Grote Broek

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De Grote Broek
Depiction of building
Grote Broek from front
Former namesDe Grote Karel
AddressVan Broeckhuysenstraat 46, 6511 PK
Coordinates51°50′38″N 5°51′58″E / 51.8438°N 5.8660°E / 51.8438; 5.8660Coordinates: 51°50′38″N 5°51′58″E / 51.8438°N 5.8660°E / 51.8438; 5.8660
TypeSocial centre

De Grote Broek (English: The Big Trousers) is a legalised squat and self-managed social centre in central Nijmegen in the Netherlands. It was occupied in 1984 and legalised from 2002 onwards. It spans two sides of a city block and has entrances on both Van Broeckhuysenstraat and Tweede Walstraat. The project consists of two separate housing co-operatives living above a cafe on one side and Extrapool and a music venue on the other. Groups with shared political objectives are hosted at the centre.[1]

History of building[edit]

The building was first used by two newspapers, the Provinciale Geldersche and the Nijmeegsche Courant. Afterwards it was a furniture shop before becoming derelict in the 1980s.[2]


De Grote Broek was squatted on November 4, 1984. At first it was called De Grote Karel (English: the Big Karel) after the owner's name. The name later became De Grote Broek since one side of the block is on Van Broeckhuysenstraat. One resident was Louis Sévèke.[2]


Following the death of the owner in 2002, the city of Nijmegen bought the building and a legalisation process began. Negotiations were made between the occupiers and a housing corporation, Standvast Wonen.[2] The squatters therefore became renters and the renovations were completed in 2009.[3]


  • The cafe is called De Klinker and serves vegan food.[1] It actually began in another squat in the 1970s.[4] There is also an anarchist library called De Zwarte Uil (English: The Black Owl).
  • The venue is called De Onderbroek (English: The Underpants). It is located in the basement and hosts a variety of events, including punk and hardcore gigs.[5] It is running since 1986.[4]
  • Extrapool is an artist-run initiative.
  • Anarchist Black Cross Nijmegen.[4]
  • Stichting Gast works with migrants.[2]
  • Stichting Straatmensen works with homeless people.[2]

Recent events[edit]

The Grote Broek celebrated 30 years of existence in November 2014.[6]

In 2018, an extreme right group was offended by the Grote Broek organising a 'Refugees Welcome' picnic. The group demonstrated for the closure of the centre, which they termed "a violent breeding ground for extreme leftism".[7]

In the same time period there were also scuffles outside the Grote Broek between rightwing supporters of Zwarte Piet celebrations and leftwingers who see it as racism.[8]

In 2019, Mila van den Bosch (daughter of Antal van den Bosch) was arrested near the Grote Broek and charged with making a death threat against politician Thierry Baudet because the previous day she had been at a demonstration in Amsterdam and had sung "If you want to shoot Thierry dead say pow!" (Dutch: Als je Thierry dood wil schieten, zeg dan paf!).[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Redactie (13 December 2018). "Koken voor een betere wereld". Het Algemeen Nijmeegs Studentenblad. Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "De Grote Broek". Volksbelang van 1895. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  3. ^ de Gelderlander, Redactie (28 March 2009). "Krakersbolwerk Grote Broek in Oorspronkelijke Staat". Gelderlander. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Hendriks, Gabriëlla (1 December 2014). "Vluchtplaats voor andersdenkenden". Nijmeegse Stadskrant. Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  5. ^ Lohman, Kirsty (2015). PhD: Punk Lives: Contesting Boundaries in the Dutch Punk Scene (phd). Warwick University. Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  6. ^ Beau (30 October 2014). "30 Jaar de Grote Broek". Nijmegen Cultuurstad. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  7. ^ Friedrichs, Stephen (9 October 2018). "Extreem-rechts wil demonstreren tegen De Grote Broek: 'Sluit dit voormalig krakersbolwerk'". Gelderlander. Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  8. ^ Wassenaar, Saskia (19 November 2018). "Drie Nijmeegse incidenten tijdens intocht Sinterklaas, maar nul aangiftes". Gelderlander. Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  9. ^ de Gelderlander, Redactie (27 March 2019). "Extreemlinks reageert online op doodsbedreiging richting Thierry Baudet: 'PAF!'". Gelderlander. Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.