Breda

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Breda
City and municipality
Docks in the city centre
Docks in the city centre
Flag of Breda
Flag
Coat of arms of Breda
Coat of arms
Highlighted position of Breda in a municipal map of North Brabant
Location in North Brabant
Coordinates: 51°35′N 4°47′E / 51.583°N 4.783°E / 51.583; 4.783Coordinates: 51°35′N 4°47′E / 51.583°N 4.783°E / 51.583; 4.783
Country Netherlands
Province  North Brabant
Government[1]
 • Body Municipal council
 • Mayor Paul Depla (PvdA)
Area[2]
 • 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] 3 m (10 ft)
Population (Municipality, August 2017; Urban and Metro, May 2014)[4][4][5][5][6]
 • Municipality 183,456
 • Density 1,456/km2 (3,770/sq mi)
 • Urban 180,420
 • Metro 324,812
 • Metro region 553,706
 • Brabant CMSA 1,932,055
Demonym(s) Bredanaar, Bredaër
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postcode 4800–4841, 4847, 4850–4854
Area code 076
Website www.breda.nl

Breda (Dutch pronunciation: [breːˈdaː] (About this sound listen)) is a city and municipality in the southern part of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Brabant. The name Breda derived from brede Aa ('wide Aa' or 'broad Aa') and refers to the confluence of the rivers Mark and Aa.[7] As a fortified city, the city 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.

History[edit]

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
14374,870—    
14966,025+0.36%
16409,500+0.32%
174011,000+0.15%
17958,250−0.52%
Source: Lourens & Lucassen 1997, pp. 40–41

In the 11th century, Breda was a direct fief of the Holy Roman Emperor,[7] 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 Breda 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 stadtholder of 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.[8]

Residence city[edit]

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.

This colorized 17th century copperplate depicts the destruction, rape, and pillage of Breda: soldiers are killing men and women and the city is burning.
Haultpenne's soldiers vent their fury upon the citizens of Breda in 1581

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[9].

Surrender of Breda, by Diego Velázquez.

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.[10]

Stuart exiles[edit]

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.

Later history[edit]

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.

Polish soldiers welcomed by the residents of Breda, 1944

During the Second World War, the city was under German occupation. It 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, Polish chapel

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.

Administration[edit]

  • Breda (city) (~180,000)[11]
    • Ginneken (nl) (former village absorbed by city agglomeration)
    • Princenhage (former village absorbed by city agglomeration)
  • Prinsenbeek (~11,500) (added at the municipal reorganization in 1997)
  • Bavel (~7,000) (added at the municipal reorganization in 1997)
  • Teteringen (~6,500) (added at the municipal reorganization in 1997)
  • Ulvenhout (~4,700) (added at the municipal reorganization in 1997)

Administration[edit]

The city of Breda is divided in 7 city sectors:

  1. Breda Centrum (Centre)
  2. Breda West (West)
  3. Breda Noord-West (Haagse Beemden) (Northwest)
  4. Breda Noord ( North)
  5. Breda Oost (East), which includes the Zandberg neighborhood[12]
  6. Breda Zuid-Oost (Southeast)
  7. Breda Zuid (South)

Topography[edit]

Breda-plaats-OpenTopo.jpg

Topographic map image of the city of Breda, March 2014. Click to enlarge.

Harbour of Breda
Grote Markt
Ancient port: het Spanjaardsgat
Begijnhof
Breda's Museum
Park Valkenberg

Economy[edit]

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 beer is a world-renowned drink that is made in this region.

Also, Breda formerly housed the largest brewery in the Netherlands (Oranjeboom). Interbrew, the Belgian owner of the brewery, closed the brewery in 2004. With the closing of Oranjeboom Brewery, Breda beer production was moved to both Bremen and Leuven, until 2008 when Randalls Brewery (in Guernsey) acquired the licence.[13] Guernsey is now the only place in the world where draught Breda is brewed.[14]

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 (nl). 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.[citation needed] Koch Media has its Benelux office in Breda.[15]

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 (nl), 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.

Main sights[edit]

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:

Culture[edit]

The spoken language is West Brabantian, which is very similar to colloquial Dutch.

Musical events are held in the Chasse Theater.

Redhead Day is a festival that takes 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 is free due to sponsorship of the local government. Furthermore, some people refer to Breda as the opposite of burning man.

Museums[edit]

Breda hosts the following museums:

  • Begijnhof Breda Museum
  • Generaal Maczek Museum
  • Bier Reclame Museum
  • NAC Museum
  • Heemkundig Museum Paulus van Daesdonck
  • Museum Oorlog & Vrede [War and Peace Museum]
  • Stedelijk Museum Breda
  • Stichting Princenhaags Museum

Events[edit]

  • Breda Dancetour (House Music)
  • Carnaval
  • Breda Jazz Festival
  • BredaPhoto
  • Singelloop Breda
  • Redhead Day (Roodharigendag)
  • Breda Barst
  • Breda Drijft
  • Lichtsloepen Parade

Sport[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Religion[edit]

Religions in Breda (2014)[16]

  Roman Catholic (41.8%)
  Other Christian denominations (2.6%)
  Islam (3.6%)
  Hinduism (0.6%)
  Buddhism (0.5%)
  No affiliation (44.9%)

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.[16]

Ethnic groups[edit]

The ethnic make-up of Breda, in 2017, is as follows:[17]

Notable residents[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Trains[edit]

Breda has two railway stations, Breda and Breda-Prinsenbeek, providing connections with Zuid-Holland (DordrechtRotterdamDen Haag) and TilburgEindhoven, and from station Breda also to Roosendaal with connection to Vlissingen and Antwerp. In addition, trains also head north from Breda to Amsterdam and east to Den BoschNijmegen. Breda Oost railway station will open after 2020.

Roads[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Breda is twinned with:

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "de heer P.A.C.M. van der Velden" (in Dutch). Gemeente Breda. Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Postcodetool for 4811DJ". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "De grenzeloze regio". Sdu uitgevers. 2007. 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. 
  7. ^ a b Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Breda". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  8. ^ The Prince of Orange and subsequently King or Queen of the Netherlands continued to use the title; today Queen Beatrix uses the title Baron of Breda.
  9. ^ "Spanjaardsgat". Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  10. ^ Lodewijck Huygens, The English Journal: 1651-1652, p. 13
  11. ^ CBS 2017 Bevolkingsontwikkeling regio Breda
  12. ^ Official Zandberg site
  13. ^ "Brew coup as Breda is made in Guernsey « This Is Guernsey". Thisisguernsey.com. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  14. ^ "Breda". Randalls Brewery. 2012-11-22. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  15. ^ "Contact." Koch Media. Retrieved on September 13, 2016. "Benelux Koch Media Benelux Princenhagelaan 1 C4 4813 DA Breda Niederlande"
  16. ^ a b "Kerkelijkheid en kerkbezoek, 2010-2014". Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek. 
  17. ^ . Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek http://statline.cbs.nl/Statweb/publication/?DM=SLNL&PA=37713&D1=a&D2=0&D3=1-2,6-55&D4=153,603&D5=l&HDR=T,G4&STB=G1,G3,G2&VW=T.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ Stephen Gaukroger. Descartes: An Intellectual Biography. Oxford University Press, 1995.
  19. ^ "Wrocław Official Website – Partnership Cities of Wrocław". Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of Poland.svg (in English, German, French and Polish) © 2007 Wrocław Municipality. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
Literature
  • Lourens, Piet; Lucassen, Jan (1997). Inwonertallen van Nederlandse steden ca. 1300–1800. Amsterdam: NEHA. ISBN 9057420082. 

External links[edit]