Infobox City
official_name = Breda

flag_size = 120x100px
image_shield = Coat of arms of Breda.gif
shield_size = 120x100px

mapsize = 280px
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Netherlands
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = North Brabant
area_footnotes = (2006)
area_total_km2 = 129.15
area_land_km2 = 126.87
area_water_km2 = 2.28
population_as_of = 1 January, 2007
population_note = Source: CBS, [ Statline] .
settlement_type = Municipality
population_total = 170491
population_density_km2 = 1344
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +1
timezone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +2

Breda (pronunciation|182 Breda.ogg) 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 200,000 people.

Population centres of the municipality of Breda

*Breda (~170,000)
**Ginneken ("former village absorbed by city agglomeration")
**Princenhage ("former village absorbed by city agglomeration")
**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 rest of this article deals with the city of Breda alone."

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 tos 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.

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 guest.

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. They were known as the 'Breda Four (and later three)'. They were Willy Paul Franz Lages who was released in 1966 due to serious illness, Joseph Johann Kotälla who died in prison in 1979, Ferdinand Hugo aus der Fünten and Franz Fischer who both were released in 1989...


The city has the following suburban neighbourhoods:Princenhage (former village), Ginneken (former village), de Haagse Beemden, de IJpelaar, Heusdenhout, Brabantpark, Heuvelkwartier, Tuinzigt, Blauwe Kei, Belcrum, and de Hoge Vucht.


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 and trade. When the new Central Station is built circa 2008, Breda will be connected by high-speed trains to the main European cities.


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 Zuid-Holland (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 Eredivisie.
*Breda's athletics club, A.V. Sprint, is the largest club of its kind in the Netherlands.
*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. Other formerly international Dutch football players from NAC Breda were Rat Verlegh, Kees Rijvers, Kees Kuijs, Leo Canjels, Daan Schrijvers, Frans Bouwmeester, Nico Rijnders, Ad Brouwers, Bertus Quaars, Martin Vreysen and Ton Lokhoff.
*BREDA beer is a world renowned drink that is made in this region.
*Breda is also home to the Muay Thai fighter Ramon Dekkers and his gym.

External links

* [ Breda]
* [ Breda Liberated]
* [ Sacramentskoor Breda]
* [ Photos of Breda (in Dutch)]
* [ Breda News]
* [ Graphic Design Museum]

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