Coordinates: 51°22′N 6°10′E / 51.367°N 6.167°E / 51.367; 6.167
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Venlo city centre
Venlo city centre
Flag of Venlo
Coat of arms of Venlo
Highlighted position of Venlo in a municipal map of Limburg
Location in Limburg
Venlo is located in Netherlands
Location within the Netherlands
Venlo is located in Europe
Location within Europe
Coordinates: 51°22′N 6°10′E / 51.367°N 6.167°E / 51.367; 6.167
Country Netherlands
 • BodyMunicipal council
 • MayorAntoin Scholten (VVD)
 • Total128.99 km2 (49.80 sq mi)
 • Land124.25 km2 (47.97 sq mi)
 • Water4.74 km2 (1.83 sq mi)
Elevation21 m (69 ft)
 (January 2021)[4]
 • Total101,988
 • Density821/km2 (2,130/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Venloër, Venlonaar, Venloënaar, Venlonaer
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code077

Venlo ([ˈvɛnloː] (listen)) is a city and municipality in the southeastern Netherlands, close to the border with Germany. It is situated in the province of Limburg. The municipality of Venlo counted 101,578 inhabitants as of January 2019.[5]


Early history[edit]

Map circa 1850

Roman and Celtic coins have been found in Venlo; it was speculated to have been the settlement known as Sablones on the Roman road connecting Maastricht with Xanten, but the little evidence there is concerning the location of Sablones speaks against this thought while there is no evidence in support of it. 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 at the Treaty of 1713. After the Napoleonic Wars it became part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

In 1839-1866 Venlo was not a part of German Confederation, completely surrounded by its territory.

World War II[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 Meuse (Dutch: Maas). 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 a small Jewish community. In 1930 there were 86 Jewish people living in Venlo. In the next decade this number rose to about 248, because German Jews were trying to evade the discriminatory laws and growing hate in Germany. 6 years after the end of The Holocaust and the first wave of Jewish immigration to Israel there were 32 Jewish people left in Venlo.

Post-Second World War era[edit]

Topographic map of the city of Venlo, as of March 2014

By the late 1990s, drug-related nuisance had become a problem in the centre of Venlo.[6] National and municipal officials launched the Q-4 Project and Tango initiatives that, amongst other measures, included moving the town's largest coffeeshops[7] to the outskirts, where they continue to do business, while the city centre was freed from disturbances.

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". Venlo was the host of Floriade 2012, the world's largest horticultural exhibition.

In 2013, Venlo 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.[8]


City hall of Venlo
  • Theatre "De Maaspoort"
  • Limburg Museum and Art Museum "Museum van Bommel van Dam"
  • Venlo Police Museum
  • Pop venue Grenswerk (formerly Perron 55)
  • Major annual cultural events
    • Carnival called "Vastelaovend" in February/March (Six weeks before Easter)
    • Summer park festivities called "Zomerparkfeest" in August held in and around the main park of Venlo, a four-day podium for a broad audience, including live music, film, dance, art etc.


Venlo, being a city with a 100,000-plus 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 institutes of higher education:


Venlo is connected to Germany by two motorways (Bundesautobahn 40 and Bundesautobahn 61), which connect to Düsseldorf, Duisburg, 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.


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 recent years it has been a yo-yo club, winning the Eerste Divisie in 2009 and 2017 and being promoted to the highest Dutch professional football league, the Eredivisie, as a result.



Climate data for Arcen, Netherlands (extremes 1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.9
Average high °C (°F) 5.3
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.7
Average low °C (°F) −0.2
Record low °C (°F) −19.9
Source: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1981–2010 normals, snowy days normals for 1971–2000)[9]

Economy and infrastructure[edit]

The headquarters of multinational printing-equipment firm Océ, today a part of the Japanese firm Canon, is located in Venlo, as is the headquarters of Cimpress.[10] Also, the European headquarters of one of the world's largest direct selling companies Amway and the American office supply retailing company Office Depot are located in the city of Venlo. In 2017 also the international onlineshop vidaXL moved its headquarters and warehouse to Venlo.[11]

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.[12]

International relations[edit]

Venlo is twinned with:

Notable residents[edit]

Geert Wilders, 2014

Public thinking and public service[edit]


Hubert Goltzius, 1574
Chantal Janzen, 2016

Science and business[edit]

Chriet Titulaer, 1984


Carla Beurskens, 1982
Rick Hoogendorp, 2006


  1. ^ "Burgemeester en wethouders" [Mayor and aldermen] (in Dutch). Gemeente Venlo. Retrieved 3 December 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 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. 1 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2022.
  5. ^ Statistics Netherlands (CBS), "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand". Retrieved on 6 March 2019.
  6. ^ Snippe, J.; Naayer, H.; Bieleman, B. (2006), Hektor in 2005. Evaluatie aanpak drugsoverlast in Venlo, Groningen/Rotterdam: Interval/WODC
  7. ^ In the Netherlands, coffeeshops are establishments where it is allowed to sell cannabis to adults for their personal consumption.
  8. ^ "Venlo has Best City Centre in the Netherlands" [Venlo has Best City Centre in the Netherlands]. Fontys Venlo. 2013. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Klimaattabel Arcen, langjarige gemiddelden, tijdvak 1981–2010" (PDF) (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  10. ^ "United States Securities and Exchange Commission - Form 10-Q". Cimpress Investor Relations. Cimpress. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  11. ^ "VidaXL builds enormous distribution center". RetailDetail. 2017-02-03. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  12. ^ Venlo Greenpark (2012). "Greenport Venlo". Venlo Greenpark. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  13. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12 (1913), Erycius Puteanus, retrieved 20 February 2020

External links[edit]