Twente (or Twenthe) is a non-administrative region in the eastern Netherlands, probably named after the Tuihanti, a tribe that settled in that region in the beginning of our era.Twente contains the most urbanised and easterly part of the province of Overijssel. It's approximately the region bordered by the rivers Regge and Dinkel, the border with Germany and the province Gelderland.


The three large cities of Twente are Enschede, Hengelo and Almelo. Like almost every other place in Twente, a textile industry was developed on the basis of the local industriousness, and the arrival of the railways made these three cities the economic axis of Twente. In Hengelo, machine construction dominated. In Enschede, the textile dominated. The Twente textile industry now almost belongs to the past, although some high-tech textile industry and the textile academy still are located in Enschede.

Twente has an airport, Enschede Airport Twente, and halfway between Hengelo and Enschede is the Universiteit Twente. The Enschede Airport Twente is an old airforce base, but it was closed in 2007.


Outside the large cities, Twente is a region with important nature areas such as the Lutterzand on the meandering Dinkel. It is bisected from north to south by a range of hills in western Twente (Nijverdalse Berg, Hellendoornse Berg), and hills in the east where the highest point is the Tankenberg near Oldenzaal. Scenic old towns are found at Ootmarsum and to a lesser degree Oldenzaal, which has an important Roman church. The old 'Oale Grieze' church in Hellendoorn is the oldest Roman-style church in the Netherlands. Eight Twentse places have obtained city rights: Almelo, Enschede, Oldenzaal, Ootmarsum, Goor, Rijssen, Diepenheim and Delden.

Geologically Twente is one of the most interesting areas of the Netherlands. It has strata from various periods in a very small area. There is an open stone quarry at Losser, while salt production is performed at Hengelo and Boekelo. The western Twente town of Nijverdal is the only place in the Netherlands where gold was found.


Many traditional cultural practices have been preserved in Twente, such as blowing the mid-winter horn and the stoking of Easter fires. The Twents anthem praises these practices, together with the textile industriousness and the society. An extravagant carnival is celebrated in Oldenzaal, which like the most of eastern Twente is Roman Catholic. The west of Twente is mainly Protestant.

Today, Twente has one of Netherlands largest exile communities of Assyrians (also known as Syriacs, Arameans and Chaldeans).


The local dialect is known as Twents, a dialect of Low German, which together with Limburgs is one of the two regional languages of the Netherlands. Twents is spoken in all parts of Twente, but varies in each village.

The Van Deinse Instituut is involved in researching the past and present of Twente. It is located in Enschede and studies the regional culture, folk knowledge, language, cultural history and landscape of Twente. It also collects, maintains, studies and displays an extensive collection of material from the history of Twente.

Places in Twente

Aadorp -- Albergen -- Almelo -- Beuningen -- Boekelo -- Borne -- Bornerbroek -- Breklenkamp -- Buurse -- Daarle -- Delden -- De Lutte -- Den Ham -- Denekamp -- Deurningen -- Diepenheim -- Enschede -- Enter -- Fleringen -- Glanerbrug -- Goor -- Haaksbergen -- Hellendoorn--Hengelo -- Lattrop -- Lonneker -- Losser -- Mander -- Markelo -- Nijverdal--Oldenzaal -- Ootmarsum -- Overdinkel -- Rijssen -- Rossum (Overijssel) -- Saasveld -- Tilligte -- Tubbergen -- Twekkelo -- Usselo -- Vasse -- Vriezenveen -- Vroomshoop -- Weerselo -- Wierden -- Zenderen

* See also Regio Twente, Twentestad

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