|Population (1 januari 2009)||28.053|
Rijssen (Low Saxon: Riesn) is a town in the Dutch province of Overijssel. It is part of Rijssen-Holten, one of thirteen municipalities in Twente. It has over 28,000 inhabitants. Rijssen has a thriving economy, relying mostly on commerce and nationally renowned construction and transport companies.
Archeological evidence shows that the monk Lebuinus founded a church in Rijssen as early as the seventh century, as part of a coordinated attempt to convert the local pagan Saxons to Christianity, though other traces show signs of earlier habitation.
Rijssen was first mentioned as Parrochia Risnen on a freight letter dating from 1188 by the Duke of Dalen.
After having a disagreement with the Duke of Goor, Bisshop Otto III van Holland granted city rights to Rijssen on the 5th of May, 1243. The original city rights bill was lost in a large fire that swept through the city, reducing the city hall and the keep to rubble. In 2006, however, a copy was given to the newly instated city council.
In the 14th century, Rijssen entered the Hanseatic league. Of the old town, only a church and a few houses dating from the eighteenth century remain.
From 1580 to 1584, Rijssen suffered most from the Eighty Years' War. The city of Deventer was under the state's command, while the town of Oldenzaal was under Spanish command. The two opposing parties would often meet halfway for battle; around Rijssen.
The 18th century saw the rise of the Industrial Revolution in Rijssen. Many farmers participated in textiles manufacturing; whole families, women and children, were involved in this trade, often under poor conditions. In the 19th and early 20th century, Rijssen, like many other towns in the Netherlands, saw the introduction of the power looms. This spearheaded the local Ter Horst factory among the regional top jute producers. They went bankrupt in the 1970s due to overpowering Asian competition. Factory workers were forced to find other means of income, and many started their own businesses, either in transport, or construction engineering.
- Railway station: Rijssen
Rijssen is easily accessible through a number of provincial roads, such as the N347 and the N350, the latter connects Rijssen to the village of Holten and lends its name to the local radio station. Through these provincial roads, Rijssen has access to the motorway A1 from Amsterdam to the German border.
All neighbourhoods in Rijssen are easily accessible by bus.
Rijssen has multiple shopping facilities in its centre, which also accommodates a number of bars, pubs and lunchrooms. It has a large discothèque that attracts visitors from all neighbouring towns and villages. The small city has a fire brigade museum and a monumental church, the Schildkerk. The restored and fully functional mill de Pelmolen is one of the major attractions of the town.
Rijssen is surrounded by a versatile landscape, accommodating a number of renowned camp sites.
Being close to Germany, it is an ideal location for European companies, such as Zwaartransport Twente or ZTT, member of the Van der Vlist group, who are heavy transport specialists, with a focus on moving agricultural equipment.
Population and politics
The inhabitants of Rijssen are known for their pride for their city, their self-sufficiency and working ethos. This pride shows in the fact that Rijssen has its own anthem.
Rijssen has a large community of several Protestant groups, with several churches, as well as a small Roman Catholic parish. The conservative Calvinist Reformed Political Party (SGP) long held the strongest position in the municipality's council. A large percentage of Rijssen's population are members of one of these conservative groups. Rijssen also has communities of Molukkish, Turkish, Syrian and Moroccan people.
The dialect Riessens is a variety of the Dutch Low Saxon language. It shares many characteristics with dialects of surrounding communities, which are categorised as Tweants. Riessens may be considered one of the more conservative varieties of Tweants. It has preserved a very distinct character that is immediately recognisable, although may be challenging for speakers of other Low Saxon varieties, and even unintelligible for others.
Characteristic features include diphthongisation of a number of vowels that are monophthongs in other varieties of Tweants. For instance, in other varieties, the words breef (letter), groot (large), and neuze (nose) are pronounced /bɾef, ɣɾɔːt, nœzə/, whereas in Riessens they are pronounced /bɾeəf, ɣɾɔət, nœəzə/. Older speakers may even be heard pronouncing them /bɾɪəf, ɣɾʊət, nʏəzə/. This phenomenon is known as vowel breaking. This indicates that Riessens is part of the larger Westphalian branch of Low Saxon.
Other features are vowel elongation and an some additional vowels that are absent in other varieties, such as the ASH vowel. Below are few examples:
- stemme (voice) - stämme (stems).
- IPA: /ˈstemə/ and /ˈstæmə/
- veste (vests) - vuste (already) - vuuste (fists) - völs te (much too)
- IPA: /ˈvɛstə/ - /ˈvʏstə/ - /ˈvystə/ - /ˈvɜstə/
- J. Kuyper, Gemeente Atlas van Nederland, 1865-1870, "Rijssen". Map of the former municipality, around 1868.