other Dutch cities, Haarlem flourished in the 17th century. Many Flemish and French emigrants came to the city and, with their expertise in the processing of linen and silk, they strengthened the trade in textiles. Additionally, canals were built to connect the city with other places. This development resulted not only in economic growth, but in cultural development. Many painters of the golden age, including for example Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael and Jan Sten, came to work in Haarlem.
Gerrit Adriaensz Berckheyde, De Grote Markt te Haarlem met de Grote of St. Bavokerk, oil painting, 1696; image source: © Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, http://www.franshalsmuseum.nl/en/collection/collection/search-collection/the-grote-markt-in-haarlem-with-the-grote-or-st-bavokerk-seen-from-the-west-114/.