Utrecht (province)

Utrecht (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈytrɛxt] (listen)) is a province of the Netherlands. It is located in the centre of the country, bordering the Eemmeer in the north-east, the province of Gelderland in the east and south-east, the province of South Holland in the west and south-west and the province of North Holland in the north-west and north. With an area of approximately 1,400 square kilometres (540 sq mi), it is the smallest of the twelve Dutch provinces. Apart from its eponymous capital, major cities in the province are Amersfoort, Houten, Nieuwegein, Veenendaal, IJsselstein and Zeist.

In the International Organization for Standardization world region code system Utrecht makes up one region with code ISO 3166-2:NL-UT.

Coat of arms of Utrecht

Coat of arms
Anthem: Langs de Vecht en d'oude Rijnstroom
Location of Utrecht in the Netherlands
Location of Utrecht in the Netherlands
Coordinates: 52°6′12″N 5°10′45″E / 52.10333°N 5.17917°ECoordinates: 52°6′12″N 5°10′45″E / 52.10333°N 5.17917°E
 • King's CommissionerHans Oosters (PvdA)
 • Total1,386 km2 (535 sq mi)
 • Water63 km2 (24 sq mi)
Area rank12th
 • Total1,284,504
 • Rank5th
 • Density930/km2 (2,400/sq mi)
 • Density rank3rd
ISO 3166 codeNL-UT
HDI (2017)0.950[1]
very high · 1st
Vanaf Weerdsluis
Dom Tower in the city of Utrecht.
Wulperhorst Mansion near Zeist.


The Bishopric of Utrecht was established in 695 when Saint Willibrord was consecrated bishop of the Frisians at Rome by Pope Sergius I. With the consent of the Frankish ruler, Pippin of Herstal, he settled in an old Roman fort in Utrecht. After Willibrord's death the diocese suffered greatly from the incursions of the Vikings. Better times appeared during the reign of the Saxon emperors, who frequently summoned the Bishops of Utrecht to attend the imperial councils and diets. In 1024 the bishops were made Princes of the Holy Roman Empire and the new Prince-Bishopric of Utrecht was formed. In 1122, with the Concordat of Worms, the Emperor's right of investiture was annulled, and the cathedral chapter received the right to elect the bishop. It was, however, soon obligated to share this right with the four other collegiate chapters in the city. The Counts of Holland and Guelders, between whose territories the lands of the Bishops of Utrecht lay, also sought to acquire influence over the filling of the episcopal see. This often led to disputes and consequently the Holy See frequently interfered in the election. After the middle of the 14th century the popes repeatedly appointed the bishop directly without regard to the five chapters.

During the Hook and Cod Wars, Utrecht was fought over by forces of the Duke of Burgundy leading to the First Utrecht Civil War (1470-1474) and Second Utrecht Civil War (1481-1483).

In 1527, the Bishop sold his territories, and thus his secular authority, to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the principality became an integral part of the Habsburg dominions, which already included most other Dutch provinces. The chapters transferred their right of electing the bishop to Charles V and his government, a measure to which Pope Clement VII gave his consent, under political pressure after the Sack of Rome. However, the Habsburg rule did not last long, as Utrecht joined in the Dutch Revolt against Charles' successor Philip II in 1579, becoming a part of the Dutch Republic.

In World War II, Utrecht was held by German forces until the general capitulation of the Germans in the Netherlands on May 5, 1945. It was occupied by Canadian Allied forces on May 7, 1945. The towns of Oudewater, Woerden, Vianen and Leerdam were transferred from the province of South Holland to Utrecht in 1970, 1989, 2002 and 2019 respectively. In February 2011, Utrecht, together with the provinces of North Holland and Flevoland, showed a desire to investigate the feasibility of a merger between the three provinces.[2] This has been positively received by the Dutch cabinet, for the desire to create one Randstad province has already been mentioned in the coalition agreement.[3] The province of South Holland, part of the Randstad urban area, visioned to be part of the Randstad province,[4] and very much supportive of the idea of a merger into one province,[5] is not named. With or without South Holland, if created, the new province would be the largest in the Netherlands in both area and population.


Map of the province of Utrecht (2019)

In the east of Utrecht lies the Utrecht Hill Ridge (Dutch: Utrechtse Heuvelrug), a chain of hills left as lateral moraine by tongues of glacial ice after the Saline glaciation that preceded the last ice age. Because of the scarcity of nutrients in the fast-draining sandy soil, the greatest part of a landscape that was formerly heath has been planted with pine plantations. The south of the province is a river landscape. The west consists mostly of meadows. In the north are big lakes formed by the digging of peat from bogs formed after the last ice age.


Blauwe kamer vanaf de Grebbedijk1
A site in Utrecht's nature reserve, "Blauwe kamer" near Rhenen

One of the most attractive natural areas in the province is the Vechtstreek ("Vecht region"), situated on either side of the Vecht river.

An international nature conservation organisation that has settled the head office of its Netherlands branch in this province (at Zeist) is the WWF.

"Natuur en Milieu" ("Nature and Environment")[6] is a national nature protection organisation whose head office is in this province (at Utrecht city).


The Province of Utrecht is divided into 26 municipalities.

Notable residents


  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ "Drie provincies denken over fusie". nos.nl. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Randstadprovincies bekijken fusie". rtlnieuws. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Randstadprovincies onderzoeken fusie". nrc.nl. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-02-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Gezond en Duurzaam-Natuur & Milieu". Natuur & Milieu. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2018.

External links


Abcoude (pronunciation ) is a town and former municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. Since 2011 it has been part of the municipality of De Ronde Venen.


Amersfoort [ˈaːmərsfoːrt] (listen) is a city and municipality in the province of Utrecht, Netherlands. In August 2017, the municipality had a population of 155,089, making it the second-largest of the province and fifteenth-largest of the country. Amersfoort is also one of the largest Dutch railway junctions with its three stations—Amersfoort, Schothorst and Vathorst—due to its location on two of the Netherlands' main east to west and north to south railway lines. The city was used during the 1928 Summer Olympics as a venue for the modern pentathlon events. Amersfoort marked its 750th anniversary as a city in 2009.


Baarn [baːrn] (listen) is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht.


Breukelen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈbrøːkələ(n)] (listen)) is a town and former municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. It is situated to the north west of Utrecht, along the river Vecht and close to the lakes of the Loosdrechtse Plassen, an area of natural and tourist interest. It is located in an area called the Vechtstreek.

De Bilt

De Bilt (Dutch pronunciation: [də ˈbɪlt] (listen)) is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. De Bilt had a population of 42,815 in 2017 and is the seat of the headquarters of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute, KNMI.

It is the ancestral home and namesake for the prominent Vanderbilt family of the United States.


Doorn is a town in the municipality of Utrechtse Heuvelrug in the central Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. On 1 January 2017, the town had 10,067 inhabitants.


IJsselstein (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɛisəlstɛin] (listen)) is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. IJsselstein received city rights in 1331. IJsselstein owes its name to the river Hollandse IJssel which flows through the city. It is a major commuting suburb for the Utrecht area, along with neighbouring towns Houten and Nieuwegein (in part due to the Sneltram light rail line serving the area). It's surrounded by the municipalities of Utrecht, Montfoort, Lopik, Vianen and Nieuwegein.

International Korfball Federation

The International Korfball Federation (IKF) is the governing body of korfball. IKF is responsible for the organisation of korfball's major international tournaments, notably the IKF World Korfball Championship.

The IKF was founded on 11 June 1933 in Antwerp, Belgium as a continuation of the International Korfball Bureau established in 1924 by the Dutch and Belgian Associations. The headquarters is in Zeist (Netherlands). The IKF is officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1993 and is affiliated to SportAccord, the Association of the IOC Recognized International Sports Federations (ARISF) and the International World Games Association (IWGA).

The IKF aims to spread korfball around the globe and increase the level of play in the affiliated countries. The IKF has currently 67 member countries. It provides the affiliated countries via five Continental Confederations (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania) with financial, material and structural support to achieve the goals. It has established a network of contacts in many countries and is constantly expanding this network. IKF actively promotes the game by transferring knowledge internationally by exchange programs and inviting selected korfball players, coaches and administrators to its training courses in order to assist in the creation of a stable local organization and structure in all the affiliated countries.


Lopik (pronunciation ) is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht, close to the river Lek.


Maarssen (pronunciation ) is a town in the middle of the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht, along the river Vecht and the Amsterdam–Rhine Canal. The west of Maarssen is called Maarssen-Broek whereas the east is called Maarssen-Dorp. Both put together and joined by other small towns around provide the area of Maarssen.

On January 1, 2011 Maarssen merged with the councils of Breukelen and Loenen to become Stichtse Vecht.


Montfoort (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmɔntfoːrt] (listen)) is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. Montfoort received city rights in 1329.


Nieuwegein [ˌniʋəˈɣɛi̯n] (listen) is a municipality and city in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is bordered on the north by the city of Utrecht, the provincial capital. It is separated from Vianen to the south by the river Lek and borders on IJsselstein in the southwest and Houten in the east.

Nieuwegein was founded on 1 July 1971 as a planned city, following the merger of the former municipalities of Jutphaas and Vreeswijk. The new town was built for the expanding population of the city of Utrecht, and grew rapidly during the decades following its foundation.

In the area between Jutphaas and Vreeswijk there used to be a settlement called Geyne. This settlement received city rights in 1295 but was destroyed in 1333, in a war between the Bishop of Utrecht and the Count of Holland. Today only Oudegein House remains from that time. After the boards of Vreeswijk and Jutphaas had debated for some time about the name of the new place (including the alternative "'t Gein" as a reference to Geyne, fell) they decided to name the new place after this old settlement.Nieuwegein is surrounded by three motorways (Dutch: autosnelweg), the A2 to the west, the A12 to the north and the A27 to the east.

Nieuwegein is connected to Utrecht and IJsselstein by the Sneltram (light rail) line. There is a pedestrian ferry across the river Lek to Vianen. Three canals flow through Nieuwegein: the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, the Lek River and the Merwede Canal. There are also a few sports clubs in Nieuwegein, such as: KV Koveni, SV Geinoord, VSV Vreeswijk and JSV Nieuwegein.

Several national sports federations are housed in Nieuwegein, including the NeVoBo (volleyball), KNZB (swimming) and NBb (basketball).

There are three main secondary schools in the city, including the Anna van Rijn College, Oosterlicht College and the Cals College.


Rhenen (pronunciation ) is a municipality and a city in the central Netherlands.

The municipality also includes the villages of Achterberg, Remmerden, Elst and Laareind. The town lies at a geographically interesting location, namely on the southernmost part of the chain of hills known as the Utrecht Hill Ridge (Utrechtse Heuvelrug), where this meets the river Rhine. Because of this Rhenen has a unique character with quite some elevation through town.

Directly to the east of the built-up area lies the Grebbeberg, a hill with a top elevation of about 50 metres (160 ft).

Royal Dutch Football Association

The Royal Dutch Football Association (Dutch: Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond, pronounced [ˌkoːnɪŋkləkə ˌneːdərlɑntsə ˈvudbɑlbɔnt], or KNVB [ˌkaːʔɛnveːˈbeː]) is the governing body of football in Netherlands. It organises the main Dutch football leagues (Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie), the amateur leagues, the KNVB Cup, and the Dutch men's and women's national teams.

For three seasons in the 2010s, the KNVB and its Belgian counterpart operated a joint top-level women's league, the BeNe League, until the two countries dissolved the league after the 2014–15 season and reestablished their own top-level leagues. The KNVB is based in the central municipality of Zeist. With over 1.2 million members the KNVB is the single largest sports association in the Netherlands.

Soest, Netherlands

Soest [sust] (listen) is a municipality and a town in the central Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. It is about 6 km (4 mi) west of Amersfoort.


Soesterberg (52°0′N 5°17′E) is a town in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is a part of the municipality of Soest, and lies about 5 km northeast of Zeist, on the road between Amersfoort and Utrecht.

In 2001, the town of Soesterberg had 5,798 inhabitants. The built-up area of the town was 1.31 km², and contained 2503 residences.


Veenendaal (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈveːnə(n)ˌdaːl]) is a municipality and a town in central Netherlands, it is part of the province of Utrecht. Veenendaal is the only population centre within its administrative borders. The municipality had a population of 64,629 in 2017 and covers an area of 19.72 km2 (7.61 sq mi).

Wijk bij Duurstede

Wijk bij Duurstede (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋɛi̯ɡ bɛi̯ ˈdyːrsteːdə]) is a municipality and a city in the central Netherlands.


Zeist (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈzɛist]) is a municipality and a town in the central Netherlands, located east of the city of Utrecht.

Municipalities of Utrecht

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