This new town was created to get rid of congestion in the Hague. It was built from 1966 onwards around a village in which the church (18C) has kept its Gothic tower topped by a wooden spire dating from 1642. In the final phase, Zoetermeer hopes to reach 110,000 to 115,000 inhabitants. Zoetermeer lake which was formed by the extraction of peat, was drained in 1616. A modern centre (trade and business) stands alongside the historic centre.