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Coordinates: 51°57′13″N 5°13′34″E / 51.95361°N 5.22611°E / 51.95361; 5.22611
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Culemborg market square
Culemborg market square
Flag of Culemborg
Coat of arms of Culemborg
Highlighted position of Culemborg in a municipal map of Utrecht
Location in Gelderland
Coordinates: 51°57′13″N 5°13′34″E / 51.95361°N 5.22611°E / 51.95361; 5.22611
 • BodyMunicipal council
 • MayorGerdo van Grootheest (GL)
 • Total31.14 km2 (12.02 sq mi)
 • Land29.29 km2 (11.31 sq mi)
 • Water1.85 km2 (0.71 sq mi)
Elevation5 m (16 ft)
 (January 2021)[4]
 • Total29,121
 • Density994/km2 (2,570/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Culemborger, Blauwlap
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code0345

Culemborg (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkyləmbɔr(ə)x] ) is a municipality and a city in the centre of the Netherlands, in the province of Gelderland. The city had a population of 29,386 on 1 January 2022 and is situated just south of the Lek river. Direct train lines run from the railway station towards the cities of Utrecht and Den Bosch, via the near railway bridge.


The oldest example of the name is Culenburgh from 1281. Throughout the centuries several spellings hev been used: Kulenborch (1305), Culenborgh (1353), Colemborch (1363), Culemborch (1472). the former part of the name (which today would be kuil) refers to a hole or pit, while the later refers to the castle that was built there around 1270.[5]


Culemborg in Joan Blaeu's map from his Tooneel der Steeden, 1649

Culemborg, formerly also spelled Kuilenburg or Kuylenburgh, received city rights in 1318. Despite its Dutch character, Culemborg was not legally part of the Netherlands until the 18th century, and was instead part of a fiefdom in the Holy Roman Empire. The fiefdom (later county) had gained the right of toll collection and the right of asylum: it was a so-called 'Vrijstad' (free city). In practice, this meant that people who had fled to Culemborg from other cities (for example due to bankruptcy) could evade their creditors in Culemborg. The creditors would not be allowed entry into the city. This did not mean that criminals could escape justice in Culemborg: the manor had its own justice system which could sentence criminals. In Amsterdam, the phrase 'Naar Culemborg gaan' (Going to Culemborg) became synonymous with going bankrupt.

In Joan Blaeu's map of 1649, Culemborg remains entirely enclosed by walls behind its city moat-like encircling canals. The moated castle stands outside the city walls. Houses present a united front along streets and the two canals that cut the city in three sections, but they all face gardens behind, and market gardens are plentiful within the city walls.

In the beginning of the 18th century, Culemborg effectively lost its independence as it was incorporated into the Nijmegen Quarter, although it regained some sovereign rights. Later, it was given to stadholder Willem IV. To this day, the Dutch king Willem-Alexander remains count of Culemborg. In 1795, the city was occupied by French forces, who left the castle in such a despicable state it was demolished after the French had left. A few years later it was completely incorporated in the Bataafse Republiek, and losing its sovereign rights.

In 1868, a railway bridge was built over the river Lek which was the longest bridge in Europe for a few years. Just upstream of it is a reaction ferry[6]

In 1995, Culemborg was one of the cities which was temporarily evacuated because of the risk of flooding.

Between 1994 and 2009 the city of Culemborg developed the innovative ecological neighbourhood EVA Lanxmeer. Close collaboration with inhabitants and experimental sustainable design has made the neighbourhood an international best practice.


Culemborg is served by Culemborg railway station, which offers trains to Utrecht (city) 4x per hour and 2x per hour to 's-Hertogenbosch and Tiel each. The railway station also provides a bus hub, offering buses to the various neighbouring cities and villages (namely Buren, Beusichem and Nieuwegein).

The near railway bridge has been built in the 1860s and at the time it had some important records.


Dutch topographic map of the municipality of Culemborg, June 2015


Dough processing company Rademaker BV, founded in 1977, moved to Culemborg in 1981 and still has their headquarters here.

Centraal Boekhuis, trading under CB since 2012, is the main distributor of books in The Netherlands and has been based in Culemborg since 1973.


There are two traditional windmills in Culemborg, De Hoop and Johanna. The base of a third mill, De Koornvriend, also survives.[7]

Notable residents[edit]

Jan van Riebeeck, 1660




  1. ^ "Burgemeester Van Schelven" [Mayor Van Schelven] (in Dutch). Gemeente Culemborg. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten 2020" [Key figures for neighbourhoods 2020]. StatLine (in Dutch). CBS. 24 July 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Postcodetool for 4101BK". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 1 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2022.
  5. ^ Culemborg, Etymologiebank.nl, geraadpleegd op 10 augustus 2019. Gearchiveerd op 10 augustus 2019.
  6. ^ "Geschiedenis". 4 August 2016.
  7. ^ "De Koornvriend, Culemborg" (in Dutch). Molendatabase. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Diemen, Anthony van" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 08 (11th ed.). 1911.
  9. ^ Heller, Albert (12 December 2020). "Denk-leider Farid Azarkan wil 500 agenten die discriminatie aanpakken: '27 procent van de Nederlanders heeft ermee te maken'". gelderlander.nl. DPG Media. Azarkan is getrouwd en woont in Culemborg.
  10. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 27 December 2019

External links[edit]