Gouda (Netherlands)

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Gouda municipality
Flag of the municipality of Gouda
Coat of arms of the municipality of Gouda
coat of arms
province South Holland South Holland
mayor Pieter Verhoeve ( SGP )
Seat of the municipality Gouda cheese
 - land
 - water
18.11  km 2
16.82 km 2
1.29 km 2
CBS code 0513
Residents 73,193 (Jan 31, 2019)
Population density 4042 inhabitants / km 2
Coordinates 52 ° 1 '  N , 4 ° 43'  E Coordinates: 52 ° 1 '  N , 4 ° 43'  E
Important traffic route A12 E30 A20 E25 N207 N228
prefix 0182
Postcodes 2801-2809
Website Homepage of Gouda
Template: Infobox location in the Netherlands / maintenance / map
View of the city center and the central town hall on the market square and the Sint Janskerk
View of the city center and the central town hall on the market square and the Sint JanskerkTemplate: Infobox location in the Netherlands / maintenance / picture 1

Gouda ( [ˈɣʌu̯daˑ] , listen ? / I ) is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands in the province of South Holland at the confluence of the Gouwe and Hollandse IJssel . It is located in the Groene Hart of the Randstad agglomeration and counted 73,193 inhabitants on January 31, 2019 on an area of ​​16.92 km². Audio file / audio sample

Gouda received city rights from the Dutch Count Florens V in 1272 and is traditionally world-famous for Gouda cheese , which was not produced in the eponymous city but in the surrounding area, but was traded from Gouda. In the summer there is a cheese market on the market square every Thursday until today.

Other well-known products from Gouda are tobacco pipes , candles and syrup waffles . In earlier times the city had a flourishing brewing industry ; by the 20th century numerous ceramic manufacturers had settled there. A nationally known event is the annual pre-Christmas event Gouda bij Kaarslicht (Gouda in candlelight), popularly known as Kaarsjesavond (candle evening).


Geographical location and traffic

Map of the province of South Holland

The city is located in the fertile polder area at the confluence of the Dutch IJssel and Gouwe, not far from the cities of The Hague , Rotterdam and Utrecht , but in the middle of rural Groene Hart .

Together with Alphen aan den Rijn , Bergambacht , Bodegraven-Reeuwijk , Boskoop , Nieuwkoop , Rijnwoude , Schoonhoven , Vlist and Waddinxveen , it forms the COROP region Oost-Zuid-Holland .

Gouda is connected to the A12 motorway and has two train stations with The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht: Gouda train station and Gouda Goverwelle train station .


Gouda's inner city area lies on loamy soil, a large part of the rest of the area on soft peatland . These soft soils mean that parts of the city are regularly threatened by subsidence. The necessary countermeasures put such a heavy financial strain on the city that it was one of the so-called Article 12 communities for almost 40 years . In 2001, the city received around 80 million euros in financial compensation, which has been completely suspended since 2008.

Neighboring communities

In the northwest is Waddinxveen, in the northeast is Bodegraven-Reeuwijk. Ouderkerk borders the city in the south, Zuidplas in the south-west and Vlist in the south-east.

City structure

The municipality of Gouda is divided into nine districts:

  • Binnenstad (inner city)
  • Korte Akkeren
  • Westergouwe
  • Stolwijkersluis
  • Kort Haarlem
  • Goverwelle
  • North
  • Plaswijck
  • Bloemendaal


The Latin name golda was often used in early documents . Other names of the city were Die Golda , Ter Goude and Tergouw , all of which refer to the location on the Gouwe. Tergouw in particular (also spelled Ter Gou or Ter Gouw) is still colloquially the common name of the inhabitants for their city, also to distinguish the city from the region. On the historical "Vogelvluchtkaart van Gouda en omstreken" (Gouda and its surroundings from a bird's eye view) from 1525, the city is referred to as Ter Gou .

A common nickname for the city is “Kaasstad” (cheese town); A nickname for the residents that is often used by the Dutch is Kaaskoppen (cheese heads), which they have to share with the residents of Alkmaar , who are also known for their cheese production.


Historical map of Gouda


Around 1000 the construction of dams and drainage of the marshland around Gouda began. The area was first mentioned in 1139 in a document from Bishop Hartbert of Utrecht , which mentions the reclamation of the Gouwe.

Around 1225 the river Gouwe was connected to the Old Rhine by a canal . The confluence of the Gouwe in the Dutch IJssel was developed into a port. Now the place was on an important trade route that connected Flanders and the Netherlands with France on the one hand and the Baltic States on the other.

13th to 17th centuries

When Gouda received city rights from Count Floris V of Holland in 1272, it quickly developed into an important trading center. Large city fires raged in 1361 and 1438. In 1572 the city was occupied, plundered and partially burned down by the Wassergeusen . From 1602 raged in Gouda, as elsewhere in the Netherlands, plague ; Only around 1750 did the population recover from this. Nevertheless, the city played an important role nationally and internationally until its decline in the 17th century.

18th century to modern times

After the decline of the cloth industry, the city and its surroundings concentrated on cheese production and the manufacture of pipes, which made it an important economic center again with the beginning of industrialization.

From 1830 the city wall was razed to make room for further growth. The last gate was demolished in 1854.

In 1855 the Gouda – Utrecht railway line went into operation. In 1944 the station was destroyed by Allied bombardments , eight dead and ten wounded.

The asteroid (27718) Gouda has been named after the city since 2017 .

City arms

Wapen-gouda.jpg Flag of Gouda.svg
Coat of arms and flag of Gouda

The coat of arms, officially established on July 24, 1816 by the Hoge raad van de Adel, shows a red shield with three six-pointed golden stars and a white pole , which is covered by a five-pointed golden crown and held by a pair of lions standing upright. The city has the motto: per aspera ad astra , in German: "Through rough air (you climb up) to the stars".

The blazon reads:

“Van keel loaded with a pal van zilver en verzeld ter neitherzijde van 3 zespuntige sterren van goud, staande in the zin van den pal. Het shield covered with a crown with 5 fleurons, everything van goud en omgeven van eene doornenkrans, voorts vastgehouden door 2 klimmende leeuwen in hunne natuurlijke use en on the hetzelve het oude motto Per Aspera ad Astra . "

The city flag is red-white-red.


On December 31, 2010, Gouda had 71,073 inhabitants in around 30,000 households. The urban area covers 1,811 hectares, which results in a population density of 40 inhabitants per hectare.

Culture and sights


Market square with the old town hall and Sint Janskerk
Turf market
  • The town house in the middle of the market square is one of the oldest Gothic town halls in the Netherlands. It was built from natural stone between 1448 and 1450 after the last great city fire. The Renaissance style staircase dates from 1603. Around 1692 and 1880 renovations were carried out. The last restoration took place in 1996. The front painting from 1952 shows Burgundian nobles, and the carillon with mechanical knights on horses comes from the same year. The interior is from the 17th and 18th centuries. The wedding hall has paneling. Every year in mid-December there is a candle festival evening, when the town hall is lit with over 2500 candles.
  • The Weaghaus , located on the north side of the market, was built in 1668 by Pieter Post , one of the most important architects of this era. A relief on this building shows how cheese was weighed in the past.
  • The Sint Janskerk ( German  Saint John Church ) is located southeast of the market square and is the longest cruciform church in the Netherlands with a length of 123 m. It has stained glass windows known as Goudse Glazen in Dutch . 14 of 70 windows from the period between 1530 and 1603 come from the brothers Dirck Crabeth (around 1505–1574) and Wouter Crabeth (1520–1589), who created them between 1555 and 1577. At that time they were considered the best and most famous glass painters in the region. Even after the Reformation , more windows were added, but with different themes. Donors included Prince Wilhelm I of Orange-Nassau and his wife Anna of Saxony, as well as his arch enemy Philip II and his wife Mary Tudor , the Bloody Mary .


  • Gouda Museum
  • Cheese and handicraft museum in the Waaghaus
  • Resistance Museum South Holland


Up until the 20th century there were numerous large and small ceramic factories ("Plateel Zuidholland", "Regina", "Ivora" and "Zenith") in the city area. Most of them closed in the mid-1930s, a few tried to regain a foothold after the Second World War , with the last and largest (Plateel Zuid Holland) finally insolvent and ceasing to exist in the mid-1960s. The Art Deco and Art Nouveau everyday objects from these manufactories are now sought-after antiques.



Distribution of seats in the municipal council

Local elections 2018
G50 +
Gains and losses
compared to 2014
 % p
G50 +

The local elections on March 21, 2018 resulted in the following distribution of seats:

Political party Seats
2006 2010 2014 2018
D66 2 3 6th 4th
ChristenUnie 3 3 4th 4th
PvdA 10 7th 5 4th
VVD 4th 5 3 4th
CDA 5 3 3 4th
Gouda Positief - 3 - a 3
GroenLinks 3 3 2 3
Gouda's 50+ partij 3 2 2 3
SGP 1 1 2 2
Community affairs Gouda 2 1 5 a 2
SP 2 1 2 1
PvdD - - 1 1
Jezus Leeft - - - 0
DEAD - 3 0 -
Ouderen Politiek Actief - - 0 -
total 35 35 35 35
aIn 2014, Gouda Positief took part in the election together with Gemeentebelangen Gouda (for the result, see Gemeentebelangen Gouda ).


Pieter Verhoeve ( SGP ) has been the acting mayor of the municipality since November 13, 2019 . His colleagues include Thierry van Vugt ( D66 ), Rogier Tetteroo ( PvdA ), Jan de Laat ( Gouda Positief ), Corine Dijkstra ( ChristenUnie ), Jan-Willem van Gelder ( CDA ), Hilde Niezen ( GroenLinks ) and the community secretary Martiene Branderhorst .

Twin cities

Gouda has three official international twin cities:

Accordingly, there is a Kongsbergstraat , a Solingenstraat and a Gloucesterstraat in the city . The Christmas tree for the market square has been donated by the Kongsberg community since 1956.

In addition, Gouda has had close unofficial relationships with Elmina in Ghana since 2004 , which came about through a Dutch aid project run by the Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten . The aid is mainly focused on tackling the waste problem in the West African city. There is also a partnership relationship with Finsterwalde in Germany.


Born in Gouda

Wrought in Gouda


  • PHAM Abels (Ed.): Duizend jaar Gouda: een Stadsgeschiedenis . Uitgeverij Verloren, 2002. ISBN 90-6550-717-5
  • Nicolaas Godfried Kampen, William Gray Fearnside, William Henry Bartlett: The history and topography of Holland and Belgium. G. Virtue Verlag, 1837. Full text available online.
  • Phyllis Tater Ritvo, Gene Ritvo: The world of Gouda pottery. Font & Center Press, 1998. ISBN 1-883280-11-7

Web links

Commons : Gouda  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Gouda  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Nieuwe burgemeester van Gouda Pieter Verhoeve beëdigd. In: omroepwest.nl. Omroep West, November 13, 2019, accessed November 15, 2019 (Dutch).
  2. Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand . In: StatLine . Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (Dutch)
  3. For station Gouda Goverwelle see the list of new train stations in the Netherlands .
  4. A Dutch municipality that falls under the so-called Article 12 status is placed under state administration because of its poor financial situation. The name is derived from the Dutch Financiële-verhoudingswet (Law on Financial Relations) of 1897, which regulates the basic distribution of state financial allocations to the subordinate local authorities. Article 12 in particular deals with financial equalization and establishes a close legal and economic relationship with the central government of the municipalities.
  5. "nove culture juxta Goldam" in: Samuel Muller, Klaas Heeringa: Oorkondenboek van het sticht Utrecht dead 1301 . Vol. IA Oosthoek Verlag, 1959.
  6. http://www.ngw.nl/heraldrywiki/index.php?title=Gouda
  7. ^ Museum Gouda. In: Gouda Tourist Office website. Retrieved April 4, 2018 .
  8. Official website of the Gouda Museum (Dutch)
  9. ^ Goudse Waag (Waaghaus) Cheese and Craft Museum. In: Gouda Tourist Office website. Retrieved April 4, 2018 .
  10. Official website of the Gouda Cheese and Craft Museum (Dutch)
  11. ^ Resistance Museum South Holland. (No longer available online.) In: Gouda Tourist Office website. Archived from the original on April 5, 2018 ; accessed on April 4, 2018 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / Willkommeningouda.com
  12. Official website of the Resistance Museum South Holland (Dutch)
  13. Result of the local elections: 2014 2018 , accessed on May 31, 2018 (Dutch)
  14. ↑ Allocation of seats in the municipal council: 2006 2010 2014 2018 , accessed on May 31, 2018 (Dutch)
  15. ^ College van B en W Gemeente Gouda, accessed on May 31, 2018 (Dutch)