Docks in the city centre
Location in North Brabant
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Paul Depla (PvdA)|
|• Municipality||128.68 km2 (49.68 sq mi)|
|• Land||126.04 km2 (48.66 sq mi)|
|• Water||2.64 km2 (1.02 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|• Density||1,456/km2 (3,770/sq mi)|
|• Metro region [ nl ]||553,706|
|• Brabant CMSA||1,932,055|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
4800–4841, 4847, 4850–4854
Breda (Dutch pronunciation: [breːˈdaː] (
The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe with some overseas territories. In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.
There are currently twelve provinces of the Netherlands, representing the administrative layer between the national government and the local municipalities, with responsibility for matters of subnational or regional importance.
North Brabant, also unofficially called Brabant, is a province in the south of the Netherlands. It borders the provinces of South Holland and Gelderland to the north, Limburg to the east, Zeeland to the west, and Belgium to the south. The northern border follows the Meuse westward to its mouth in the Hollands Diep strait, part of the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta.
As a fortified city, it was of strategic military and political significance. Although a direct Fiefdom of the Holy Roman Emperor, the city obtained a municipal charter; the acquisition of Breda, through marriage, by the House of Nassau ensured that Breda would be at the centre of political and social life in the Low Countries. Breda had a population of 183,456 in 2017; the metropolitan area had a population of 324,812. It is part of the Brabantse Stedenrij.
A defensive wall is a fortification usually used to protect a city, town or other settlement from potential aggressors. In ancient to modern times, they were used to enclose settlements. Generally, these are referred to as city walls or town walls, although there were also walls, such as the Great Wall of China, Walls of Benin, Hadrian's Wall, Anastasian Wall, the Cyclopean Wall Rajgir and the metaphorical Atlantic Wall, which extended far beyond the borders of a city and were used to enclose regions or mark territorial boundaries. In mountainous terrain, defensive walls such as letzis were used in combination with castles to seal valleys from potential attack. Beyond their defensive utility, many walls also had important symbolic functions – representing the status and independence of the communities they embraced.
The Holy Roman Emperor, officially the Emperor of the Romans, and also the German-Roman Emperor, was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.
City rights are a feature of the medieval history of the Low Countries. A liege lord, usually a count, duke or similar member of the high nobility, granted to a town or village he owned certain town privileges that places without city rights did not have.
|Source: Lourens & Lucassen 1997, pp. 40–41|
In the 11th century, Breda was a direct fief of the Holy Roman Emperor,its earliest known lord being Henry of Brunesheim (1080–1125). The city of Breda obtained a municipal charter in 1252. After that Breda had the rights to build fortifications. The city constructed brick walls and Roman-style gates.
In 1327, Adelheid of Gaveren sold Breda to Duke Johannes III of Brabant. In 1350, the fief was resold to Johannes II of Wassenaar (d. 1377). In 1403, the heiress of his line, Johanna of Polanen (1392–1445), married Engelbert I of Nassau (1370–1442; his sarcophagus is in the Grote Kerk in Breda). Through her, the city came into the possession of the House of Nassau, where it remained until 1795, passing to William I of Orange (1533–1584), stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht and leader of the Dutch revolt. Thus, the baron of Breda was also Count of Nassau in the Holy Roman Empire, Prince of Orange, and (the main) stadtholder in the Dutch Republic (from 1572–1650, 1672–1702, 1747–1795). Breda remained part of the barony of Breda until it was captured by French revolutionary forces in 1795.
John III was Duke of Brabant, Lothier, and Limburg (1312–1355). He was the son of John II, Duke of Brabant, and Margaret of England.
The Duchy of Brabant was a State of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1183. It developed from the Landgraviate of Brabant and formed the heart of the historic Low Countries, part of the Burgundian Netherlands from 1430 and of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1482, until it was partitioned after the Dutch revolt.
Engelbert I of Nassau was a son of Count Johan I of Nassau and Countess Margaretha of the Marck, daughter of Count Adolph II of the Marck.
The acquisition of the city by the House of Orange-Nassau marked its emergence as a residentiestad (residence city). The presence of the Orange-Nassau family attracted other nobles, who built palatial residences in the old quarters of the city. The most impressive one, built by the Italian architect Thomas Vincidor de Bologna for the first Dutch prince, was the first renaissance-style palace built north of the Alps. In the 15th century the city's physical, economic and strategic importance expanded rapidly. A great church was built in Brabantine Gothic style with a gallant 97-metre-high (318 ft) tower, called Grote Kerk (main church) or also Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kerk (Church of Our Lady). In 1534 Henry III of Nassau-Breda rebuilt the modest medieval fortifications in impressive style.
Tommaso di Andrea Vincidor was an Italian Renaissance painter and architect who trained with Raphael and spent most of his career in the Netherlands. He was also called Tommaso Vincitore, Tommaso da Bologna and Thomas Polonier.
Renaissance architecture is the European architecture of the period between the early 14th and early 16th centuries in different regions, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance architecture followed Gothic architecture and was succeeded by Baroque architecture. Developed first in Florence, with Filippo Brunelleschi as one of its innovators, the Renaissance style quickly spread to other Italian cities. The style was carried to France, Germany, England, Russia and other parts of Europe at different dates and with varying degrees of impact.
Brabantine Gothic, occasionally called Brabantian Gothic, is a significant variant of Gothic architecture that is typical for the Low Countries. It surfaced in the first half of the 14th century at Saint Rumbold's Cathedral in the City of Mechelen.
In 1534 a fire destroyed over nine tenths of the city, close to 1300 houses, churches, and chapels, and the town hall. Only 150 houses and the main church remained. In July 1581, during the Eighty Years' War, Breda was captured in a surprise attack and siege by Spanish troops then under the command of Claudius van Barlaymont, whose sobriquet was Haultpenne. Although the city had surrendered upon the condition that it would not be plundered, the troops vented their fury upon the inhabitants. In the resulting mayhem, known as Haultpenne's Fury, over 500 citizens were killed. In March 1590, Breda fell back into the hands of the Dutch and Maurice of Nassau, when a 68 men hand-picked force, concealed under the turf of a peat-boat, had contrived to enter the city in a daring plan devised by Adriaen van Bergen (Siege of Breda (1590)). Around 1610 the construction of the Spanish Gate or "Spandjaardsgat" was started as a remembrance to that successful action.
The Eighty Years' War or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands. After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. Under the leadership of the exiled William the Silent, the northern provinces continued their resistance. They eventually were able to oust the Habsburg armies, and in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The war continued in other areas, although the heartland of the republic was no longer threatened; this included the beginnings of the Dutch Colonial Empire, which at the time were conceived as carrying overseas the war with Spain. The Dutch Republic was recognized by Spain and the major European powers in 1609 at the start of the Twelve Years' Truce. Hostilities broke out again around 1619, as part of the broader Thirty Years' War. An end was reached in 1648 with the Peace of Münster, when the Dutch Republic was definitively recognised as an independent country no longer part of the Holy Roman Empire. The Peace of Münster is sometimes considered the beginning of the Dutch Golden Age.
Claude de Berlaymont, lord of Haultpenne was a Flemish military commander in Spain's Army of Flanders during the Eighty Years' War.
A sobriquet or soubriquet is a nickname, sometimes assumed, but often given by another and being descriptive in nature. Distinct from a pseudonym, it typically is a familiar name used in place of a real name without the need of explanation, often becoming more familiar than the original name.
After a ten-month siege in 1624–25, the city again surrendered to the Spaniards, now led by Spinola; the event was immortalized by Diego Velázquez. In the Siege of Breda of 1637 the city was recaptured by Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, after a four-month siege, and in 1648 it was finally ceded to the Dutch Republic by the Treaty of Westphalia.
In 1646, Frederick Henry founded the Orange College of Breda, modelled on Saumur, Geneva, and Oxford, intending it to train young men of good family for the army and the civil service.
The exiled Stuart Charles II of England resided in Breda during most of his exile during the Cromwellian Commonwealth and Protectorate, thanks to the proximity of Charles's sister Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange, the widow of Prince William II of Orange (died 1650).
Based mostly on suggestions by the Parliamentarian General George Monck, Charles II's Declaration of Breda (1660) made known his conditions for accepting the crown of England, which in the event he was to regain a few months later in the year.
The Treaty of Breda was signed in the city on 31 July 1667, bringing to an end the Second Anglo-Dutch War in which the Dutch faced the same Charles II who had been their guest. Between 1746 and 1748 it was the site of the Congress of Breda, a series of talks between Britain and France aimed at bringing an end to the War of the Austrian Succession, which ultimately led to the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
During the Second World War, the city was under German occupation for over four years. During Operation Pheasant Breda was liberated following a successful outflanking manoeuvre planned and performed by forces of 1st Polish Armoured Division of General Maczek on 29 October 1944. Each year during Liberation Day festivities, Breda is visited by a large Polish contingent and the city of Breda reserves a special portion of the festivities for the fallen Polish soldiers. A museum and a monument honoring Maczek and the Polish 1st Armoured Division stands in the city center. General Maczek and many soldiers of his division are buried in the nearby Polish military cemetery.
Breda was the site of one of the first panopticon prison establishments, Koepelgevangenis. This prison housed the only German war criminals ever to be imprisoned in the Netherlands for their war crimes during the Second World War. Known as the Breda Four, or "Vier von Breda", they were Willy Paul Franz Lages, who was released in 1966 due to serious illness, Joseph Johann Kotälla, who died in prison in 1979, and Ferdinand aus der Fünten and Franz Fischer, who were both released in 1989 and died later the same year.
The city of Breda is divided in 7 city sectors:
Topographic map image of the city of Breda, March 2014. Click to enlarge.
Historically, economic activities were mainly industrial. Breda was a center of the food- and drink industry. Companies like Hero (lemonade), Van Melle (Mentos), De Faam (liquorice) and Kwatta (chocolate) are famous throughout Western Europe. Breda also had a sugar factory, supplying its best-known products.
Breda formerly housed the largest brewery in the Netherlands (Oranjeboom). The multinational Interbrew took over the brewery in 1995 and then closed it in 2004. Production of the Breda brand was moved to both Bremen and Leuven until 2008, when Randalls Brewery (in Guernsey) acquired the licence.Guernsey is now the only place in the world where draught Breda is brewed.
However, the decline of industrial activity did not harm the city's economy. Nowadays, Breda is a service oriented economy based on business, trade and logistics. A growing number of international companies choose to establish their head office for Benelux operations in Breda. Examples of these companies are Abbott Laboratories, General Electric, ExxonMobil, Texaco, Scania, Dockwise, Toshiba, Alfa Laval, Krohne Oil & Gas, General Motors, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers and Amgen. Also, the food industry is still largely represented by companies such as Hero Group, Perfetti Van Melle, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Royal Cosun [ citation needed ] Koch Media has its Benelux office in Breda.. Furthermore, the city is host to the headquarters of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Because of its central location between the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam, the city also attracts logistics companies.
The main shopping areas of Breda are the city centre and the southern part of Breda. Known shopping centres are De Barones and 't Sas. Major shopping streets are the Eindstraat, Ginnekenstraat, Wilhelminastraat and Ginnekenweg. A market is held on the Grote Markt every Tuesday and Friday from 09:00 to 13:00. A book and antique market is held on Wednesday from 09:00 to 17:00.
The city center contains old buildings and portions of the singels (moats) and the harbour. Focal point is the Grote Markt, the main square with pubs and sidewalk cafes.
Park Valkenberg is a major public park, halfway between the main railway station Breda and the Grote Markt.
Major historic buildings include:
The spoken language is West Brabantian, which is very similar to colloquial Dutch.
Musical events are held in the Chasse Theater.
Redhead Day was a festival that took place each first weekend of September. The two-day festival is a gathering of people with natural red hair, but is also focused on art related to the colour red. Activities during the festival are lectures, workshops and demonstrations. The festival attracts attendance from 20 countries and was free due to sponsorship of the local government. Furthermore, some people referred to Breda as the opposite of burning man. As the festival grew bigger they needed a new spot to host the ever growing event. Since 2019 the festival relocated to Tilburg.
Breda hosts the following museums:
As of 2014, the largest religion in Breda is Christianity, comprising 50.4% of its population, the second one being Islam comprising 3.6% of the population. Unaffiliated people comprised 44.9% of the population.
The ethnic make-up of Breda, in 2018, is as follows:
Breda has two railway stations, Breda and Breda-Prinsenbeek, providing connections north to (Dordrecht, Rotterdam, Den Haag) and Amsterdam; east to Tilburg, Eindhoven, Den Bosch, Nijmegen and Zwolle; west to Roosendaal and Vlissingen and south to Antwerp and Brussels (via the HSL-Zuid high-speed line). Breda Oost railway station will open after 2020.
The A16 is a motorway to the north to Rotterdam and towards the south to the Belgian border to Antwerp. The A27 is also a motorway to the north; It connects Breda with Utrecht. Furthermore, The A58 connects Breda with Tilburg and Eindhoven.
Buses are operated by Arriva. There are four kinds of buses in Breda: citybuses, regional, Volans and long-distance. Citybuses drive only within Breda (sub-12 numbers), regional buses provide connections to nearby towns and cities, Volans buses are more luxurious buses driving to Etten-Leur and Oosterhout (31x and 32x-buses), and long-distance 'Brabantliners' connecting both Gorinchem and Utrecht with Breda (401, 402). There is also one Zeelandish busline (19) which connects Breda with Hulst and Antwerp, operated by Connexxion.
Breda is twinned with:
Tilburg is a city in the Netherlands, in the southern province of North Brabant. With a population of 217,595, it is the second largest municipality in North Brabant, and the sixth largest in the Netherlands.
Dordrecht, historically known in English as Dort, is a city and municipality in the Western Netherlands, located in the province of South Holland. It is the fifth-largest city of the province after Rotterdam, The Hague, Zoetermeer and Leiden, with a population of 118,450. The municipality covers the entire Dordrecht Island, also often called Het Eiland van Dordt, bordered by the rivers Oude Maas, Beneden Merwede, Nieuwe Merwede, Hollands Diep, and Dordtsche Kil. Dordrecht is the largest and most important city in the Drechtsteden and is also part of the Randstad, the main conurbation in the Netherlands. Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland and has a rich history and culture.
Waalwijk is a municipality and a city in the southern Netherlands. It had a population of 47,551 in 2017 and is located near the motorways A59 and N261. The villages of Capelle, Vrijhoeve-Capelle, Sprang and Waspik together with the city of Waalwijk form the municipality of Waalwijk. The city has an old town center, which has recently been modernized.
Aalten is a municipality and a village in the eastern Netherlands. The former municipalities of Bredevoort (1818) and Dinxperlo (2005) have been merged with Aalten.
Buren is a town and municipality in the Betuwe region of the Netherlands. The name originated from the word the Dutch word “buren”, which means neighbour.
Harderwijk is a municipality and city almost at the exact geographical centre of the Netherlands.
Baarle-Nassau is a municipality and town in the southern Netherlands, located in province of North Brabant. It had a population of 6,803 in 2017. The town is the site of a complicated borderline between Belgium and Netherlands, with numerous small exclaves of Belgium, of which some contain counter-exclaves of the Netherlands.
Best is a municipality and a village in the southern Netherlands. It is situated northwest of the city Eindhoven, and is also part of the agglomeration of this city.
Etten-Leur is a municipality in the Dutch province Noord-Brabant. Its name is a combination of the two towns from which the municipality originally arose: Etten and Leur. Nowadays both towns have grown into one.
Laarbeek is a municipality located in the province of North Brabant in the south of the Netherlands. It was formed in 1997 from the former municipalities Beek en Donk, Aarle-Rixtel and Lieshout. Laarbeek is part of the city region 'Samenwerkingsverband Regio Eindhoven', centered on the city of Eindhoven. The town hall is located in Beek en Donk.
Oirschot is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands. It is situated 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from the city of Eindhoven and 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the city of Tilburg in the province Noord-Brabant. The municipality had a population of 18,599 in 2017.
Oosterhout is a municipality and a city in the southern Netherlands. The municipality had a population of 55,005 in 2017.
Sint Anthonis is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands in the Province of North Brabant. The locals refer to the town as Sint Tunnis. An inhabitant is called a "Sintunnisenaar". The municipality had a population of 11,582 in 2017.
Sint-Michielsgestel is a municipality and a town in the southern part of the Netherlands. It is located directly south of 's-Hertogenbosch, the capital of North Brabant province. Its name refers to archangel St. Michael.
Vught is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands, and lies just south of the industrial and administrative centre of 's-Hertogenbosch. Many commuters live in the municipality, and the town of Vught was once named "Best place to live" by the Dutch magazine Elsevier.
Werkendam is a town and a former municipality in the southern Netherlands. The municipality, part of Land van Heusden en Altena, contained a large part of De Biesbosch area as is located in the province of North Brabant. On January 1sth 2019 it joined Woudrichem and Aalburg in the new municipality of Altena.
Brabantse Stedenrij is a polycentric city region in the province of North Brabant, Netherlands. Its population is about 2 million. The main cities are 's-Hertogenbosch, Breda, Eindhoven, Helmond and Tilburg. Other municipalities of the area are Bergen op Zoom, Oss and Roosendaal. The metropolitan region also includes other large towns such as Boxtel, Etten-Leur, Oosterhout, Uden, Veghel, Veldhoven and Waalwijk.
The following is a timeline of the history of the municipality of Breda, Netherlands.
Het BBP van BrabantStad ligt op 14.7% van het nationale BBP. In de regio liggen Philips, de Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, de Universiteit Tilburg en de HAS Den Bosch. De regio heeft 1.4 miljoen inwoners. Er is veel R&D, ICT, automotive, logistiek en agribusiness.