Venlo

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Venlo
Municipality
Venlo city centre
Venlo city centre
Flag of Venlo
Flag
Coat of arms of Venlo
Coat of arms
Highlighted position of Venlo in a municipal map of Limburg
Location in Limburg
Coordinates: 51°22′N 6°10′E / 51.367°N 6.167°E / 51.367; 6.167Coordinates: 51°22′N 6°10′E / 51.367°N 6.167°E / 51.367; 6.167
Country Netherlands
Province Limburg
Government[1]
 • Body Municipal council
 • Mayor Antoin Scholten (VVD)
Area[2]
 • 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[3] 21 m (69 ft)
Population (May 2014)[4]
 • Total 100,369
 • Density 803/km2 (2,080/sq mi)
Demonym Venloër, Venlonaar, Venloënaar
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postcode 5900–5951
Area code 077
Website www.venlo.nl
Dutch Topographic map of Venlo (city), as of March 2014

Venlo (Dutch: [ˈvɛnloː]) is a municipality and a city in the southeastern Netherlands, next to the German border. It is situated in the province of Limburg.

In 2001, the (now former) 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 (now former) municipality of Arcen en Velden, was merged into the municipality of Venlo.

History[edit]

History of the city[edit]

Map circa 1850

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[edit]

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. After the war several members came back, but the community never returned to its pre-war size.

Culture[edit]

Venlo City Hall
  • 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.

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.[5]

Education[edit]

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:

Transport[edit]

Venlo is connected to Germany by two motorways (i.e., Bundesautobahn 40 and Bundesautobahn 61), which connect to Düsseldorf, Cologne and the Ruhr area within one hour.

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.

Sports[edit]

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.

Business[edit]

Companies in Venlo[edit]

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[edit]

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.[6]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities

Venlo is twinned with:

Notable residents[edit]

Coffee shops[edit]

One of the (meanwhile closed) coffeeshops in a former rest stop

By the late 1990s, drug-related nuisance had become a problem in the centre of Venlo.[7] 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Burgemeester en wethouders" [Mayor and aldermen] (in Dutch). Gemeente Venlo. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Postcodetool for 5911HT". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Venlo has Best City Centre in the Netherlands" [Venlo has Best City Centre in the Netherlands]. Fontys Venlo. 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Venlo Greenpark (2012). "Greenport Venlo". Venlo Greenpark. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Snippe, J.; Naayer, H.; Bieleman, B. (2006), Hektor in 2005. Evaluatie aanpak drugsoverlast in Venlo, Groningen/Rotterdam: Interval/WODC 

External links[edit]