Coordinates: 51°55′N 4°24′E / 51.917°N 4.400°E / 51.917; 4.400
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Old city hall of Schiedam
Old city hall of Schiedam
Flag of Schiedam
Coat of arms of Schiedam
Highlighted position of Schiedam in a municipal map of South Holland
Location in South Holland
Coordinates: 51°55′N 4°24′E / 51.917°N 4.400°E / 51.917; 4.400
ProvinceSouth Holland
Settledc. 1230
City rights1275
 • BodyMunicipal council
 • MayorCor Lamers (CDA)
 • Total19.86 km2 (7.67 sq mi)
 • Land17.82 km2 (6.88 sq mi)
 • Water2.04 km2 (0.79 sq mi)
Elevation−1 m (−3 ft)
 (January 2021)[4]
 • Total79,279
 • Density4,449/km2 (11,520/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code010
Dutch Topographic map of Schiedam, 2016
View of Schiedam with The Porters' Guild House
Windmill De Kameel in Schiedam

Schiedam (Dutch pronunciation: [sxiˈdɑm] ) is a city and municipality in the west of the Netherlands. It is located in the Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area, west of Rotterdam, east of Vlaardingen, and south of Delft. In the south the city is connected with the village of Pernis by the Beneluxtunnel.

The city is known for its historical center with canals, and for having the tallest windmills in the world.

Schiedam is also well known for the distilleries and malthouses and production of jenever, such as the internationally renowned Ketel One; in French and English, the word schiedam (usually without a capital s-) refers to the town's jenever. This was the town's main industry during the early Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th century, a period to which it owed its former nickname "Zwart Nazareth" ("Black Nazareth").

The city is also known for Saint Lidwina, one of the most famous Dutch saints, whose relics are located in the city’s basilica.


Schiedam was founded around the year 1230. The river Schie was dammed by the Lord of Wassenaer and the Amtlord Dirk Bokel of the Amt Mathenesse, this to protect the existing polderland against the seawater from the North Sea.[citation needed] In 1247, Lady Adelaide (Aleida) of Holland married John I, Count of Hainaut. [citation needed] As dowry she received from him[clarification needed] the eastern part of the dam together with the adjacent polder. The dam attracted many trade activities because goods for and from the hinterland (Delft, and further away Leiden and Haarlem) had to be transhipped. A small town developed swiftly around the dam and its activities. In the year 1275 Schiedam received city rights from Lady Adelaide, this in her capacity as sister of William II, the reigning Count of Holland and King of the Romans. She ordered the building of Te Riviere Castle near the Schie, which is known today as "Castle Mathenesse" (Dutch: "Huis te Riviere" or "Slot Mathenesse"). Remnants of a donjon, which were once part of the castle, are still visible today in the centre of Schiedam and near the city office.[citation needed]

As a young settlement Schiedam soon got competition from surrounding towns and cities: in 1340, Rotterdam and Delft also were allowed to establish a connection between the Schie and the Meuse. From the 15th century onwards the city flourished as a place of pilgrimage due to the devotion afforded to Saint Lidwina, one of the most famous Dutch saints who lived her life in Schiedam. The city subsequently gained significance by fishing for herring. In 1428 a great city fire swept through Schiedam, destroying large parts of the then wooden city.[citation needed]

In 1575 the world's first known commercial distillery started operations in Schiedam.[5] The 18th century was Schiedam's Golden Age, when the gin industry flourished. The standstill in drink imports from France made the boom in Schiedam's distilleries possible.[citation needed] From dozens of distilleries Schiedam jenever was exported throughout the world. The gin industry gave the city its nickname "Black Nazareth". This industry is now largely gone. Five windmills in the town, called De Noord, Walvisch, Drie Koornbloemen, Nieuwe Palmboom and Vrijheid − are the highest traditional-style windmills in the world because they had to stick out above the high warehouses, and many storehouses are relics of this past. In one of the former factories at the Lange Haven the National Jenever Museum operates.[citation needed]

On 10 August 1856, the first major train accident in the Netherlands happened near Schiedam Centrum railway station, causing 3 deaths. On 4 May 1976 the 1976 Schiedam train accident also took place near the station, which caused 24 deaths.[6]

At the end of the 19th and throughout the 20th century, the shipbuilding industry boomed in Schiedam, with large companies like Wilton-Fijenoord and others. In 1941, the ancient municipalities Kethel en Spaland were merged with Schiedam, which made large expansions of the city possible with residential areas in the north. [citation needed] At the end of the 20th century, the shipbuilding industry largely disappeared and today, Schiedam is mainly a commuter-area in the Rotterdam metropolitan area.[citation needed]


The city of Schiedam is located in the province of South Holland. It is enclosed between Rotterdam (east), Midden-Delfland (north), Vlaardingen (west) and the river Nieuwe Maas (south).

Schiedam exists of nine districts: Centrum ('Center'), Oost ('East'), Gorzen ('South'), West ('West'), Nieuwland, Groenoord, Kethel, Woudhoek and Spaland/Sveaparken.[7]


55,44% Dutch background, 14,42% Western migration background, 30,15% Non western migration background[citation needed]





  • Brandersfeesten [nl][13]
  • The National Windmill Days[14] (Nationale Molen- & Gemalen dag)
  • Monthly art exhibition at Artipico Art Gallery[15] (maandelijkse Kunstborrel)

Past notable events[edit]


The most popular sports in Schiedam are soccer and field hockey. The town used to have two professional soccer teams, one named SVV (Schiedamse voetbal vereniging), whereas the other one was named Hermes along the Damlaan where also cricket was played. Both disappeared from the professional level after financial problems. Cricket is also rather popular in Schiedam due to having two cricket teams playing on the highest national level, the topklasse. The Dutch capital Amsterdam for example only has one. Earlier mentioned team Hermes D.V.S. boasts two topklasse titles, where rivals Excelsior '20 holds eleven titles respectively.[17]


There are about 35 schools in Schiedam. The oldest high school is the Stedelijk Gymnasium Schiedam, dating back to 1346. Other schools include Lyceum Schravenlant, Spieringshoek and Lentiz LIFE.

Notable people[edit]

Public thinking & public service[edit]

Jan van Riebeeck, grew up in Schiedam
Dirk Jan de Geer, 1926

The arts[edit]

Portrait of Adam Pijnacker, 1660


Pauline van der Wildt, 1964
Kelly Dulfer, 2018

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Schiedam was twinned with:

The relations between Schiedam and these cities was stopped in 2008, after Schiedam joined Eurotowns[22]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dhr. C.H.J. Lamers" [Mr. C.H.J. Lamers] (in Dutch). Gemeente Schiedam. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  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 3112DZ". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 1 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2022.
  5. ^ Doxat, John (1972). "Bols". The World of Drinks and Drinking: An International Distillation. New York: Drake Publishers. p. 35. ISBN 9780877492542. Retrieved 11 December 2023. [...] the oldest gin house in the world - presumably the world's oldest commercial distillers - Bols Boord & Son was founded in 1575, at Schiedam [...].
  6. ^ "Eerste treinramp met doden ook bij Schiedam". Dagblad van het Noorden (in Dutch). May 1, 2004. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  7. ^ "Wijken - Gemeente Schiedam". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Stedelijk Museum Schiedam". Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.
  9. ^ "Nationaal Jenevermuseum Schiedam". Nationaal Jenevermuseum Schiedam.
  10. ^ "De Schiedamse Molens".
  11. ^ "Scyedam - Kaleida - Ruïne Huis te Riviere".
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2006-07-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Brandersfeesten - Jaarlijks feest in Schiedam Centrum".
  14. ^ "Nationale molen- en gemalendag - Alles over molens".
  15. ^ Artipico. "Galerie Artipico Schiedam - DIET WIEGMAN CLEMENS BRIELS - JUDITH WIERSEMA".
  16. ^ Yorick de Vries (30 September 2012). "Schiedam 2012 - DOUBLE LIPDUB WORLD RECORD!!! - OLD BETA VERSION". Archived from the original on 2013-07-27 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ "Hail Holland, world cricket's unlikely lads". Financial Times. 5 March 2007. Archived from the original on 2022-12-10. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  18. ^ Albers, Petrus Henricus (1910). "St. Lidwina" . Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9.
  19. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 29 February 2020
  20. ^ IMDb Database retrieved 29 February 2020
  21. ^ "Neath Port Talbot Twin Towns". Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. Archived from the original on 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
  22. ^ "Information about the international relationships by the municipality (in Dutch)".

External links[edit]