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Tilburg ( ) is a landlocked municipality and a city in the Netherlandsmarker, located in the southern province of Noord-Brabantmarker.Tilburg municipality also includes the villages of Berkel-Enschotmarker and Udenhoutmarker.

Tilburg Universitymarker is located in Tilburg, and so are Fontys University of Applied Sciences and Avans University of Applied Sciences. Tilburg has nearly 30.000 students at one of these universities.

A 10 day-long funfair ( site in Dutch), the largest of the Benelux, is held in July each year. The Monday of fair week is called "Roze Maandag" (Pink Monday), and is gay-oriented, though also enjoyed by many heterosexuals.

There are three railway stations within the municipality: Tilburg, Tilburg West and Tilburg Reeshof. The tallest building in Tilburg is the Westpoint towermarker.


Little is known about the earliest history of Tilburg. Documents from the year 709 show the name Tilburg for the first time. After that, sources remain silent for some centuries. In the later Middle Ages, Tilburg was more of a local 'region' than a village or city, although a couple of small hamlets provided its population centers, one of which was known as 'Eastern Tilburg' (Oost-Tilburg), which was later reflected in the name of Oisterwijk ('Eastern Quarter'). This village centered around a small (probably wooden) castle or 'Motteburcht' on an equally small hill, which became derelict and was torn down after a few centuries at most. Of this first 'Tilburg Castle', nothing remained ca 2000, save a few remnants of its moat in the suburbs of Oisterwijk. In the 14th century, Tilburg was proclaimed a manor. Together with Goirlemarker, it acquired the title of "The Manor of Tilburg and Goirle".

Successively, the manorial rights fell into the hands of several lords of noble lineage. They derived their income from taxes, fines and interest paid by the villagers.

In the 15th century, one of the lords of Tilburg, Jan van Haestrecht, built Tilburg Castle. "That stone chamber at Hasselt" is mentioned in several historical documents. In 1858, however, the castle had to make way for a factory. It lives on, however, in the city arms and logo. A replica of the fundaments of the castle was restored in ca. 1995 on its original location, after the factory was demolished. In 1803, Goirle was separated from Tilburg and on April 18, 1809, Tilburg was granted city status. In that year, it had about 9,000 inhabitants. Tilburg will host several festivities in 2009 in celebration of 200 years' status as a city.

The herd places

Tilburg grew around one of the so-called "herd places", three-cornered plots where a number of roads (usually sand roads) met. These herd places were collective pasturelands for flocks of sheep. Their triangular shape is still reflected in the layout of many places in Tilburg. Many districts - such as Korvel, Oerle, Broekhoven, Hasselt, Heikant, De Schans and Heuvel - bear the names of these old hamlets.

Tilburg as wool capital of the Netherlands

The poor farmers living in these hamlets soon decided to stop selling the wool of the sheep and to weave it themselves. For a long time a greater part of the space in their houses, which used to be very small, was occupied by a loom. In the 17th century the number of looms in Tilburg was about 300. Enterprising people saw their chance. As so-called drapers they supplied the weavers with the raw materials for their "home working". The first Tilburg "millhouses" had come into existence. From that point on, the wool- industry underwent rapid growth and in 1881 Tilburg had as many as 145 woolmills. Home weaving continued, however, until the early years of the 20th century. Woolen textiles from Tilburg were known far and wide. After the Second World War, Tilburg retained its place as wool capital of the Netherlands, but in the 1960s the industry collapsed and by the 1980s the number of woolmills could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Present-day Tilburg industry is characterized by a large variety of enterprises. The main economic sector has become transport & logistics, with a variety of industry as a good second.

King William II

King William II (1792-1849) always bore a warm heart towards Tilburg. "Here I can breathe freely and I feel happy", he once said about the town. And he acted accordingly. King William II always supported Tilburg, also in a financial way. He improved the sheep breeding, built new farms and founded a cavalry barracks on the St. Joseph Street, now the imposing building of the City Archives. Although the King was always received with open arms by several befriended manufacturers, he needed his own residence in Tilburg. The palace was built in the middle of the 19th century.

William II died a few months before the completion of his palace. It is now part of the city hall. In 1987, close to the palace, an obelisk was erected, in remembrance of King William II. It replaced the old needle from 1874, which disappeared from the street scene in 1968. After being restored, William II's statue has got a place again in the heart of the city, where he felt happy among its inhabitants. The local football club Willem II Tilburg was named after him.

Present days

Tilburg is an interesting, vivid and warm city, surrounded by beautiful nature areas like Moerenburg, De Loonse and Drunense Duinen, Campina and De Utrecht. There's a lively city centre, offering well known brands but small, specialised shops as well. And of course there are large companies like Fuji, Bosch, Coca Cola, Bjorn Borg, Interpolis.More on present-day Tilburg and the corporate line followed by the Tilburg city council is to be found in the article on Tilburg, on the Tilburg City site. Higher Education is of significant importance, with Tilburg Universitymarker attracting scholars from all over the world. Tilburg University was founded in 1927 and Tilburg is a fully accredited government financed university with almost 12,000 students. Tilburg university (motto: "Understanding Society") specialises in the social sciences and humanities and has five faculties.



Tilburg experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the Netherlands.


Festival city, music

The city of Tilburg hosts many festivals, such as the Festival Mundial (world culture), Stranger Than Paranoia (jazz), ZXZW (independent culture), Tilburg Students Festival, and Roadburn Festival. 013 is a modern popcentre, in a specially desgned building by Mels Crouwel, where artists like Nick Cave, Jerry Lee Lewis, Blasters and Salif Keita performed. Also Paradox is an interesting place, for experimental jazz and improvised music. Fontys University of Applied Sciences started a popacademy in the beginning of the 21th century, students often perform on local stages.


Tilburg has an outstanding museum of Modern Art, De Pont Foundation. Also there's a large textile museum, offering not only a historical view in its former factory, but also a laboratorium for design, production and development of textile as a material. Other museums are Noordbrabants Natuurmuseum and Scyption, specialised in communication.


The local football team, Willem II play in the Eredivisie (Dutch Premier League), and are themselves named in rememberance of King William II.

Tilburg Ten Miles is an annual road running competition held in Tilburg.

The Hockey team Tilburg Trappers also does well in the Dutch eredivisie (Dutch Premier League).

Students sports like rowing and hockey are popular as well. Tilburg hosts three field hockey clubs that play in top national leagues.

Famous people and alumni from Tilburg

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Tilburg is twinned with:

See also


External links

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