Coordinates: 52°8′N 4°30′E / 52.133°N 4.500°E / 52.133; 4.500
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Former monastery of the Franciscan Order from 1880, later a girls' school, in Zoeterwoude
Former monastery of the Franciscan Order from 1880, later a girls' school, in Zoeterwoude
Flag of Zoeterwoude
Coat of arms of Zoeterwoude
Highlighted position of Zoeterwoude in a municipal map of South Holland
Location in South Holland
Coordinates: 52°8′N 4°30′E / 52.133°N 4.500°E / 52.133; 4.500
ProvinceSouth Holland
 • BodyMunicipal council
 • MayorFred van Trigt (CDA)
 • Total21.96 km2 (8.48 sq mi)
 • Land21.19 km2 (8.18 sq mi)
 • Water0.77 km2 (0.30 sq mi)
Elevation−2 m (−7 ft)
 (January 2021)[4]
 • Total8,843
 • Density417/km2 (1,080/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code071

Zoeterwoude (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌzutərˈʋʌudə] ) is a municipality in the province of South Holland, Western Netherlands. It covers 21.96 km2 (8.48 sq mi) of which 0.77 km2 (0.30 sq mi) is water. It had a population of 8,843 in 2021.

Located to the southeast of Leiden and north of Zoetermeer, the municipality of Zoeterwoude consists of Gelderswoude, Weipoort, Westeinde, Zoeterwoude-Dorp, Zoeterwoude-Rijndijk and Zuidbuurt.


Dutch topographic map of Zoeterwoude, Sept. 2014. Click to enlarge.


1867 map of Zoeterwoude

The name Zoeterwoude is first mentioned in a document from 1205, which references a certain "Florentius van Sotrewold". It is uncertain if this is a reference to the village. The first confirmed existence is from 1276 when Dirk van Santhorst received the "Soetrewold" fiefdom from Floris V, Count of Holland.

Its municipal boundaries were set circa 1300. At that time it was one of the largest municipalities in the Netherlands, but later much land was annexed by surrounding cities, notably Leiden. In 1450, the first bridge between Leiderdorp and Zoeterwoude was built. In 1574, Zoeterwoude was burnt to the ground and its polders inundated by Leideners in order to increase the range of the city's cannons. Almost no inhabitants remained in Zoeterwoude.

Around 1650, Zoeterwoude had been almost rebuilt and 50 years later it was prospering. After 1800, Leiden started a long series of annexations, reducing the land area of Zoeterwoude.

In 1960, the A4 motorway was built and since 1966 it has been the municipal boundary between Leiden and Zoeterwoude.


A datacenter from SWIFT is located in Zoeterwoude.[5]

The main brewery of Heineken International is located in Zoeterwoude.

Notable people[edit]

Lucretia Wilhelmina van Merken, 1771 portrait




  1. ^ "Collegeleden" [Members of the board] (in Dutch). Gemeente Zoeterwoude. Retrieved 30 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 2381ET". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 30 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. ^ "Via Zoeterwoude kon CIA 'iedere' euro zien". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 2022-02-14.

External links[edit]