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Gelderland wapen.svg
Coat of arms
Anthem: "Ons Gelderland"
"Our Gelderland"
Gelderland in the Netherlands.svg
Location of Gelderland in the Netherlands
Coordinates: 52°04′N5°57′E / 52.06°N 5.95°E / 52.06; 5.95 Coordinates: 52°04′N5°57′E / 52.06°N 5.95°E / 52.06; 5.95
Country Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Capital Arnhem
Largest city Nijmegen
   King's Commissioner John Berends (CDA)
 (2017) [1]
  Total5,136 km2 (1,983 sq mi)
  Land4,964 km2 (1,917 sq mi)
  Water173 km2 (67 sq mi)
Area rank 2nd
 (1 November 2019) [2]
  Rank 4th
  Density420/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
  Density rank 6th
ISO 3166 code NL-GE
Religion (1999)31% Protestant, 29% Catholic
HDI (2018)0.922 [3]
very high · 6th

Gelderland ( /ˈɡɛldərlænd/ , also US: /-lɑːnt,ˈxɛldərlɑːnt/ , [4] [5] [6] Dutch:  [ˈɣɛldərlɑnt] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), also known as Guelders ( /ˈɡɛldərz/ ) [7] in English, is a province of the Netherlands, located in the central eastern part of the country. With a total area of 5,136 km2 (1,983 sq mi) of which 173 km2 (67 sq mi) is water, it is the largest province of the Netherlands by land area. [8] Gelderland shares borders with six other provinces (Flevoland, Limburg, North Brabant, Overijssel, South Holland and Utrecht) and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.


The capital is Arnhem (pop. 159,265 [9] ); however, Nijmegen (pop. 176,731) and Apeldoorn (pop. 162,445) are both larger municipalities. Other major regional centres in Gelderland are Ede, Doetinchem, Zutphen, Harderwijk, Tiel, Wageningen, Zevenaar, and Winterswijk. Gelderland had a population of 2,084,478 as of November 2019. [2]


Historically, the province dates from states of the Holy Roman Empire and takes its name from the nearby German city of Geldern. According to the Wichard saga, the city was named by the Lords of Pont who fought and killed a dragon in 878 AD. They named the town they founded after the death rattle of the dragon: "Gelre!" [10]

The County of Guelders arose out of the Frankish pagus Hamaland in the 11th century around castles near Roermond and Geldern. The counts of Gelre acquired the Betuwe and Veluwe regions and, through marriage, the County of Zutphen. Thus the counts of Guelders laid the foundation for a territorial power that, through control of the Rhine, Waal, Meuse and IJssel rivers, was to play an important role in the later Middle Ages. The geographical position of their territory dictated the external policy of the counts during the following centuries; they were committed to the interests of the Holy Roman Empire and to expansion south and west.

Further enlarged by the acquisition of the imperial city of Nijmegen in the 13th century, the countship was raised to a duchy in 1339 by the Holy Roman Emperor, Louis IV. After 1379, the duchy was ruled from Jülich and by the counts of Egmond and Cleves. The duchy resisted Burgundian domination, but William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg was forced to cede it to Charles V in 1543, after which it formed part of the Burgundian-Habsburg hereditary lands. [11]

The duchy revolted with the rest of the Netherlands against Philip II of Spain and joined the Union of Utrecht (1579). After the deposition of Philip II, its sovereignty was vested in the States of Gelderland, and the princes of Orange were stadtholders. In 1672, the province was temporarily occupied by Louis XIV and, in 1713, the southeastern part including the ducal capital of Geldern fell to Prussia. Part of the Batavian Republic (1795–1806), of Louis Bonaparte’s Kingdom of Holland (1806–10), and of the French Empire (1810–13), Gelderland became a province of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815. [11]

During the Second World War, it saw heavy fighting between Allied Paratroopers, British XXX Corps and the German II SS Panzer Corps, at the Battle of Arnhem.


In Gelderland there are many museums, like the Netherlands Open Air Museum and Museum Arnhem in Arnhem, Valkhof Museum in Nijmegen, the Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn and in Otterlo the Kröller-Müller Museum. Some cities are also equipped with large theaters like the Musis sacrum in Arnhem, Concertgebouw de Vereeniging and Orpheus (Theater) in Apeldoorn. The known by a larger public music venues are the Luxor Live and Doornroosje, and the GelreDome in Arnhem. these venues offer concerts from popular artist. every year the municipality Renkum and Overbetuwe receive a large amount of tourist visiting because of the Battle of Arnhem. Often historical locations are visited, like the John Frost Bridge and the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery in Oosterbeek.


Gelderland can roughly be divided into four geographical regions: the Veluwe in the north, the Rivierenland including the Betuwe in the southwest, the Achterhoek (literally meaning the "back corner") or Graafschap (which originally means earldom or county) in the east and the city-region of Arnhem and Nijmegen in the centre-south.


In 2020, the 51 municipalities in Gelderland were divided into four COROPs:

Abolished municipalities

Veluwezoom National Park Heide in de Posbank3.JPG
Veluwezoom National Park
Landscape near Putten Day 221 - panoramio.jpg
Landscape near Putten
View of Dodewaard Dodewaard (2642472571).jpg
View of Dodewaard

These municipalities were merged with neighbouring ones:

These municipalities were merged and given a new name:

Municipalities of Gelderland (2019) Prov-Gelderland-OpenTopo.jpg
Municipalities of Gelderland (2019)


The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was 78.3 billion € in 2018, accounting for 10.1% of the Netherlands economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 33,000 € or 110% of the EU27 average in the same year. [12]

Cultural references

In the 2001 movie A Knight's Tale , the protagonist, William Thatcher (played by Heath Ledger) pretends to be a knight known as "Ulrich von Lichtenstein from Gelderland".

Related Research Articles

Arnhem City and municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Arnhem is a city and municipality situated in the eastern part of the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of Gelderland and located on both banks of the rivers Nederrijn and Sint-Jansbeek, which was the source of the city's development. Arnhem had a population of 159,265 in 2019 and is one of the larger cities of the Netherlands. The municipality is part of the Arnhem–Nijmegen metropolitan area which has a combined 736,500 inhabitants.

Zutphen City and municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Zutphen is a city and municipality located in the province of Gelderland, Netherlands. It lies some 30 km northeast of Arnhem, on the eastern bank of the river IJssel at the point where it is joined by the Berkel. First mentioned in the 11th century, the place-name appears to mean "south fen". In 2005, the municipality of Zutphen was merged with the municipality of Warnsveld, retaining its name. In 2019, the municipality had a population of 47,609.

Guelders Historical county in the Low Countries

Guelders or Gueldres is a historical county, later duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the Low Countries.

Brummen Municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Brummen is a municipality and a village in the eastern Netherlands.

Didam Place in Gelderland, Netherlands

Didam is a town in the Netherlands in the eastern part of Netherlands in the region of "De Achterhoek", province of Gelderland. It is located in the municipality of Montferland, about 18 km east of Arnhem which is the capital of the province. And about 11 km west from Doetinchem. In 2020 Didam had around 18.243 inhabitants. the Greater Didam area had in 2020 around 23.014 inhabitants including the villages: Loil, Nieuw Dijk and the hamlets: Greffelkamp, Holthuizen and Oud Dijk.

Doetinchem Municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Doetinchem is a city and municipality in the east of the Netherlands. It is situated along the Oude IJssel river in a part of the province of Gelderland called the Achterhoek. The municipality had a population of 57,555 in 2019 and consists of an area of 79.66 km2 (30.76 sq mi) of which 0.60 km2 (0.23 sq mi) is water. This makes Doetinchem the largest town in the Achterhoek.

Lochem Municipality and city in Gelderland, Netherlands

Lochem is a municipality and city in the Eastern Netherlands. On 1 January 2005, it merged with the municipality of Gorssel, retaining the name of Lochem.

Winterswijk Municipality and town in Gelderland, Netherlands

Winterswijk is a municipality and a town in the eastern Netherlands. It has a population of 28,903 and is situated in the Achterhoek, which lies in the easternmost part of the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands.

Terborg Place in Gelderland, Netherlands

Terborg is a small city in the Dutch province of Gelderland, in the Achterhoek region in the east of the Netherlands. It is located in the municipality of Oude IJsselstreek. The city lies about 7 km southeast of Doetinchem. The population is about 4600 inhabitants.

Achterhoek Region in the Low Saxon part of the Netherlands

The Achterhoek is a cultural region in the eastern Netherlands. Its name is geographically appropriate because the area lies in the easternmost part of Gelderland, and therefore in the east of the Netherlands, protruding into Germany. The Achterhoek lies at the East of the IJssel and Oude IJssel rivers. On the other sides, it the borders Germany and the Dutch province of Overijssel.

Yssel-Supérieur former French department (1811–1814)

Yssel-Supérieur was a department of the First French Empire in the present-day Netherlands. It was named after the river IJssel. It was formed in 1810, when the Kingdom of Holland was annexed by France. Its territory corresponded with part of the present-day Dutch province of Gelderland. Its capital was Arnhem.

County of Zutphen

The County of Zutphen, located in modern-day Gelderland, a province of the Netherlands, was formed in the eleventh century as a fief of the Bishop of Utrecht. It was ruled by the Counts of Zutphen between 1018 and 1182, and then formed a personal union with Guelders. Later, it became one of the 4 quarters of Guelders. The name Graafschap (county) is still used for the Achterhoek, the region east of Zutphen, and for the football club De Graafschap from this region.

Bredevoort City in Gelderland, Netherlands

Bredevoort or Brevoort is a small city with town privileges of about 1600 inhabitants in the municipality of Aalten, Netherlands. It is between the towns of Aalten and Winterswijk.

Arnhem–Nijmegen metropolitan area metropolitan area in the Netherlands

The Arnhem–Nijmegen metropolitan area is a former Dutch plusregio, public body and intermunicipal institution, founded in 1988, for the co-operation in the areas of housing, transport and economics in the conurbation consisting of the Dutch cities of Nijmegen and Arnhem as well as the bordering municipalities of Berg en Dal, Beuningen, Doesburg, Duiven, Heumen, Lingewaard, Montferland, Mook en Middelaar, Overbetuwe, Renkum, Rheden, Rijnwaarden, Rozendaal, Westervoort, Wijchen, and Zevenaar. All except Mook en Middelaar (Limburg) are in the province of Gelderland. Its aim is regional cooperation. In 2011, a total of 736,107 people were living in the municipalities(1,000 km2).

Arnhem Centraal railway station railway station

Arnhem Centraal railway station is the largest railway station in the city of Arnhem in Gelderland, Netherlands. It was opened on 14 May 1845 and is located on the Amsterdam–Arnhem railway, the Arnhem–Leeuwarden railway and the Arnhem–Nijmegen railway. The station opened at the same time as the Amsterdam–Arnhem railway, that continues into Germany via the Oberhausen–Arnhem railway.

Upper Guelders

Upper Guelders or Spanish Guelders was one of the four quarters in the Imperial Duchy of Guelders. In the Dutch Revolt, it was the only quarter that did not secede from the Habsburg Monarchy to become part of the Seven United Netherlands, but remained under Spanish rule during the Eighty Years' War.

Nijmegen Quarter

The Nijmegen Quarter was the first of the four quarters in which the county, later duchy of Guelders was divided, as they were separated by rivers. In addition Guelders consisted of Zutphen Quarter, the Upper Quarter and Veluwe Quarter. Each quarter had its own capital.


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  11. 1 2 "Gelderland". Retrieved 13 July 2015.
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