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Dordrecht luchtfoto 01.jpg
Augustijnenkamp, 3311 Dordrecht, Netherlands - panoramio (2).jpg
Bleijenhoek, 3311 Dordrecht, Netherlands - panoramio (4).jpg
Dordrecht, stadhuis foto3 2010-06-27 17.59.JPG
Images, from top down, left to right: the historic city centre, Augustijnenkamp, Bleijenhoek and the city hall
Flag of Dordrecht.svg
Dordrecht wapen.svg
Coat of arms
Map - NL - Municipality code 0505 (2009).svg
Location in South Holland
Coordinates: 51°49′N4°40′E / 51.817°N 4.667°E / 51.817; 4.667 Coordinates: 51°49′N4°40′E / 51.817°N 4.667°E / 51.817; 4.667
Country Netherlands
Province Flag Zuid-Holland.svg  South Holland
City Hall Dordrecht City Hall
  Body Municipal council
   Mayor Wouter Kolff (VVD)
  Municipality99.47 km2 (38.41 sq mi)
  Land79.01 km2 (30.51 sq mi)
  Water20.46 km2 (7.90 sq mi)
1 m (3 ft)
 (Municipality, August 2017; Urban and Metro, May 2014) [4] [5]
  Density1,499/km2 (3,880/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Dordtenaar
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code 078

Dordrecht ( UK: /dɔːrˈdrɛxt/ , [6] US: /ˈdɔːrdrɛxt, -ɛkt/ , [7] [8] Dutch:  [ˈdɔrdrɛxt] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); colloquially Dordt [dɔrt] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), 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 ("the Island of 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.

British English is the standard dialect of English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective wee is almost exclusively used in parts of Scotland and Ireland, and occasionally Yorkshire, whereas little is predominant elsewhere. Nevertheless, there is a meaningful degree of uniformity in written English within the United Kingdom, and this could be described by the term British English. The forms of spoken English, however, vary considerably more than in most other areas of the world where English is spoken, so a uniform concept of British English is more difficult to apply to the spoken language. According to Tom McArthur in the Oxford Guide to World English, British English shares "all the ambiguities and tensions in the word 'British' and as a result can be used and interpreted in two ways, more broadly or more narrowly, within a range of blurring and ambiguity".

American English Set of dialects of the English language spoken in the United States

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. American English is considered one of the most influential dialects of English globally, including on other varieties of English.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve 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 Belgium, Germany 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.



Dutch Topographic map of Dordrecht, Sept. 2014 Dordrecht-plaats-OpenTopo.jpg
Dutch Topographic map of Dordrecht, Sept. 2014
Satellite image of part of the Rhine-Meuse delta, showing the Island of Dordrecht and the eponymous city (7) RMSDeltaNorth.jpg
Satellite image of part of the Rhine-Meuse delta, showing the Island of Dordrecht and the eponymous city (7)

The name Dordrecht comes from Thuredriht (circa 1120), Thuredrecht (circa 1200). The name seems to mean 'thoroughfare'; a ship-canal or -river through which ships were pulled by rope from one river to another, as here from the Dubbel to the Merwede, or vice versa. Earlier etymologists had assumed that the 'drecht' suffix came from Latin 'trajectum', a ford, but this was rejected in 1996. [9] The Drecht is now supposed to have been derived from 'draeg', which means to pull, tow or drag. Inhabitants of Dordrecht are Dordtenaren (singular: Dordtenaar). Dordrecht is informally called Dordt by its inhabitants. In earlier centuries, Dordrecht was a major trade port, well known to British merchants, and was called Dort in English.


Early history

The city was formed along the Thure river, in the midst of peat swamps. This river was a branch of the river Dubbel, which is part of the massive Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta complex, near the current Bagijnhof. Around 1120 reference to Dordrecht was made by a remark that count Dirk IV of Holland was murdered in 1049 near "Thuredrech".

Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta river delta in the Netherlands and Belgium

The Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta or Helinium is a river delta in the Netherlands formed by the confluence of the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt rivers. The result is a multitude of islands, branches and branch names that may at first sight look bewildering, especially as a waterway that appears to be one continuous stream may change names as many as seven times, e.g. Rhine → Bijlands Kanaal → Pannerdens Kanaal → Nederrijn → Lek → Nieuwe Maas → Het Scheur → Nieuwe Waterweg. Since the Rhine contributes most of the water, the shorter term Rhine Delta is commonly used. However, this name is also used for the river delta where the Rhine flows into Lake Constance, so it is clearer to call the larger one Rhine–Meuse delta, or even Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta, as the Scheldt ends in the same delta. By some calculations, the delta covers 25,347 km2 (9,787 sq mi), making it the largest in Europe.

View of Dordrecht, by Aelbert Cuyp. View of Dordrecht, by Aelbert Cuyp.jpg
View of Dordrecht, by Aelbert Cuyp.

Dordrecht was granted city rights by William I, Count of Holland, in 1220, making it the oldest city in the present province of South Holland. In fact, Geertruidenberg was the first city in the historical county of Holland to receive city rights, but this municipality currently is part of the province of Noord-Brabant.

William I, Count of Holland Dutch monarch

William I, Count of Holland from 1203 to 1222. He was the younger son of Floris III and Ada of Huntingdon.

South Holland Province of the Netherlands

South Holland is a province of the Netherlands with a population of just over 3.6 million as of 2015 and a population density of about 1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi), making it the country's most populous province and one of the world's most densely populated areas. Situated on the North Sea in the west of the Netherlands, South Holland covers an area of 3,403 km2 (1,314 sq mi), of which 585 km2 (226 sq mi) is water. It borders North Holland to the north, Utrecht and Gelderland to the east, and North Brabant and Zeeland to the south. The provincial capital is The Hague, while its largest city is Rotterdam.

Geertruidenberg City and Municipality in North Brabant, Netherlands

Geertruidenberg is a city and municipality in the province North Brabant in the south of the Netherlands. The city, named after Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, received city rights in 1213 from the count of Holland. The fortified city prospered until the 15th century.

In the 12th and 13th centuries, Dordrecht developed into an important market city because of its strategic location. It traded primarily in wine, wood and cereals. Dordrecht was made even more important when it was given staple right in 1299.

Wine alcoholic drink made from grapes

Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes. Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol, carbon dioxide, and heat. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different styles of wine. These variations result from the complex interactions between the biochemical development of the grape, the reactions involved in fermentation, the terroir, and the production process. Many countries enact legal appellations intended to define styles and qualities of wine. These typically restrict the geographical origin and permitted varieties of grapes, as well as other aspects of wine production. Wines not made from grapes include rice wine and fruit wines such as plum, cherry, pomegranate, currant and elderberry.

Wood Fibrous material from trees or other plants

Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embedded in a matrix of lignin that resists compression. Wood is sometimes defined as only the secondary xylem in the stems of trees, or it is defined more broadly to include the same type of tissue elsewhere such as in the roots of trees or shrubs. In a living tree it performs a support function, enabling woody plants to grow large or to stand up by themselves. It also conveys water and nutrients between the leaves, other growing tissues, and the roots. Wood may also refer to other plant materials with comparable properties, and to material engineered from wood, or wood chips or fiber.

The staple right, also translated stacking right or storage right, both from the Dutch stapelrecht, was a medieval right accorded to certain ports, the staple ports. It required merchant barges or ships to unload their goods at the port and to display them for sale for a certain period, often three days. Only after that option had been given to local customers was the trader allowed to reload his cargo and travel onwards with the remaining unsold freight. Limited staple rights were sometimes given to towns along major trade-routes like Görlitz, which obtained staple rights for salt and woad, and Lviv gained them in 1444.

In 1253 a Latin school was founded in Dordrecht. It still exists today as the Johan de Witt Gymnasium  [ nl ] and is the oldest gymnasium in the Netherlands. From 1600 to 1615 Gerhard Johann Vossius was rector at this school.

Latin school School type in Europe from the 14th to 19th centuries

The Latin school was the grammar school of 14th- to 19th-century Europe, though the latter term was much more common in England. Emphasis was placed, as the name indicates, on learning to use Latin. The education given at Latin schools gave great emphasis to the complicated grammar of the Latin language, initially in its Medieval Latin form. Grammar was the most basic part of the trivium and the Liberal arts — in artistic personifications Grammar's attribute was the birch rod. Latin school prepared students for university, as well as enabling those of middle class status to rise above their station. It was therefore not unusual for children of commoners to attend Latin schools, especially if they were expected to pursue a career within the church. Although Latin schools existed in many parts of Europe in the 14th century and were more open to the laity, prior to that the Church allowed for Latin schools for the sole purpose of training those who would one day become clergymen. Latin schools began to develop to reflect Renaissance humanism around the 1450s. In some countries, but not England, they later lost their popularity as universities and some Catholic orders began to prefer the vernacular.

Gymnasium (school) type of school providing advanced secondary education in Europe

A gymnasium is a type of school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, and providing advanced secondary education in some parts of Europe comparable to British grammar schools, sixth form colleges and US preparatory high schools. In its current meaning, it usually refers to secondary schools focused on preparing students to enter a university for advanced academic study. Before the 20th century, the system of gymnasiums was a widespread feature of educational system throughout many countries of central, north, eastern and southern Europe.

Rector (academia) Academic official

A rector is a senior official in an educational institution, and can refer to an official in either a university or a secondary school. Outside the English-speaking world the rector is often the most senior official in a university, whilst in the United States the most senior official is often referred to as President and in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations the most senior official is the Chancellor, whose office is primarily ceremonial and titular. The term and office of a rector can be referred to as a rectorate. The title is used widely in universities in Europe. and is very common in Latin American countries. It is also used in Brunei, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Israel and the Middle East. In the ancient universities of Scotland the office is sometimes referred to as Lord Rector, is the third most senior official, and is usually responsible for chairing the University Court.

On 18–19 November 1421, the Saint Elisabeth's flood flooded large parts of southern Holland, causing Dordrecht to become an island. It was commonly said that over 10,000 people died in the flood, but recent research indicates that it was probably less than 200 people. [10]

Union of Dordrecht

Dordrecht around 1565, by Jacob van Deventer Dordrecht vanDeventer.jpg
Dordrecht around 1565, by Jacob van Deventer

In 1572, four years into the Dutch Revolt, representatives of all the cities of Holland, with the exception of Amsterdam, as well as the Watergeuzen, represented by William II de la Marck, gathered in Dordrecht to hold the Eerste Vrije Statenvergadering ("First Assembly of the Free States"), also known as the Unie van Dordrecht ("Union of Dordrecht"). This secret meeting, called by the city of Dordrecht, was a rebellious act since only King Philip II or his stadtholder, at that time the Duke of Alva, were allowed to call a meeting of the States of Holland.

During the meeting, the organization and financing of the rebellion against the Spanish occupation was discussed, Phillip II was unanimously denounced, and William of Orange was chosen as the rightful stadtholder and recognized as the official leader of the revolt. Orange, represented at the meeting by his assistant Philips of Marnix, was promised financial support of his struggle against the Spanish and at his own request, freedom of religion was declared in all of Holland.

The gathering is regarded as the first important step towards the free and independent Dutch Republic. [11] Other important gatherings such as the Union of Brussels (1577) and the Union of Utrecht (1579) paved the way for official independence of the Dutch Republic, declared in the Act of Abjuration in 1581.

The Union of Dordrecht was held in an Augustinian monastery, nowadays simply called het Hof ("the Court"). The room in which the meeting was held is called de Statenzaal ("The Hall of States") and features a stained glass window in which the coats of arms of the twelve cities that were present at the meeting can be seen.

Synod of Dordrecht

The Synod of Dordrecht 1618/19 Synodedordrecht.jpg
The Synod of Dordrecht 1618/19

From November 13, 1618 to May 9, 1619, an important Dutch Reformed Church assembly took place in Dordrecht, referred to as the Synod of Dordrecht. [12] The synod attempted, and succeeded, to settle the theological differences of opinion between the central tenets of Calvinism, and a new school of thought within the Dutch Reformed Church known as Arminianism, named for its spiritual leader Jacobus Arminius. Arminius' followers were also commonly known as Remonstrants, after the 1610 Five Articles of Remonstrance which outlined their points of dissent from the church's official doctrine. They were opposed by the Contra-Remonstrants, or the Gomarists, who were led by Dutch theologian Franciscus Gomarus.

During the Twelve Years' Truce, this in essence purely theological conflict between different factions of the church had in practice spilled over into politics, dividing society along ideological lines, and threatening the existence of the young republic by repeatedly bringing it to the brink of civil war. [13]

The synod was attended by Gomarist Dutch delegates and also by delegates from Reformed churches in Germany, Switzerland, and England. Though it was originally intended that the synod would bring agreement on the doctrine of predestination among all the Reformed churches, in practice this Dutch synod was mainly concerned with problems facing the Dutch Reformed Church.

The opening sessions dealt with a new Dutch translation of the Bible, a catechism, and the censorship of books. The synod then called upon representatives of the Remonstrants to express their beliefs. The Remonstrants refused to accept the rules established by the synod and eventually were expelled from the church.

The synod then studied the theology of the Remonstrants and declared that it was contrary to Scripture. The Canons of Dort were produced; they discussed in detail in five sections the errors of the Remonstrants that were rejected as well as the doctrines that were affirmed. The doctrines affirmed were that predestination is not conditional on belief; that Christ did not die for all; the total depravity of man; the irresistible grace of God; and the impossibility of falling from grace. These canons of Dort, along with the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism, remain the theological basis of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands.

Following the synod, two hundred Remonstrant ministers were deposed from their office, of which eighty were banished. The political leaders of the Remonstrant movement were arrested and one of them beheaded on May 14, 1619. [14] It was only after the death of Prince Maurice in 1625 that the persecution of the Remonstrants ceased. [15]

The Patriots movement

From 1780 to 1787, Dordrecht was home to the Patriots faction which intended to remove the hereditary Stadtholder position held by the House of Orange-Nassau. The Netherlands was after all a republic de jure . Soon after, more cities followed and William V fled from Holland. But his brother-in-law, King Frederick William II of Prussia, came to the aid of William V and on 18 September 1787, Dordrecht capitulated to Prussian troops. The Patriots were defeated and Willem V was restored in his position as Stadtholder.

Modern history

The Japanese battleship Kaiyo Maru was launched at Dordrecht in 1865. She was the largest wooden warship ever launched from a Dutch yard. Launch of Kayo Maru in Dordrech 1865.jpg
The Japanese battleship Kaiyō Maru was launched at Dordrecht in 1865. She was the largest wooden warship ever launched from a Dutch yard.
S. Lankhout's 1858 map of Dordrecht. S. Lankhout 1858 Map of Dordrecht.jpg
S. Lankhout's 1858 map of Dordrecht.

In the 18th century, the importance of Dordrecht began to wane, and Rotterdam became the main city in the region. Yet throughout the centuries, Dordrecht held a key position in the defense of Holland. It hosted an army division well into the 20th century. During the mobilization of August 1939, infantry and artillery were sent to Dordrecht to defend the island. When the Germans invaded the Netherlands on the 10th of May 1940 German paratroopers landed in Dordrecht. After fierce fighting they overtook the bridges Dordrecht-Moerdijk and Dordrecht-Zwijndrecht. Many buildings in Dordrecht were destroyed.

At the end of the Second World War, during the winter of 1944–45, Dordrecht and its surroundings were in the middle between the opposing armies. The border between occupied and liberated regions ran along the Hollands Diep. Dordrecht was finally liberated by the Canadian Army.

In 1970, the municipality Dubbeldam (then ca. 10,000 inhabitants) and the southern part of the municipality of Sliedrecht were incorporated into Dordrecht, making Dordrecht Island one municipality.


Dordrecht is divided into 27 districts, neighbourhoods and hamlets:

Plan of Dordrecht from 1868. Dordrecht 1868.png
Plan of Dordrecht from 1868.
  • Binnenstad (“city centre”, district 1)
  • Reeland (district 2)
  • De Staart (district 3)
  • Oud-Krispijn (district 4)
  • Stadspolders (district 5)
  • Wielwijk (district 6)
  • Crabbehof, Zuidhoven (district 7)
  • Sterrenburg (district 8)
  • Dubbeldam (former village, now district 9)
  • Kop van 't Land (hamlet)
  • Tweede Tol (hamlet)
  • Wieldrecht (hamlet)
  • Willemsdorp (hamlet)
  • Noordflank
  • Nieuw-Krispijn
  • Bleyenhoek
  • Land van Valk
  • Oudelandshoek
  • Zeehavenlaan
  • Lijnbaan
  • Klein Dubbeldam
  • De Hoven
  • Zuidpolder
  • Transvaalbuurt
  • Indische buurt
  • Vogelbuurt
  • Van Gogh-buurt


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: Lourens & Lucassen 1997, pp. 103-105

In 2008, around 17% of the population of Dordrecht was of non-Western origin. Between 2005 and 2008, this number has not changed. The allochthonous population consists for a large part of young people while the indigenous population has started to age very quickly. Over six thousand Turks live in Dordrecht, many of whom are originally from Kayapinar.

According to the Social Geographical Office of Dordrecht, the population consisted of the following ethnic groups in 2005 [16] and 2008; [17]

Population of Dordrecht
Ethnic group01-01-200501-01-2008
Native Dutch86,59486,611
Western allochtonen 11,61011,580
Turks 6,1136,326
Moroccans 2,5212,611
Surinameses 2,7592,796
Netherlands Antilleans 3,1993,037
Other non-Western allochtonen 6,5285,226


Dordrecht, by Edmond de Schampheleer, 1873 Dordrecht, by Edmond de Schampheleer, 1873.JPG
Dordrecht, by Edmond de Schampheleer, 1873

Because of its long and important role in Dutch history, Dordrecht has a rich culture. The medieval city centre is home to over 950 monuments. [18] The city also houses 7 historic churches and 6 museums in a relatively small area and hosts many festivals and events every year.

Places of interest

The Grote Kerk and one of the many canals (New Harbor) Grote Kerk, Dordrecht.jpg
The Grote Kerk and one of the many canals (New Harbor)


The following museums are located in Dordrecht:

Events and festivals

Dordrecht hosts around 20 cultural and historical events and festivals each year. The city won the title of "Best events city of the year" in 2003 [19] and was nominated for the same title in 2004 and 2005. [20] [21]

Dordt in Stoom (literally: Dordt in steam) is the biggest steam event in Europe during which historical steam trains, steam boats etc. can be seen in action. It is organized every other year and attracts a quarter of a million visitors. [22] Attention is also paid to Dordrecht’s art and architecture during Kunstrondje Dordt (literally: Little art circle Dordt) and Dordt Monumenteel (Dordt Monumental), which attracts around 100.000 visitors every year.

Dordrecht hosts the second largest book market [23] and the largest Christmas market in the Netherlands. [24]

Wantijfestival is an out-doors music festival that has been held annually in the second week of June since 1995. It takes place in the Wantij park and attracts around 35.000 people each year. [25] Wantij park also hosts the Wantijconcerten (Wantij concerts) that are held every Monday night in July and August. Other popular music festivals held in Dordrecht are the World Jazz dagen (World Jazz days) held annually in August or September, the Dancetour or Boulevard of Dance, which takes place on Queensday, Big Rivers Festival, a film, music, poetry and theatre festival held in June, and the Cello festival, held every four years in the weekend of the Ascension.

Dordrecht’s annual funfair is among the highest-ranked in the Netherlands and the International Puppet festival, held in June, includes performances from artists from all over the world, including Italy, Germany, Taiwan, Israel and the US. [26]

A website with a list of the festivals in the city Dordrecht: Dordrecht Festivals


During Carnaval, Dordrecht is called Ooi- en Ramsgat (Ewe's and Ram's hole), and its inhabitants are Schapenkoppen (Sheepheads). This name originates from an old folk story. Import of meat or cattle was taxed in the 17th century. To avoid having to pay, two men dressed up a sheep they had bought outside the city walls, attempting to disguise it as a man. The sheep was discovered because it bleated as the three men (two men and one sheep) passed through the city wall gate. There is a special monument of a man and his son trying to hold a sheep disguised as a man between them, that refers to this legend. The logo of Dordrecht’s professional football club FC Dordrecht includes the head of a ram and its supporters are known to sing Wij zijn de Dordtse schapenkoppen (we are the Dorsts sheep heads) during matches. There is also a cookie called Schapenkop (sheep head) which is a specialty of Dordrecht.

There are many more legends about Dordrecht. One of them is about Saint Sura, a young woman who planned on building an entire church with only three coins in her purse. She was murdered because of her supposed wealth.

Another legend is about the house called de Onbeschaamde (the Unembarrassed). It is about the three brothers Van Beveren who each wanted to build a house and decided to make a bet on who would dare to place the most risqué statue on their façade. One of the brothers, Abraham van Beveren, placed a naked little boy on his façade. However, the house that supposedly won has an empty façade today because, according to the story, the statue was so risqué that it was removed.

A well known saying about Dordrecht is Hoe dichter bij Dordt, hoe rotter het wordt (the closer to Dordrecht, the more rotten it gets). The previous mayor Noorland added to that; maar ben je er eenmaal in, dan heb je het prima naar je zin (but once you’re in it, you’re perfectly content). The saying can probably be explained as follows; traffic used to go by water and whoever came close to Dordrecht was obliged, according to staple right, to display their merchandise for a couple of days before being allowed to sail on. This caused loss of time and caused products to become rotten. Another explanation is derived from Bommel is rommel, bij Tiel is niet viel en hoe dichter bij Dordt hoe rotter het wordt which is supposed to be said by farmers describing the bad quality of the land close to the rivers Maas and Waal, only suitable for harvesting reed.


Postcard from Dordrecht in 1901, showing the former building in Merwepark before its destruction by bombardment in 1944. Postcard - 1901 - Merwepark, Dordrecht, Netherlands.jpg
Postcard from Dordrecht in 1901, showing the former building in Merwepark before its destruction by bombardment in 1944.

The Sliedrechtse Biesbosch, east of Dordrecht, and the Dordtse Biesbosch, south of Dordrecht, together form the Hollandse Biesbosch which is a part of the national park the Biesbosch, one of the largest national parks in the Netherlands and one of the last freshwater tide areas in Europe. The Dordtse Biesbosch has several recreational areas that are used for walking, rowing and swimming.

There are also several parks near the city, such as Merwepark and Wantijpark.


The Riwal Hoogwerkers Stadion is a football stadium and home ground of the local team FC Dordrecht playing in the second national league.


Dordts is a dialect of Dutch traditionally spoken by the working class of Dordrecht. It is categorized under the Hollandic accents but also has characteristics of Zeelandic and Brabantian.

Typical features of Dordts are:

In the 20th century, Dordts has slowly started to disappear as more and more people have started speaking standard Dutch. The strongest Dordts dialect is nowadays found in the working-class neighborhoods bordering the city centre.


On 14 November 1992 and again on 12 November 2011, the official arrival of the popular holiday figure Sinterklaas was held in Dordrecht and broadcast on national television.


Harbor area of Dordrecht, seen from the Leeuwenhoekweg Zeehavengebied Dordrecht.jpg
Harbor area of Dordrecht, seen from the Leeuwenhoekweg

The current economy of Dordrecht is based on ship building, wood industry, and steel industry. The city has the sixth largest sea port in the Netherlands. One of the largest employers on Dordrecht Island is DuPont de Nemours (Nederland) B.V. It has 9 factories here with a workforce of 900 people.

Together with Zwijndrecht, Papendrecht, and Sliedrecht (the "Drecht Cities"), Dordrecht is planning a new ambitious vision to revitalize the region's economy, moving from industry to more business services.

In development are the "Learning" and "Health" Business Parks. The Learning Park is intended to have 60,000 m2 (645,834.63 sq ft) of space for educational institutions. In the Health Park, a wide range of health services will be located, with the Dordwijk Campus of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital as focal point. Other services include a blood bank, pharmacy, and mental health clinic.

Near the Health Park a new Sport Park will be built. A new large sport centre, the equivalent size of 3 soccer fields, is planned complete with gyms, skating rink, and a pool. Next to this Sport Park, a huge outdoor event terrain will be established.


Shopping in the centre of Dordrecht is centred around the Voorstraat, the Sarisgang and the Statenplein (Staten square). The Voorstraat is 1,200 metres (1,300 yd) long, making it the longest shopping street in the Netherlands. [27] Markets are held every Friday and Saturday on the Statenplein and in the Sarisgang and on Tuesday in Dubbeldam.

Government and politics

College van B&W

In February 2010, [28] the College van Burgemeester en Wethouders ('Board of Mayor and Aldermen') in Dordrecht consisted of the following:

Local election

The results of the 2018 municipal election in Dordrecht were as follows.

Municipal election, 2018
PartyVotes in %Seats in municipal council
Beter Voor Dordt  [ nl ]18.48
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy 12.15
Christian Democratic Appeal 10.14
Democrats 66 9.94
GroenLinks 9.64
Christian Union-SGP 9.04
Party for Freedom 7.73
Socialist Party 6.12
United Seniors Party6.02
Labour Party 5.52
Normal Dordt3.31

Partner cities

Partner cities of Dordrecht are: [29]

Public transport

Water bus to Rotterdam Waterbus.jpg
Water bus to Rotterdam

Dordrecht is not well connected to the Dutch railroad system, and has several international connections. There are three railway stations; Dordrecht railway station, Zuid railway station and Stadspolders railway station. The train system hosts:

Four trainlines

The four operating trainlines serve three railway stations within the city boundaries (Dordrecht, Dordrecht Zuid, Dordrecht Stadspolders)

Main connections

Famous people from Dordrecht

Brothers Johan and Cornelis de Witt, both politicians, both lynched by a mob on August 20, 1672 in The Hague Standbeeld Gebroeders de Wit - Dordrecht.jpg
Brothers Johan and Cornelis de Witt, both politicians, both lynched by a mob on August 20, 1672 in The Hague
See also People from Dordrecht

Honorary citizens of Dordrecht

Related Research Articles

Drechtsteden subregion in the Netherlands

The Drechtsteden are a number of towns and cities bordering each other in the delta area of the rivers Oude Maas, Noord, and Beneden-Merwede in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. These cooperate in the Gemeenschappelijke Regeling Drechtsteden, which performs common tasks for the municipalities in the field of economy, development, culture, and social assistance. Collectively, a little more than 250,000 people call one of the towns and cities of Drechtsteden home.

Synod of Dort National Synod held in Dordrecht

The Synod of Dort was an international Synod held in Dordrecht in 1618–1619, by the Dutch Reformed Church, to settle a divisive controversy initiated by the rise of Arminianism. The first meeting was on 13 November 1618 and the final meeting, the 180th, was on 29 May 1619. Voting representatives from eight foreign Reformed churches were also invited. Dort was a contemporary English term for the town of Dordrecht.

Werkendam Municipality in North Brabant, Netherlands

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.

Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht Municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands. It is located on the island of IJsselmonde, and borders with Zwijndrecht, Ridderkerk, and the Noord River.

Papendrecht Municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Papendrecht is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland, at the crossing of the River Beneden Merwede and the Noord River. The municipality had a population of 32,256 in 2017 and covers an area of 10.79 km2 (4.17 sq mi) of which 1.31 km2 (0.51 sq mi) is water.

Ridderkerk Municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Ridderkerk is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality had a population of 45,743 in 2017, and covers an area of 25.26 km2 (9.75 sq mi) of which 1.52 km2 (0.59 sq mi) is covered by water.

Sliedrecht Municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Sliedrechtlisten is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of 14.01 km2 (5.41 sq mi) of which 1.18 km2 (0.46 sq mi) is covered by water.

Zwijndrecht, Netherlands Municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Zwijndrecht is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands. It is located in the province of South Holland, at the southern tip of the island of IJsselmonde, and at the confluence of the rivers Oude Maas, Beneden-Merwede, and Noord.

Zwijndrecht, Belgium Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Zwijndrecht is both a village and a municipality located in the Flemish province of Antwerp, in Belgium. As well as Zwijndrecht proper, the municipality includes the village of Burcht. As of January 1, 2006, Zwijndrecht had a total population of 18,231.

The Dutch Reformed Church was the largest Christian denomination in the Netherlands from the onset of the Protestant Reformation until 1930. It was the foremost Protestant denomination, and—since 1892—one of the two major Reformed denominations along with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands.


The Remonstrants are a historic community of mostly Dutch Protestants who originally supported Jacobus Arminius, and after his death, continue to maintain his original views. In 1610, they presented to the States of Holland and Friesland a remonstrance in five articles formulating their points of disagreement with Calvinism as adopted by the Dutch Reformed Church.

Dort may refer to:

Thierry Veltman is a Dutch painter, sculptor, ceramist and art educator. He focuses in particular on figures and still life.

Merwede river in South Holland

The Merwede is the name of several connected stretches of river in the Netherlands, between the cities of Woudrichem, Dordrecht and Papendrecht. The river is part of the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta and is mostly fed by the river Rhine.

Restored Reformed Church

The Restored Reformed Church is a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It was founded in 2004, from congregations which had formed the orthodox-reformed wing of the Reformed Bond of the Dutch Reformed Church. The Church has grown steadily since its founding.

Canons of Dort judgment of the National Synod held in Dordrecht (Dort) in 1618–19 against Arminianism

The Canons of Dort, or Canons of Dordrecht, formally titled The Decision of the Synod of Dort on the Five Main Points of Doctrine in Dispute in the Netherlands, is the judgment of the National Synod held in the Dutch city of Dordrecht in 1618–19. At the time, Dordrecht was often referred to in English as Dort or Dordt.

Carolus Niellius Dutch Remonstrant minister

Carolus Niellius was a Dutch Remonstrant minister.

The Zwijndrechtse Nieuwlichters were a Dutch Protestant sect in the early 19th century, led by Stoffel Muller, a former skipper, and Maria Leer, a prophetess. The sect was also known as the Christelijke Broedergemeente, "Apostolic Brethren Association", or the Zwavelstokkengeloof, "matchstick faith", and practiced what was later called "apostolic communism". The group held property in common and earned its keep by selling matchsticks and chocolate. Its appeal was broadly across the social classes, including day laborers, factory owners, and tradesmen. By the 1820s the group had established a community in Zwijndrecht, but could not outlive its founder by much; after the death of Muller the community split apart, with some members leaving for the United States and others forming their own congregations in the Netherlands.

Binnenvaartmuseum Maritime museum in Dordrecht, Netherlands

Binnenvaartmuseum is a floating museum in Dordrecht, South Holland, Netherlands, on the Wantij waterway near the former shipyard De Biesbosch.


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