Breda (Dutch pronunciation: [breːˈdaː] (listen)) is a city and municipality in the southern part of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Brabant. The name derived from brede Aa ('wide Aa' or 'broad Aa') and refers to the confluence of the rivers Mark and Aa.
As a fortified city, it 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.
Docks in the city centre
Coat of arms
Location in North Brabant
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Paul Depla (PvdA)|
|• 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 m (10 ft)|
|• Density||1,456/km2 (3,770/sq mi)|
|• Metro region||553,706|
|• Brabant CMSA||1,932,055|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
4800–4841, 4847, 4850–4854
|Source: Lourens & Lucassen 1997, pp. 40–41|
In the 11th century, Breda was a direct fief of the Holy Roman Emperor, 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
During the Second World War, the city was under German occupation for over four years. During Operation Pheasant Breda 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 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.
The city of Breda is divided in 7 city sectors:
Topographic map image of the city of Breda, March 2014. Click to enlarge.
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 formerly housed the largest brewery in the Netherlands (Oranjeboom). The multinational Interbrew took over the brewery in 1995 and then closed it in 2004. Production of the Breda brand was moved to both Bremen and Leuven until 2008, when Randalls Brewery (in Guernsey) acquired the licence. Guernsey is now the only place in the world where draught Breda is brewed.
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. 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. Koch Media has its Benelux office in Breda.
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, 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.
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:
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.
Breda hosts the following museums:
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.
The ethnic make-up of Breda, in 2018, is as follows:
Breda has two railway stations, Breda and Breda-Prinsenbeek, providing connections north to (Dordrecht, Rotterdam, Den Haag) and Amsterdam; east to Tilburg, Eindhoven, Den Bosch, Nijmegen and Zwolle; west to Roosendaal and Vlissingen and south to Antwerp and Brussels (via the HSL-Zuid high-speed line). Breda Oost railway station will open after 2020.
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 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.
Breda is twinned with:
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.
Breda is a village in the province of Girona and autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain. The municipality covers an area of 5.09 square kilometres (1.97 sq mi) and the population in 2014 was 3,751.Breda-SAFAT machine gun
Breda-SAFAT (Società Italiana Ernesto Breda per Costruzioni Meccaniche / Breda Meccanica Bresciana - Società Anonima Fabbrica Armi Torino) was an Italian weapons manufacturer of the 1930s and 1940s that designed and produced a range of machine-guns and cannon primarily for use in aircraft. Based on the M1919 Browning machine gun, the Italian guns were chambered to fire indigenous ammunition with 7.7 mm (0.303 in) and 12.7 mm (0.500 in) calibres, predominantly ball, tracer for the 7.7mm, including high-explosive-incendiary-tracer (HEIT) (filled with 0.8 grams of PETN), or armour-piercing (AP) for the 12.7mm.Breda Model 35
The Cannone-Mitragliera da 20/65 modello 35 (Breda), also known as Breda Model 35, was a 20 mm anti-aircraft gun produced by the Società Italiana Ernesto Breda of Brescia company in Italy and used during World War II. It was designed in 1932 and was adopted by the Italian armed forces in 1935. It was the one of two 20-millimetre-calibre anti-aircraft guns used by Italy during World War II, the other being the 20 mm Scotti. Both weapons fired the 20x138mmB cartridge.Butch van Breda Kolff
Willem Hendrik "Butch" van Breda Kolff (October 28, 1922 – August 22, 2007) was an American basketball player and coach.Capture of Breda (1581)
The Capture of Breda of 1581, also known as the Haultepenne Fury, occurred on 26 – 27 July when Spanish troops under the command of Claude de Berlaymont, lord of Haultepenne, took Breda by surprise after a sentry was bribed by a follower of the king, Charles de Gavre, who was kept a prisoner at the castle. The corrupt sentry allowed the Spanish troops to enter the castle.
Despite the resistance by Breda's citizens, the attackers succeeded in taking the most important city gates and launched an attack on the city hall, the tower and the church. The defenders surrendered on the condition that the city would not be looted. At 10.00 a.m.
fighting stopped and the sack and massacre started. Some 584 citizens lost their lives during this relatively short event.Capture of Breda (1590)
The Capture of Breda or the Siege of Breda was a short battle during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War during which a Dutch and English army led by Maurice of Nassau captured the heavily protected city of Breda. Using a clever tactic reminiscent of the Trojan horse a small assault force hid in a peat barge, entered the city of Breda, and proceeded to take it over resulting in a minimum number of casualties. It was the turning point of the war as the forces under Maurice were able to take the offensive.Hitachi Rail Italy
Hitachi Rail Italy S.p.A. (HRI) is a rail transport engineering company based in Italy whose main products are the design and manufacturing of railway and mass transit vehicles.
Formerly AnsaldoBreda S.p.A., a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, the company was sold in 2015 to Hitachi Rail along with the 40% share of Ansaldo STS that Finmeccanica owned. After the deal was finalized, the current name was adapted in November 2015 to reflect the new ownership.Le Haut-Bréda
Le Haut-Bréda is a commune in the Isère department in southeastern France. It was established on 1 January 2019 by merger of the former communes of La Ferrière (the seat) and Pinsot.Leo Canjels
Leonard "Leo" Canjels (1 April 1933 – 26 May 2010) was a Dutch international footballer who played for NAC Breda.Muni Metro
The Muni Metro is a light rail system serving San Francisco, California, United States, operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni), a division of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). With an average weekday ridership of 162,500 passengers as of the fourth quarter of 2017, Muni Metro is the United States' third busiest light rail system. Muni Metro operates a fleet of 151 Breda light rail vehicles (LRVs), which are being supplemented and replaced by Siemens S200 SF LRVs.
Muni Metro is the modern incarnation of the traditional streetcar system that had served San Francisco since the late 19th century. While many streetcar lines in other cities, and even in San Francisco itself, were converted to buses after World War II, five lines survived until the early 1980s, when they were rerouted into the newly built Market Street Subway. The system today traverses a number of different types of rights of way, including tunnels, reserved surface trackage with at-grade street crossings, and streetcar sections operating in mixed traffic; surface stops range from high-platform stations to traditional curbside streetcar stops. Recently, the system has undergone expansion, most notably the Third Street Light Rail Project, completed in 2007, which started the first new rail line in San Francisco in over half a century. Other projects, such as the Central Subway, are underway.NAC Breda
NAC Breda (Dutch pronunciation: [nɑk breːˈdaː]), often simply known as NAC, is a Dutch professional football club, based in Breda, Netherlands. NAC Breda play in the Rat Verlegh Stadium, named after their most important player, Antoon 'Rat' Verlegh. They play in the Eerste Divisie. In their history, NAC won one national title in 1921 and won one Cup in 1973.
NAC was founded on 19 September 1912, when the two clubs ADVENDO and NOAD merged to one club. NOAD is a Dutch abbreviation for Nooit Opgeven, Altijd Doorzetten (English translation: Never give up, always persevere), while ADVENDO is a Dutch abbreviation for Aangenaam Door Vermaak En Nuttig Door Ontspanning (English: Pleasant for its entertainment and useful for its relaxation), the C stands for Combinatie (combination). The full name of NAC Breda expands to Nooit opgeven altijd doorzetten, Aangenaam door vermaak en nuttig door ontspanning, Combinatie Breda [ˈnoːit ˈɔpxeːvə(n) ˈɑltɛit ˈdoːrɣaːn ˈaːŋɣəˌnaːm ˈdoːr vərˈmaːk ɛn ˈnɵtəx ˈdoːr ɔntˈspɑnɪŋ kɔmbiˈnaː(t)si breːˈdaː]. Early in 2003 NAC added, as a symbol of gratitude, Breda to their club name, after the City of Breda bought NAC's Rat Verleghstadium to help the club to cope with financial problems. In 2012 Stefaan Eskes succeeded Ed Busselaar and in August 2012 NAC Breda reinstated their first logo as the new club logo for the 2012–13 season.NZASM 10 Tonner 0-4-0T
The NZASM 10 Tonner 0-4-0T of 1889 was a South African steam locomotive from the pre-Union era in Transvaal.
In 1889 and 1890, the Nederlandsche-Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij obtained three tramway steam locomotives with an 0-4-0T wheel arrangement for use on the new line from Johannesburg to Boksburg which became known as the Randtram line. Since the railway classified its locomotives according to their weight, these tank locomotives were known as the 10 Tonners.North Brabant
North Brabant (Dutch: Noord-Brabant; [ˌnoːrd ˈbraːbɑnt] (listen)), also unofficially called Brabant, is a province in the south of the Netherlands. It borders the provinces of South Holland and Gelderland to the north, Limburg to the east, Zeeland to the west, and Belgium to the south. The northern border follows the Meuse westward to its mouth in the Hollands Diep strait, part of the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta.R3hab
Fadil El Ghoul (born 2 April 1986), better known by his stage name R3HAB (pronounced "rehab"), is a Dutch DJ, record producer and remixer of Moroccan origin from Breda. Alongside Afrojack and Chuckie, he is one of the proponents of the modern Dutch house subgenre. During the 2012 WMC in Miami, United States, R3hab won the IDMA Best Breakthrough Artist Award.Rat Verlegh Stadion
The Rat Verlegh Stadion (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌrɑt fərˈlɛx ˌstaːdijɔn]) is a multi-purpose stadium in Breda, Netherlands. The stadium is the home of the association football club NAC Breda (1996 to present). It was formerly known as FUJIFILM Stadium (1996–2003) and Mycom Stadium (2003–2006), named after two former NAC sponsors. In 2006 NAC Breda named the stadium after its most famous NAC Player, Antoon Verlegh.
The stadium was built from 1995 to 1996 at a cost of € 13.2 million, and was officially opened on 11 August 1996. It has been used for association football, concerts, and other events. It has a capacity of 19,000 fans, including 1,500 standing room-only, for sports matches. The stadium has been used for several Intertoto matches, UEFA Cup matches and international matches. Concerts have also been held at the Rat Verlegh stadion.Siege of Breda (1624)
The Siege of Breda of 1624–25 occurred during the Eighty Years' War. The siege resulted in Breda, a Dutch fortified city, falling into the control of the Army of Flanders.
Following the orders of Ambrogio Spinola, Philip IV's army laid siege to Breda in August 1624. The siege was contrary to the wishes of Philip IV's government because of the already excessive burdens of the concurrent Eighty and Thirty Years' wars. The strategically located city was heavily fortified and strongly defended by a large and well prepared garrison of 7,000 men, that the Dutch were confident would hold out long enough to wear down besiegers while awaiting a relief force to disrupt the siege. Yet despite the Spanish government's opposition to major sieges in the Low Countries and the obstacles confronting any attack on such a strongly fortified and defended city, Spinola launched his Breda campaign, rapidly blocking the city's defences and driving off a Dutch relief army under the leadership of Maurice of Nassau that had attempted to cut off the Spanish army's access to supplies. In February 1625, a second relief force, consisting of 7,000 English troops under the leadership of Horace Vere and Ernst von Mansfeld, was also driven off by Spinola. After a costly eleven-month siege, Justin of Nassau surrendered Breda on 2 June 1625. Only 3,500 Dutchmen and fewer than 600 Englishmen had survived the siege.The Siege of Breda is considered Spinola's greatest success and one of Spain's last major victories in the Eighty Years' War. The siege was part of a plan to isolate the Republic from its hinterland, and co-ordinated with Olivare's naval war spearheaded by the Dunkirkers, to economically choke the Dutch Republic. Although political infighting hindered Spinola's freedom of movement, Spain's efforts in the Netherlands continued thereafter. The siege of 1624 captured the attention of European princes and, along with other battles like White Mountain (1620), played a part in the Spanish army regaining the formidable reputation it had held throughout the previous century.
In the latter stages of the combined Eighty and Thirty Years' wars that had greatly strained Spanish resources, Breda was lost to the Dutch under Frederick Henry after a four-month siege. In the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia that ended the Thirty and Eighty Years' wars, it was ceded to the Dutch Republic.Siege of Breda (1637)
The Fifth Siege of Breda (21 July – 11 October 1637) was an important siege in the Eighty Years' War in which stadtholder Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange retook the city of Breda, which had last changed hands in 1625 when the Spanish general Ambrogio Spinola conquered it for the Spanish Habsburgs. Hereafter, the city would remain in the hands of the Dutch Republic until the end of the war.Società Italiana Ernesto Breda
Società Italiana Ernesto Breda, more usually referred to simply as Breda, was an Italian mechanical manufacturing company founded by Ernesto Breda in Milan in 1886.Treaty of Breda (1667)
The Treaty of Breda was signed at the Dutch city of Breda, 31 July (Gregorian calendar), 1667, by England, the United Provinces (Netherlands), France, and Denmark–Norway. It brought a hasty end to the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–1667) in favour of the Dutch, as Louis XIV's forces began invading the Spanish Netherlands as part of the War of Devolution, but left many territorial disputes unresolved. It was thus a typical quick uti possidetis treaty. In the latter stages of the war, the Dutch had prevailed. Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter virtually controlled the seas around the south coast of England, following his successful Raid on the Medway, and his presence encouraged English commissioners to sue for peace quickly. Negotiations, which had been long protracted, and had actually begun in Breda before the raid, took only ten days to conclude after resumption of talks.
During the negotiations, the English commissioners (Denzil Holles and Henry Coventry) offered to return New Netherland in exchange for their sugar factories on the coast of Surinam, that had been taken by Abraham Crijnssen earlier in 1667. The Dutch side declined. In the East Indies, the Dutch secured a worldwide monopoly on nutmeg by forcing England to give up their claim on Run, the most remote of the Banda Islands. The Act of Navigation was moderated in that the Dutch were now allowed to ship German goods, if imported over the Rhine, to England.As communications were slow, special dates were established for the different parts of the world, on which legal hostilities would end: 5 September for the English Channel and the North Sea, 5 October for the other European seas, 2 November for the African coast north of the equator and 24 April 1668 for the rest of the world.
In North America, Acadia was returned to France, without specifying what territories were actually involved on the ground. Thomas Temple, the proprietor, residing in Boston, had been given a charter by Cromwell, which was ignored in the Treaty, and the actual handing off was delayed at the site until 1670. In addition, the conquest of New Netherland by the English was confirmed on 21 July 1667, producing the Colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.In the Caribbean, the island of Saint Kitts was re-partitioned between English and French forces.
The most complete contemporary account of the war was published first in Dutch, then in French in 1668 as a Description exacte de tout ce qui s'est passé dans les guerres. It contains a list of Dutch vessels and goods lost in North America, an account of the 1664 capture of New Amsterdam (New York City today) with the articles of surrender to Governor Richard Nicolls, and Michiel de Ruyter's voyage to the West Indies. The Dutch commemorated the Treaty of Breda with a patriotic engraving.
The parties agreed to postpone a discussion of the pawnings of Orkney (1468) and Shetland (1469) until a future occasion. Such a discussion has yet to take place, leading some to argue that this constitutes a legal basis for regarding Orkney and Shetland as direct dependencies of the Scots crown, rather than parts of the UK.
Places adjacent to Breda
Municipalities of North Brabant