Eindhoven is a municipality and a city located in the province of Noord-Brabant in the south of the Netherlands, originally at the confluence of the Dommel and Gender brooks. The Gender has been diverted, but the Dommel still runs through it.
Neighbouring cities and towns include Son en Breugel, Nuenen, Geldrop, Valkenswaard, Waalre, Veldhoven, Oirschot and Best.
The city has seven districts, former villages around the city that were annexed in 1920: Eindhoven Centre, Gestel , Stratum, Strijp , Tongelre , Woensel South and Woensel North. At the end of the 20th century a whole new district called Meerhoven was formed at the old military airport of the town.
The city of Eindhoven
Coat of arms of the Municipality of Eindhoven
The written history of Eindhoven started in 1232, when Duke Hendrik I of Brabant granted city rights to Endehoven, then a small town on the confluence of the Dommel and the Gender. It had approximately 170 houses enclosed by a rampart. Just outside of the city walls stood a small castle. The city was also granted the right to organize a weekly market and the farmers in nearby villages were obligated to come to Eindhoven to sell their produce. Another factor in its establishment was its location on the trade route from Holland to Liege.
Around 1388 the city's fortifications were strengthened further. And between 1413 and 1420, a new castle was built within the city walls.
In 1486, Eindhoven was plundered and burned by troops from Gelderland. The reconstruction was finished in 1502, with a stronger rampart and a new castle. However, in 1543 Eindhoven falls again: its defense works were neglected due to poverty.
A big fire in 1554 destroyed 75% of the houses but by 1560 these had been rebuilt with the help of William I of Orange. During the Dutch Revolt, Eindhoven changed hands between the Dutch and the Spanish several times, until finally in 1583 it was captured by Spanish troops and its city walls demolished. Eindhoven did not become part of the Netherlands until 1629.
The industrial revolution provided a major growth impulse. Canals, roads and railroads were constructed. Industrial activities centered around tobacco and textile.
Large bombardments in World War II, (Eindhoven was a target in Operation Market Garden), destroyed parts of the city. The reconstruction that followed left very little historical remains.
Eindhoven has grown from a little village in 1232 to the fifth largest city in the Netherlands with slightly over 200,000 inhabitants in 2001. Much of its growth is due to Philips and DAF. Today, Eindhoven serves as a focal point of technology in the south of the Netherlands.
A prime example of the industrial heritage of Eindhoven are the renovated White Lady (Dutch: Witte Dame), a former Philips lamp factory and the Admirant (also known as the Brown Gentleman or in Dutch Bruine Heer), a former Philips office building both located on the Emmasingel. The White Lady was architected by D. Roosenburg and constructed in 1920-1921. It currently houses the municipal library, the Design Academy and a selection of shops. Across the street from the White Lady and next to the Admirant is the first lamp factory of Philips. The small building has been turned into a museum detailing the history of that company.
The students from the Eindhoven University of Technology and a number of undergraduate schools give Eindhoven a young population.
Eindhoven has a lively cultural scene. For going out, there are numerous bars on the Market square, the Stratumseind, the Dommelstraat, the Wilhelmina square and throughout the rest of the city. During spring and summer, Eindhoven houses the Fiesta del Sol and the Virus Festival.
The Van Abbe Museum has a collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by Picasso and Chagall.
Eindhoven was home to the Evoluon science museum, sponsored by Philips. The Evoluon building is currently used as a conference centre.
During Carnival, Eindhoven is rechristened Lampegat (Lamp Hole).
Eindhoven is a rail transport node with connections in the directions of:
The numbers in parentheses are the number series, see Train routes in the Netherlands; the links refer to departure schedules. Up until World War II, a train service connected Amsterdam to Liege via Eindhoven and Valkenswaard, but the service was discontinued and the line broken up. Recently, talks have resumed to have a service to Neerpelt, Belgium via Weert.
The A2 national highway from Amsterdam to Maastricht passes Eindhoven to the west and south of the city. The A2 connects here with the A58 to Tilburg and Breda and to the A67/E34 to Antwerp. In 2004, the A50 was completed connecting Eindhoven to Nijmegen and Zwolle.