Venlo city centre
Location in Limburg
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Antoin Scholten (VVD)|
|• Total||128.99 km2 (49.80 sq mi)|
|• Land||124.96 km2 (48.25 sq mi)|
|• Water||4.03 km2 (1.56 sq mi)|
|Elevation||21 m (69 ft)|
|Population (May 2014)|
|• Density||803/km2 (2,080/sq mi)|
|Demonym||Venloër, Venlonaar, Venloënaar|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Roman and Celtic coins and remains of a Roman bridge across the River Meuse have been found in Venlo; it may have been the settlement known as Sablones on the Roman road connecting Maastricht with Xanten. Blerick, on the west bank, was known as Blariacum.
Documents from the 9th century mention Venlo as a trade post; it developed into one of the more important ones in the Meuse-Rhine area, receiving city rights in 1343, and becoming a member of the Hanseatic League in 1375.
Because of its strategic importance, the city of Venlo was besieged several times. The most significant siege was that of 1702, carried on by Menno van Coehoorn. Consequently, Venlo was incorporated into the Generaliteitslanden of the United Provinces and later became part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Second World War
On 9 November 1939, two British Intelligence Service agents were kidnapped by the Sicherheitsdienst in what became known as the Venlo Incident. The incident was used by the Nazis to link Great Britain to Georg Elser's failed assassination of Hitler at the Bürgerbräukeller the day before and to justify their later invasion of the Netherlands, a neutral country, on 10 May 1940.
Venlo had both a road and a railway bridge over the Maas (River Meuse). The city was severely damaged by bombing raids (13 October – 19 November 1944) on the bridges at the end of the war. Allied forces made 13 attempts to destroy the bridges to cut the German supply lines and block a retreat of the German army across the river. These failed, and it was the retreating German troops who in the end blew up the bridges in an attempt to stop the allied advance. Allied forces liberated Venlo from the east, from inside Germany itself.
About 300 people were killed due to those raids. The raids also cost Venlo a major part of its historical buildings. However, some old buildings, such as the city hall (the 'Stadhuis') and the 'Römer' house, survived the war relatively unscathed.
Before the war, Venlo had an active Jewish community. Most of the Jews were murdered in The Holocaust.
Post War era
By the late 1990s, drug-related nuisance had become a problem in the centre of Venlo. National and municipal officials launched the Q-4 Project and Tango initiatives that, amongst other measures, included moving the town's largest coffee shops to the outskirts, where they continue to do business in a former rest stop. This was a win-win solution,[according to whom?] as the city was freed from disturbances and the coffee shops are now even closer to the expressways.
In 2001, the municipalities of Belfeld and Tegelen were merged into the municipality of Venlo. Tegelen was originally part of the Duchy of Jülich centuries ago, whereas Venlo has a past in the Duchy of Guelders. On 1 January 2010, the municipality of Arcen en Velden, was merged into the municipality of Venlo.
In 2003 Venlo was awarded the title "Greenest city of Europe". In 2012 it hosted the Floriade, the world's largest horticultural exhibition. In 2013, Venlo has won the prestigious 'Best City Centre of the Netherlands' award. It amazed the jury by all the investments which have been made in the last couple of years in the Maas Boulevard, the railway station, the tunnel in the centre and the Maas bridge.
- Theatre "De Maaspoort"
- Historical and cultural Museum "Limburgs Museum" and art Museum "Museum van Bommel van Dam"
- Pop venue Grenswerk (formerly Perron 55)
- Major annual cultural events
- Carnaval called "Vastelaovend" in February/March (6 weeks before Easter).
- Summer park festivities called "Zomerparkfeest" in August held in and around the main park of Venlo, a 4 days podium for a broad audience, including live music, film, dance, art etc.
Venlo, being a city with a 100,000+ population, is served by a large number of schools both at primary and secondary education levels. In addition, Venlo is a higher-education hub within the southern Netherlands, with several institutes of higher education.
Venlo hosts three different institutions for higher education:
- Fontys University of Applied Sciences (International campus Venlo)
- HAS University of Applied Sciences (Venlo branch)
- Maastricht University (Venlo branch)
Venlo railway station is a junction station. It provides regular connections to the Dutch cities of Eindhoven, Roermond and Nijmegen. Furthermore, it provides regular international connections to Germany, via Kaldenkirchen (the first stop in Germany), Viersen and Mönchengladbach to Düsseldorf and Hamm.
VVV-Venlo is a century-old football club that plays in De Koel Stadium. Founded on 7 February 1903, it is one of the first professional football clubs in the Netherlands. In the season 2008–2009, VVV-Venlo won the Eerste Divisie (Eerste Divisie) and was promoted to the highest Dutch professional football league: the Eredivisie.
The headquarters of multinational Océ is located in Venlo, as is the headquarters of Vistaprint. Also, the European headquarters of one the world's largest direct selling companies Amway and the American office supply retailing company Office Depot are located in the city of Venlo.
Greenport Venlo is one of designated five Greenports in the Netherlands. It is the second largest concentration of horticulture in the Netherlands. Seen in conjunction with the neighbouring German region of Niederrhein (Lower Rhine), Greenport Venlo is even the largest in Europe. Together, the Greenport area Venlo and the agro business area "Lower Rhine" in Germany form a region where more than 30 million of people live. This region is a unique and vital international network of business, research, universities and politics. The cooperation revolves around stimulating innovation, creating an attractive working and living environment and integral regional development. The network offers broad chances and future possibilities to analyse, use and further develop the "green market", thus food, fresh and logistics markets. The aim is to provide an impulse for the economy of the region of North Limburg.
Venlo is twinned with:
- Henri Alexis Brialmont, Dutch-born Belgian military engineer
- Glenn Corneille, Acclaimed Dutch jazz pianist
- Paul Cox, award-winning Australian-film director
- Teun van Dijck, Dutch politician and one of the members of the PVV.
- Evert Dudok, President of EADS Astrium Space Transportation
- Michael Evans, Dutch footballer
- Maico Gerritsen, Dutch footballer
- Hubert Goltzius, Renaissance painter, engraver, and printer
- Rick Hoogendorp, Dutch footballer
- Jens Janse, Dutch footballer
- Saskia Linssen, Dutch model and actress
- Jos Luhukay, Dutch football coach and former player
- Jo van Nunen, Dutch engineer and Professor of Logistics
- Will Sanders, an acclaimed hornist.
- Frank Scheffer, Dutch cinematographer and producer of documentary film,
- Jeu Sprengers, Dutch chairman of the Royal Netherlands Football Association
- Paul van der Sterren, chess grandmaster
- David Strijbos, former motocross world champion
- Boris Titulaer, Dutch singer, winner of the second season of Idols in the Netherlands
- Chriet Titulaer, Dutch astronomer and media personality
- Jolande Sap, Dutch politician
- Geert Wilders, Dutch politician, parliamentmember since 1998, leader and chairperson of the PVV.
- "Burgemeester en wethouders" [Mayor and aldermen] (in Dutch). Gemeente Venlo. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- "Postcodetool for 5911HT". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- Snippe, J.; Naayer, H.; Bieleman, B. (2006), Hektor in 2005. Evaluatie aanpak drugsoverlast in Venlo, Groningen/Rotterdam: Interval/WODC
- "Venlo has Best City Centre in the Netherlands" [Venlo has Best City Centre in the Netherlands]. Fontys Venlo. 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- Venlo Greenpark (2012). "Greenport Venlo". Venlo Greenpark. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
||Horst aan de Maas||Bergen||Geldern (DE-NW)|
|Peel en Maas / Meuse||Straelen (DE-NW)|
|Beesel||Brüggen (DE-NW)||Nettetal (DE-NW)|