The city of Breda

Coat of arms
North Brabant
Area (2006)
129.15 km² (49.9 sq mi)
- Total
126.87 km² (49 sq mi)
- Land
2.28 km² (0.9 sq mi)
- Water
Population (1 January, 2007)
- Total
- Density
1,344/km² (3,480.9/sq mi)
Source: CBS, Statline.
Grote Kerk (main church) or Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kerk (Church of Our Lady).
Breda is a municipality and a city in the southern part of the Netherlands. The name
Breda derived from brede Aa ('broad Aa') and refers to the place where the rivers Mark
and Aa come together. Breda's urban area is home to an estimated 180000 people.
1 Population centres of the municipality of Breda
2 The city of Breda
o 2.1 History
o 2.2 Administration
o 2.3 Economy
o 2.4 Sights
o 2.5 Transportation
o 2.6 Musea
o 2.7 Miscellaneous
3 External links
Population centres of the municipality of Breda
Breda (~170,000)
o Ginneken (former village absorbed by city agglomeration)
o Princenhage (former village absorbed by city agglomeration)
o Zandberg (former hamlet 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)
As well as these small hamlets:
De Rith
The city of Breda
Breda was a fortified city of strategic significance in the Netherlands. Many events
transpired in the city. In the 11th century, Breda was a direct fief of the Holy Roman
Emperor, its earliest known lord being Henry of Brunesheim (1080–1125).
In 1327 Breda was sold by Adelheid of Gaveren to John III, Duke of Brabant. In 1350,
the fief was resold to John II of Wassenaar (d. 1377). In 1403 the heiress of his line,
Johanna of Polanen (1392–1445), married Engelbert I of Nassau (1370–1442).
Henceforth it remained in the house of Nassau, passing ultimately 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, Germany, Prince of Orange and
stadtholder of the Dutch Republic (from 1572–1650, 1672–1702, 1747–1795). Breda
remained part of the barony Breda until it was extinguished by French revolutionary
forces in 1795.
The city of Breda obtained a municipal charter in 1252. After that Breda had the rights to
build fortifications with brick walls and Roman style gates.
In the 15th century the city's welfare grew rapidly. A great church was built in Brabantine
Gothic style with a gallant 97m high tower, called Grote Kerk (main church) or Onze
Lieve Vrouwe Kerk (Church of Our Lady). In 1534 the modest medieval fortifications
were impressively rebuilt by Henry III of Nassau-Breda and remained an impregnable
stronghold of the line of fortresses in the Netherlands.
In the same period Breda became a royal city which attracted lots of noblemen who built
large residences in the old city. The most impressive one, a palace, was built by the
Italian architect Thomas Vincidor de Bologna - the first renaissance style built palace
north of the Alps. It became the place where the first Dutch princes resided.
In 1534, however, Breda also suffered a huge fire which destroyed about 1300 houses,
churches and chapels along with the town hall. Only 150 houses were left after the fire
along with the main church.
During the Eighty Years' War Breda was captured by surprise by the Spaniards in 1581,
but in 1590 it fell again into the hands of Maurice of Nassau, 68 picked men contriving to
get into the town concealed under the turf in a peat-boat, a daring plan of Adriaen van
Bergen. The Spaniards Hole marks the spot where the peat-boat allegedly laid, although
this is not historically proven.
Surrender of Breda, by Diego Velázquez
The surrender of Breda in 1625, after a ten months siege, to the Spaniards under Spinola
was inmortalized by Diego Velázquez. In 1637 Breda was recaptured by Frederick Henry
of Orange after a four months siege, and in 1648 it was finally ceded to the Dutch
Republic by the Treaty of Westphalia.
The exiled Stuart pretender 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, the widow of Prince William II of Orange.
Based mostly on suggestions by Parliamentarian General George Monck, Charles II's
Declaration of Breda (1660) made known the conditions of his acceptance of the crown
of England which he was to accept/resume later in the same year.
The Treaty of Breda was signed in the city, July 31, 1667, bringing to an end the Second
Anglo-Dutch War in which the Dutch faced the same Charles II who had been their
Van Slobbe, the Mayor of Breda, giving a welcome speech to the Polish 1st Armoured
During the World War II 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 Gen. Maczek on October 29, 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.
Breda was the site of one of the first panopticon prison establishments. This prison
housed the only German war criminals ever to be imprisoned in the Netherlands for their
war crimes during the Second World War.
Economic activities were mainly industrial. Breda was a center of the food- and drinking
industry. Company's like Hero (lemonade ao), Van Melle (Mentos ao), De Faam
(liquorice) and Kwatta (chocolate) were famous throughout Western Europe. Breda also
had a sugar factory, supplying its best-known products. Breda also used to house the
biggest brewery in the Netherlands (Oranjeboom). Interbrew, the Belgian owner of the
brewery, has closed down the brewery in 2004. The decline of industrial activity did not
harm the city's economy. The main economic activities now are business , education,
services and trade. When the new Central Station is built circa 2008, Breda will be
connected by high-speed trains to the main European cities.
Begijnhof (Béguinage).
Chassé Theater (Chassé Theatre) Breda.
Breda has a city centre with beautiful old buildings and singels (moats). The shops and a
shopping mall are located here. The city is also home to a museum devoted to General
Stanisław Maczek and the Polish 1st Armoured Division. There is also a Polish military
cemetery, where general Maczek is buried.
Breda has train stations Breda and Breda-Prinsenbeek, providing connections with ZuidHolland (Dordrecht - Rotterdam - Den Haag) and Tilburg - Eindhoven, 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 Bosch - Nijmegen.
Moreover, from 2007 onward there will be a high-speed shuttle connection to Rotterdam
- The Hague / Amsterdam and Antwerp - Brussels, on the HSL-Zuid line.
In Breda there are the following musea:
Breda's Museum
Begijnhof Breda Museum
Generaal Maczek Museum
Bier Reclame Museum
Graphic Design Museum
NAC Museum
Heemkundig Museum Paulus van Daesdonck
Lucifer Museum Latent
Museum Oorlog & Vrede
Nederlands Centrum voor Handwerken - HCH
Stichting Princenhaags Museum
Lokaal 01
The Dutch Royal Military Academy, Koninklijke Militaire Academie, is located
in Breda.
Breda's popular soccer club, NAC Breda, plays in the highest Dutch league, the
Breda's athletics club, A.V. Sprint, is the largest club of its kind in the
Colonel Tom Parker, the manager of Elvis Presley, was born in Breda as Andreas
Cornelius van Kuijk.
Breda is also home to Tiësto, an international trance music artist.
Breda has one of the most famous Dutch choirs, the Sacramentskoor. It is a male
choir (boys and men), semi-professional.
Breda is the birthplace of former Olympic swimmer Karin Brienesse and former
field hockey player Remco van Wijk, who twice won the gold medal at the
Summer Olympics with the Dutch National Team: 1996 and 2000.
Breda is the city where the Dutch composers Daan Manneke and Kristoffer
Zegers live.
The Dutch soccer international Pierre van Hooijdonk was raised in Breda.
Breda is also home to the Muay Thai fighter Ramon Dekkers and his gym.
The cathedral on the marketplace. Burial place of the ancestors of the Dutch Royal
family. A fine example of a gothic church.
Breda is well known for it’s “ burgundy” image ( It is as if you are in Belgium or in
France). Many café’s, restaurants and other forms of amusement will make you feel at