Infobox Settlement
official_name = Hilversum
nickname = Hillywood
motto = Hilversum mediastad

imagesize = 275px
image_caption = Raadhuis ("town hall") Hilversum.

flag_size = 125px
image_shield = Hilversum wapen.pngshield_size = 85px

mapsize = 275px
map_caption = Location of Hilversum
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = flagicon|Netherlands Netherlands
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = flagicon|North Holland North Holland
subdivision_type2 = Region
subdivision_name2 = flagicon|Netherlands Holland
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Ernst (E.C.) Bakker - (D66) [ [http://www.sdu.nl/staatscourant/gemeentes/gem235nh.htm Kerngegevens gemeente Hilversum ] ]
leader_title1 = Aldermen
leader_name1 = B. Hammer - (PvdA) E. Boog - (CDA) O.J.M.E. Meeuwissen - (CDA) J.J.M.P. Rensen - (PvdA) Mw. K.J. Walters-Vos – (SP)
leader_title2 = Secretary
leader_name2 = J.H. van der Vegt
area_footnotes = (2006)
area_total_km2 = 46.24
area_land_km2 = 45.59
area_water_km2 = 0.66
population_as_of = 1 January, 2007
population_note = Source: CBS, [http://statline.cbs.nl/ Statline] .
settlement_type = Municipality
population_total = 83640
population_density_km2 = 1835
population_blank2_title = Randstad
population_blank2 = 6659300
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +1
timezone_DST = CEST
postal_code_type = Postcode
postal_code = 1200-1223
area_code = 035
latd = 52.23
latNS = N
longd = 5.18
longEW = E
website = [http://www.hilversum.nl www.hilversum.nl]

Audio|Nl-Hilversum.ogg|Hilversum is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Located in the region called "'t Gooi", it is the largest town in that area. It is surrounded by heathland, woods, meadows, lakes, and smaller villages. Hilversum is part of the Randstad, one of the largest conurbations in Europe.

The town of Hilversum

Hilversum lies some 30 km south-east of Amsterdam and 25 km north of Utrecht.

The town is often called "media city" since it is the principal centre for radio and television broadcasting in the Netherlands. Radio Netherlands, heard worldwide via shortwave radio since the 1920s, is based here. Hilversum is home to an extensive complex of audio and television studios belonging to the national broadcast production company NOB, as well as to the studios and offices of all the Dutch public broadcasting organizations and many commercial TV production companies too.

Hilversum is also known for its architecturally important "Raadhuis" or town hall, designed by Willem Dudok (1884-1974).

Hilversum has one library (it used to have three but two were closed due to financial problems), two swimming pools (Hellemond Sport and De Lieberg), a number of sporting halls and several shopping centres (such as Hilvertshof, Kerkelanden, Riebeeck-Galerij, Severijn, Seinhorst and Chatham). In the region the city centre is known as 'het dorp' which means 'the village'.


Hilversum started out as nothing but a big slab of land used for agriculture. Around 900 it started to form into bricks, but it wasn't until 1305 that the first official mention of Hilversum ("Hilfersheem") was made. At this point in time, it was a part of Naarden, the oldest town in the Gooi area.

Farming, raising sheep and some wool manufacturing were the means of life for the Gooi in the Middle Ages. In March 1424, Hilversum received its most coveted official independent status. This made further growth in the town possible as permission from Naarden was no longer needed for new industrial development. More growth came in the 17th century with the general lift in the Dutch economy and the town got a canal connecting it indirectly to Amsterdam. In 1725 and 1766, big fires destroyed most of the town, levelling parts of the old townhouse and the church next to it. The town overcame this, and the textile industry continued to develop, among other ways by devising a way to weave cow's hair. In the 19th century a substantial textile and tapestry industry emerged, aided by a railway link to Amsterdam in 1874 and from that time on the town started growing really fast with rich commuters from Amsterdam moving in, building themselves large villas in the wooded surroundings and gradually starting to live in Hilversum permanently.

Development came at the usual price, though, with poverty, underdeveloped children, child labour and alcoholism rampant. These were remedied at a somewhat slower pace than in larger cities with more socialist input, as Hilversum was and still is predominantly Roman Catholic.

Hilversum became a media city when the "Nederlandse Seintoestellen Fabriek" (NSF) company established a professional transmitter and radio factory there in the early 1920s, growing into the largest of its kind in the Netherlands, and in 1948 being taken over by Philips. By then the textile industry had started its decline, and only one factory, Veneta, managed to continue into the 1960s, when it had to close too. Another major industry, the chemicals factory IFF, also closed by the end of the 1960s. In the meantime, almost all Dutch radio broadcasting organisations (in the 1950s followed by television) settled their headquarters in Hilversum and proved to be the continuing growth factor for years to come. In 1964, the inhabitant count reached a record high - over 103,000 people were living there. At the moment it fluctuates around 84,000, caused by the fact that the average family nowadays consists of fewer people, so fewer people live in each house, and Hilversum is virtually unable to expand because the surrounding lands have been sold to the Gooisch Natuurreservaat by city architect W.M. Dudok. Through connections in the television world, Hilversum has attracted a lot of crime, even international, and has to cope with mounting drugs-related problems in a community with more than average unemployment and not much positive outlook for the local youth, who also encounter an ongoing housing shortage.

Added to that, Hilversum was one of the first towns to have a local party of the populist movement called 'Leefbaar' ('liveable'). Founded by former social-democrat party strongman Jan Nagel, it was initially held at bay for alderman positions. In 2001 Nagel from 'Leefbaar Hilversum' teamed up with 'Leefbaar Utrecht' leaders to found a national 'Leefbaar Nederland' party. By strange coincidence, in 2002, the most vocal and controversial Dutch 'Leefbaar Rotterdam' politician Pim Fortuyn was shot and killed by an animal rights activist at Hilversum Media Park, after having just finished a radio interview. This however happened after a break between Fortuyn and Nagel during a Leefbaar Nederland board meeting in Hilversum on Fortuyn's anti-Islamic viewpoints. In 2006 Leefbaar Hilversum, after a term with Leefbaar aldermen, took a substantive set back in votes.

Remarkable facts about the city

* The home of the Dutch open golf tournament KLM Open
* The population decline (103.000 in 1964, 84.000 in 2006)
* The assassination of Pim Fortuyn, a controversial politician
* The first city with a "Leefbaar" party (which was meant as nothing more than a local party)
* The high number of villas dating back to the 1900's
* The large Catholic neo-gothic St. Vitus church (P.J.H. Cuypers, 1892, belltower 96 meters)
* The city was the headquarters of the German ground forces (Wehrmacht) in the Netherlands
* The city has 3 ports, an airfield, and 2 military bases
* The city played host to many landscape artists during the 19th Century, including Barend Cornelis Koekkoek

Local government

The municipal council of Hilversum in 2006 consists of 37 seats, which are divided as followed:

* PvdA - 9 seats
* VVD - 7 seats
* Leefbaar Hilversum - 5 seats
* CDA - 4 seats
* SP - 4 seats
* GroenLinks - 3 seats
* D66 - 3 seats
* ChristenUnie/SGP - 1 seat
* DLPH - 1 seat

Public transportation

Hilversum is connected to the Dutch railway network, and contains three stations: Hilversum, Hilversum Noord, and Hilversum Sportpark (hvs, hvsn, and hvsp on lines 32 and 40).

Born in Hilversum

Notable people born in Hilversum
* Joop den Uyl (1919-1987), prime minister
* Henk Hermsen (1937), water polo player
* John Gerretsen (1942), politician
* André Hermsen (1942), water polo player
* Evert Kroon (1946), water polo goalkeeper
* Dick Diamonde (1947), bassist
* Wim Hermsen (1947), water polo player
* Bartha Knoppers (1951), lawyer
* Ton van Klooster (1954), freestyle swimmer and swimming coach
* Nico Landeweerd (1954), water polo player
* Andy Hoepelman (1955), water polo player
* John de Mol (1955), media tycoon
* Dick Nieuwenhuizen (1957), water polo player and coach
* Ellen Bontje (1958), equestrian
* Hansje Bunschoten (1958), swimmer and TV-presenter
* Arjen Anthony Lucassen (1960), musician and composer
* André Rouvoet (1962), politician
* Reggie de Jong (1964), freestyle swimmer
* Koos Issard (1971), water polo player
* Kelly van der Veer (1980), Big Brother contestant, singer, famous transsexual
* Gyspert Haan (1801), founder of the Christian Reformed Church in America



* Statistics have been taken from the [http://www.sdu.nl/staatscourant/gemeentes/gem383nh.htm SDU Staatscourant]

External links

* [http://www.ehhv.nl/ Hilversum Airport]
* [http://www.mediapark.nl/ Hilversum Media Park]

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