From top down, left to right: view over the city centre, the city seen from the Bossche Brook, Binnendieze canals, Province Hall of North Brabant, St. Catherine Church, New St. James Church, Dragon Fountain, Hieronymus Bosch, North Brabant Museum, St. John's Cathedral, City hall of 's-Hertogenbosch, Paleiskwartier
Location in North Brabant
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Jack Mikkers (VVD)|
|• Municipality||117.81 km2 (45.49 sq mi)|
|• Land||109.99 km2 (42.47 sq mi)|
|• Water||7.82 km2 (3.02 sq mi)|
|Elevation||6 m (20 ft)|
|• Density||1,402/km2 (3,630/sq mi)|
|• Metro region||355,230|
|• Brabant CMSA||1,932,055|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
's-Hertogenbosch (Dutch: [ˌsɛrtoːɣə(m)ˈbɔs] (listen); French: Bois-le-Duc [bwɑ l(ə) dyk]), German: Herzogenbusch, colloquially known as Den Bosch (IPA: [dɛm ˈbɔs] (listen)), is a city and municipality in the Netherlands with a population of 152,968. It is the capital of the province of North Brabant.
The city's official name is a contraction of the (archaic) Dutch des Hertogen bosch—"the forest of the duke". The duke in question was Henry I of Brabant, whose family had owned a large estate at nearby Orthen for at least four centuries. He founded a new town located on some forested dunes in the middle of a marsh. At age 26, he granted 's-Hertogenbosch city rights and the corresponding trade privileges in 1185. This is, however, the traditional date given by later chroniclers; the first mention in contemporaneous sources is 1196. The original charter has been lost. His reason for founding the city was to protect his own interests against encroachment from Gelre and Holland; from its first days, he conceived of the city as a fortress. It was destroyed in 1203 in a joint expion of Gelre and Holland, but was soon rebuilt. Some remnants of the original city walls remain.
In the late 14th century, a much larger wall was erected to protect the greatly expanded settled area. Artificial waterways were dug to serve as a city moat, through which the rivers Dommel and Aa were diverted. 's-Hertogenbosch became the birthplace and home of one of the greatest painters of the northern Renaissance period, Hieronymus Bosch, The town suffered a catastrophic fire in 1463, which the then (approximately) 13-year-old Bosch probably witnessed; presumably, this fire provided inspiration for the fiery hell-scapes that would later make Bosch famous.
Until 1520, the city flourished, becoming the second largest population centre in the territory of the present Netherlands, after Utrecht. The city was also a center of music, and composers, such as Jheronimus Clibano, received their training at its churches. Others held positions there: Matthaeus Pipelare was musical director at the Confraternity of Our Lady; and renowned Habsburg copyist and composer Pierre Alamire did much of his work at 's-Hertogenbosch.
The wars of the Reformation changed the course of the city's history. It became an independent bishopric. During the Eighty Years' War, the city took the side of the Habsburg (Catholic) authorities and thwarted a Calvinist coup. It was besieged several times by Prince Maurice of Orange, stadtholder of most of the Dutch Republic, who wanted to bring 's-Hertogenbosch under the rule of the rebel United Provinces. The city was successfully defended by Claude de Berlaymont, also known as Haultpenne.
|Source: Lourens & Lucassen 1997, pp. 45–46|
In the years of Truce, before the renewed fighting after 1618, the fortifications were greatly expanded. The surrounding marshes made a siege of the conventional type impossible, and the fortress, deemed impregnable, was nicknamed the Marsh Dragon. The town was nevertheless finally conquered by Frederik Hendrik of Orange in 1629 in a typically Dutch stratagem: he diverted the rivers Dommel and Aa, created a polder by constructing a forty-kilometre dyke and then pumped out the water by mills. After a siege of three months, the city had to surrender—an enormous blow to Habsburg geo-political strategy during the Thirty Years' War. This surrender cut the town off from the rest of the duchy and the area was treated by the Republic as an occupation zone without political liberties (see also Generality Lands).
After the Peace of Westphalia, the fortifications were again expanded. In 1672, the Dutch rampjaar, the city held against the army of Louis XIV of France. In 1794 French revolutionary troops under the command of Charles Pichegru attacked the city. It was only weakly defended, and fell after a short siege. Pichegru then crossed the rivers and put an end to the Dutch Republic.
In the Batavian Republic, that was established in 1795, both Catholics and Brabanders at last gained equal rights. From 1806, the city became part of the Kingdom of Holland and from 1810, it was incorporated into the First French Empire. It was captured by the Prussians in 1814.
The next year, 1815, when the United Kingdom of the Netherlands was established, it became the capital of North Brabant. Many newer and more modern fortresses were created in the vicinity of the city. A new canal was built, the 'Zuid-Willemsvaart', which gave the city an economic impulse. Trade, manufacturing and industry grew. Until 1878, it was forbidden to build outside the ramparts. That led to overcrowding and the highest infant mortality in the kingdom.
At the end of the 19th century, the very conservative city government prevented industrial investment to avoid an increase in the number of workers and the establishment of educational institutions: students were regarded as disorderly. As a result, the relative importance of the city diminished.
One of the few official Nazi concentration camp complexes in Western Europe outside Germany and Austria was named after 's-Hertogenbosch. It operated from January 1943, to September 1944 and was known to the Germans as Herzogenbusch (see List of subcamps of Herzogenbusch). About 30,000 inmates were interned in the complex during this time, of whom about 12,000 were Jews. In the Netherlands, this camp is known as 'Kamp Vught', because the concentration camp was actually located at a heath near Vught, a village a few kilometres south of 's-Hertogenbosch.
It was conquered by the Germans in World War II in 1940 and occupied by them for over four years. The allies struck back—the railway station was bombed by planes of the Royal Air Force on 16 September 1944. The city was liberated between 24–27 October 1944 during Operation Pheasant by British soldiers of Major-General Robert Knox Ross's 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division after Major Donald Bremner of the 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, of 158th Infantry Brigade, had already routed the enemy on 23–24 October.
After the war, 's-Hertogenbosch was modernized, like many other cities in the Netherlands. It was probably only geography that shielded the old town from rigorous reconstruction in those early years. Just in time, the pendulum swung over to protecting the history of the city. In 1956, the council wanted to demolish the Moriaan, the oldest brick building in the Netherlands, to give traffic better access to the market square. The permit was refused by the government and instead the building was restored, starting in 1963. Later, city councils became much more aware of the value of historic buildings and from about the turn of the millennium, the historic fortifications are also given much attention by the authorities.
The population centres in the municipality are: Bokhoven, Crevecoeur, Deuteren (former village), Dieskant, Empel, Engelen, Gewande, 's-Hertogenbosch, Hintham, Kruisstraat, Maliskamp, Meerwijk, Orthen (former village), Oud-Empel, and Rosmalen.
Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb". (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).
|Climate data for Gemert-Bakel|
|Average high °C (°F)||4
|Average low °C (°F)||−1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||69
|Average precipitation days||8.8||6.3||5.8||4||6||6.7||7.8||8.7||8.2||7||5.4||8.8||83.5|
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The city of 's-Hertogenbosch has become a center of industry, education, administration and culture. It is currently the fourth city of Noord Brabant. It is home to many national and international businesses such as Heineken, Epic, Tyco International, SAP and many others. The Jeroen Bosch Hospital is the biggest employer in the area, with over 4,000 employees.
's-Hertogenbosch is home to a variety of events such as the theatre festival Boulevard, Jazz in Duketown, and hip hop in duketown, the start of the Tour de France (1996), Tour Feminin (1997), the International Vocal Competition, November Music (a contemporary music festival) and the UNICEF Open (formerly the Ordina Open) grass court tennis tournament (in the nearby town of Rosmalen). There are also over 350 restaurants, pubs and cafés to be found in the city.
's-Hertogenbosch is also home to the European Ceramic Work Centre. This is a juried international ceramic residency where they invite artists, designers and architects from around to the world to explore the medium of Ceramics. This program was initially started in 1991 and continues to this day.
The spoken language is Maaslands (the variant spoken in 's-Hertogenbosch is called Bosch which is placed among the Central North Brabantian dialects, although other classification systems also describe it as East Brabantian), which is very similar to colloquial Dutch.
The Noordbrabants Museum is a provincial museum with a nice overview of works that Vincent van Gogh made in Brabant. The Design Museum Den Bosch is a modern art museum. The Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, is dedicated to the work of Jheronimus Bosch. Other museums include the Swan Brothers' House and Museum Slager.
's-Hertogenbosch has a strong carnival tradition. In its current form the story and symbolism dates from 1881 to 1883. In these years some citizens created the legend of "Oeteldonk", whereby the city was renamed to Oeteldonk for the three day carnival. "Donk" is a reference to a dry place in the marsh. The frog is widely used as a symbol during the 's-Hertogenbosch Carnival. It's also a symbol of the Oeteldonk marsh. It was also a remark aimed at Bishop Godschalk from Den Dungen, where 'Van den Oetelaar' was a common family name. He had wanted to forbid the traditional festivities of Shrove Tuesday that often led to excesses.
Oeteldonk is a village and therefore every inhabitant is a farmer or a 'durske' (a girl or young woman), eliminating class differences. The village is headed by the Mayor "Peer vaan den Muggenheuvel tot den Bobberd". Each year the mayor of 's-Hertogenbosch hands over his authority to the Mayor of Oeteldonk. On Sunday at 11:11 AM the Mayor of Oeteldonk then receives Prince Carnaval "Prince Amadeiro XXV" at Oeteldonk central station. From there a parade of all carnival clubs escorts the company to the town hall.
The citizens of 's-Hertogenbosch wear traditional outfits throughout these days. A so-called boerenkiel is worn and every year patches are designed according to that years theme which can then be stitched onto the outfit. The boerenkiel is often combined with a traditional farmers bandana and a long scarf in the colors of Oeteldonk. The tradition of the Boerenkiel and / or Bandana is very different from the carnival traditions in the rest of the Netherlands. Other aspects like the parade, the temporary name and the temporary flag (for Oeteldonk red, white and yellow) are very similar.
's-Hertogenbosch was founded as a fortified city and that heritage can still be seen today. After World War II, plans were made to modernise the old city, by filling in the canals, removing or modifying some ramparts and redeveloping historic neighbourhoods. Before these plans could come to effect, however, the central government declared the city a protected townscape. Most historic elements have been preserved. In contrast to cities like Rotterdam, 's-Hertogenbosch also survived the Second World War relatively unscathed. Much of its historic heritage remains intact, and today there are always renovations going on in the city to preserve the many old buildings, fortifications, churches and statues for later generations.
The city center has a cozy atmosphere because of the almost continuous ramparts that still surround it. It has been molded by the multiple rivers that convene on 's-Hertogenbosch, giving the center its strange street plan so different from the usual grid plan, where streets meet at right angles. The center is dominated by Saint John's Cathedral (Sint Jans kathedraal in Dutch), which dates from c. 1220 and is best known for its Brabantine Gothic design and the many sculptures of craftsmen that are sitting on almost every arc and rim along the outside of the cathedral. In 2010 an extensive restoration was completed, undoing the damage of many years of wear-and-tear and acid rain.
On the central square is the oldest remaining brick house of the Netherlands, 'de Moriaan', which was built at the beginning of the 13th century. In the 1960s, de Moriaan was renovated to its former glory based on a famous 16th-century Dutch painting called 'De Lakenmarkt van 's-Hertogenbosch' ('The fabric market of 's-Hertogenbosch'). The town hall is an originally 14th-century Gothic building. After the town was conquered by the Dutch Republic in 1629, it got a new facade in the style of the Dutch Baroque architecture. It showcased the authority of the new masters, just like the new town hall in Maastricht would.
Hidden below the old city is a canal network called the Binnendieze, which once spanned 22 km (14 mi). It started out as a regular river, the Dommel, running through the city in medieval times. Due to lack of space in the city, people started building their houses and roads over the river. Later, the Binnendieze functioned as a sewer and fell into disrepair. In recent decades, the remaining sixth part of the old waterway system has been renovated, and it is possible to take several guided subterranean boat trips through it.
's-Hertogenbosch has an extensive and almost complete fifteenth-to-seventeenth-century city fortification. It was made to profit from the city's strong defensive position' laying on a sandy hill in the center of a large swamp fed by many rivers. This also caused that the main ramparts were preserved, because they were crucial in keeping out the water. In 2004 the city was awarded the title European Fortress City of the year. In the years that followed it restored many of the city defenses to much of their old glory.
Apart from small sections of medieval walls, the main structure of the fortification is a late-medieval (fifteenth-century) wall. The upper sections were removed when cannon became more powerful, and polygonal bastions were added, some after the conquest by the republic. Most of these have not been restored to their original height, but do maintain their brick walls. The citadel in the north west of the city does retain its original height. Around the city itself many other fortresses can still be seen.
In the north east of the old city, the hexagonal gunpowder magazine, called Kruithuis is located close to the citadel. It is one of only a handful that still exist in the Netherlands, and was built when the city was still part of the Spanish Netherlands. It is planned to become the museum of fortress 's-Hertogenbosch. One of the bastions of the fortress now houses the mini museum Bastionder. It has been dug out in a bastion of the south side. On the inside it shows a unique wrought iron cannon, and an older bastion that was walled in by the current one.
On the south side of the city, the city center and walls still border the Bossche Broek, an old polder that could never be made dry. In 1995 the dyke of the Dommel broke and an enormous amount of water entered the polder. It also flooded and blocked the main Dutch highway A2. In order to prevent this in the future, the area was rearranged to store excess water in case of emergencies. In 2006 the area had been furnished with higher dikes and locks that allowed a controlled flooding of the polder and some adjacent areas in case of emergency.
The Bossche Broek is now a 22-hectare (54-acre) nature reserve, that stretches all the way to Vught. It is connected to the Moerputten and Vlijmens Ven, with which it forms a Natura 2000 area. Rare species in the area are the scarce large blue and the European weather loach. The Moerputten sports the Moerputten Bridge, a 600 m long nineteenth century railway bridge and engineering feat. However, what is really unique about the area is its close proximity to the city center.
The city has one professional football club, FC Den Bosch It is the 1967 successor of the professional branches of BVV (Bossche Voetbal Vereniging) and Wilhelmina. Both of them still exist as amateur football clubs. As a successor of BVV FC Den Bosch can claim the national championship of 1948. This championship led to the construction of stadium De Vliert, which at one time had a capacity of 30,000. Due to the less successful years that followed, the capacity is now only 8,500 visitors. FC Den Bosch was the first club of Dutch international player Ruud van Nistelrooy.
's-Hertogenbosch is more successful in field hockey. It is home to top club HC Den Bosch. The women's team in particular kind of dominates the Dutch field hockey competition. The professional basketball club New Heroes Den Bosch is also very successful. The city's rugby club is called The Dukes and dates from 1974. It is located at a very scenic location at the foot of the city walls. Because of the limited space, the club plays on artificial turf and part of the accommodation is subterranean. The Dukes has the most junior members. It became the national rugby champion in 2008.
As regards events the city is host to the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships, a combined ATP Tour and WTA Tour grass court tennis event played two weeks before the Wimbledon Championships. The World Archery Championships and World Para Archery Championship were held here in June 2019. During these combined World Championships two separate venues were used: the Parade and the rugby fields of The Dukes. All finals took place in the arena at the Parade. The Parade is a historic square surrounded by high trees, situated at the foot of the nearly seven-hundred-year-old Saint John's Cathedral in the attractive center of 's-Hertogenbosch.
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The Zuid-Willemsvaart runs from the Meuse just north of the city towards Maastricht via Helmond and Weert. In 's-Hertogenbosch it runs through the city proper, south east from where a bastion has been cut off from the citadel. Because of this route it was impossible to widen it further than for ships of CEMT class II. Therefore the Máxima Canal of 8 km was dug just east of the city, creating a shortcut from the canal to the Meuse suitable for ships of CEMT class IV. On the remaining part of the Zuid-Willemsvaart west of the city is the industrial harbor of 's-Hertogenbosch. A marina is located in the center.
's-Hertogenbosch is situated on the busy A2 motorway, the most important north-south connection of the Netherlands. This connection was established with the opening of the Dieze Bridge in 1942. From 1961 the Utrecht-'s-Hertogenbosch section was 2 times 2 lanes. In 1970 the A2 was rerouted to the east of the city. In 1989 it finally became a controlled-access highway. In 1996 the section between 's-Hertogenbosch and Eindhoven became a controlled-access highway. The situation in Maastricht was only solved in 2016, when the Koning Willem-Alexandertunnel was opened. On the east-west axis 's-Hertogenbosch is on the A59 motorway. The A65 motorway between 's-Hertogenbosch and Tilburg is a regional highway, but is not completely access-controlled.
's-Hertogenbosch railway station is on the Utrecht–Boxtel part of the railway stretch between Amsterdam and the Dutch industrial/tech center near Eindhoven. As a consequence north-south trains depart every ten minutes. On the Tilburg–Nijmegen railway trains run on a more modest schedule. 's-Hertogenbosch railway station is also a major station for Arriva buslines that serve the city and most of its suburbs. Other stations within the limits of the municipality are 's-Hertogenbosch Oost railway station and Rosmalen railway station. Vught railway station is actually closer to the city center than that in Rosmalen.
's-Hertogenbosch has attempted to adapt to the growing popularity of the bicycle in Dutch cities. A reasonable amount of bike paths has so far been constructed in the town. In 2011, the city was chosen as Fietsstad 2011—the top bike city of the Netherlands for 2011. The details of the report were less jubilant and showed that it was really a prize meant to stimulate 's-Hertogenbosch to take further action; Hugo van der Steenhoven of the Fietsersbond: "In the past years Den Bosch has spent much energy, ambition, creativity and money to give cycling an enormous boost. This is a big achievement for a city where bicycle use is lower than in the rest of the Netherlands" (cyclist union).
's-Hertogenbosch has multiple vocational universities called 'Hogeschool' in Dutch. The HAS Hogeschool of about 3,500 students is focused on agricultural and food technology. Avans Hogeschool is located in 's-Hertogenbosch and two nearby cities. The AKV St. Joost is an art academy that is now part of Avans and dates back to 1812. Fontys Hogeschool also offers some education in the city. The Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS), located at the Mariënburg Campus in the center of 's-Hertogenbosch, and provides a number of data science programs at graduate (MSc) and post-graduate level (PhD). It is a department of the Eindhoven University of Technology and Tilburg University.
In secondary education the City Gymnasium is a gymnasium (school) that originated from the latin school of the city. It is comparable to a grammar school and can trace its origin back 1274. The same type of education and all other types of secondary education are offered by a number of large institutes.
Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in 's-Hertogenbosch, with somewhat more than 40% op the population counting themselves as belonging to it. Even so, attention at mass is significantly lower than 40%. Therefore, the only big church in the city center still in use by the Catholic church is St. John's Cathedral. Smaller churches in use by the Roman Catholic church are: St. Anne's Church in Hintham, St. Anne's in Deuteren, St. Lambert's in Rosmalen etc.
The Protestant religion has seen its share of believers in the city fall from 20% to about 4%. It is based in the Great Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church is a new church in town. It is based on St. Catherine's Church.
The Arrahma Mosque has been built by the Morrocan community. The Turkish community has the Orhan Gazi Mosque.
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.
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