Baarn is situated near the river Eem.
This river is the only river with its source and mouth in The Netherlands. Already in the period between 8000 and 4500 BC people have lived near this river. Several thousands of flint, found at archeological digs, proof the existence of men around that time.
The meaning of the name 'Baarn' seems to a reference to an area where fuel was to be found, metathesis switches the r and a around, so branden (to burn) becomes barnen (and looses the d as well).
The origin of Baarn was probably in the 12th century. By that time the existing villages became too small, due to the crusades, the trading with other regions and the growth of the population. Villages needed enough surrounding space for cattle and agriculture. During the 12th century many settlements were made, amongst which probably also Baarn.
The first settlement, near the actual Leestraat most likely comprised about twenty farms. Later in the 14th century the center of town was moved to the Brink.
At that very Brink the church of St.Paul (Pauluskerk) was built in the first half of the 14th century. The St.Paul's church houses a carillon that can be heard quite often.
By the end of the 14th century the bishop of Utrecht granted the people of Baarn city rights, the right to govern their own village. Baarn never received the right to build a city wall.
Baarn is ideally situated in the centre of The Netherlands.
It takes about an hour to get to Baarn by train, taking a train from Schiphol Airport either straight to Baarn or by changing trains at Weesp and take the train to Baarn. Avoid the Intercity, which will not stop in Baarn. You can find actual train time tables at the Dutch Railways Travel Planner, clicking on the logo.
Coming from the north or the east of the Netherlands, the A1 also known as E30 will bring you to Baarn. There are two exits at both ends of our town, exit number 10 Soest/Baarn (west) and exit number 11 (east). Take a look at the map which entrance to Baarn fits you best.
Coming from the west, for example if you rented a car at Schiphol Airport, you can also use the A1/E30.
Coming from the South the A27/E311 will lead you to Baarn. Follow it until you see the exit to Amersfoort A1 and then take the exit 10 Soest/Baarn.
Parking your car in Baarn is still free of charge. There are several parking areas, one of them next to the Railway Station with 260 places.
By bicycle or by foot
Many beautiful roads with cycle paths or even wood trails can lead you to Royal Baarn.