Bergen op Zoom

 

bergen_-op_-zoom_08General information:

Bergen op Zoom is situated in the South Western part of The Netherlands, nearby the Belgian border. Nowadays its strategic positions is connected to a variety of logistical components, such as international water- and motorways. Situated between the main ports Antwerp and Rotterdam, Bergen op Zoom is the centre of the regions Flanders, Holland, Zeeland and Brabant.

POPULATION:
Bergen op Zoom has about 66.000 inhabitants.

History of Bergen op Zoom:
In the late Middle Ages, along the river Scheldt and on the crossroad of highways, originated a small settlement with a natural harbour. Its importance increased and in the 12th century Bergen op Zoom received its Charter from the Duke of Brabant. In the 14th century Bergen op Zoom became a very important and international market town. At the top of its economical power in the 15th century the Lords of Bergen op Zoom undertook building activities to show their wealth and power. In this period the town palace The Markiezenhof (the Marquis Court) was build and the church was enlarged. Due to several floods in the 16th century Bergen op Zoom lost its position as an important market town.

When the uprising against the Spanish king Fillips The Second occurred, the factions became aware of the military importance of Bergen op Zoom. Bergen op Zoom was the key to the revolting provinces in The Netherlands. Since 1570 Bergen op Zoom became an important walled town with robust fortifications and a garrison. In the 19th century Bergen op Zoom lost its importance as a walled town. Most of the fortification were demolished. The prisoners gate is the only relict from the Middle ages walls. This massive gate is build in about 1330 and expanded in the 16th century to host prisoners. From the fortifications of the 17th century the fortification line north of Bergen op Zoom has remained. What is left from the 18th century fortifications of Menno van Coehoorn is one demi lune (ravelin). It is likely that a great number of relicts of these huge fortifications is still in the subsurface. Sometimes it happens walls, mine galleries, canon balls and other relicts are found. Bergen op Zoom has a massive and very accurate scale model of Bergen op Zoom which illuminates the fortifications in the 18th century. This scale model is on loan from us from of the prestigious Musée des Plans Reliefs in Paris. In short: Bergen op Zoom has a very interesting and rich fortification history.

Today Bergen op Zoom is an attractive town with more than 800 monuments, a rich history and beautiful surroundings. Bergen op Zoom is an attractive destination for tourists and visitors. For more information please visit our tourist board: www.vvvbrabantsewal.nl

Opportunities and challenges
Fully aware of its beauty Bergen op Zoom invests in the urban infrastructure. As an interesting destination for tourists Bergen op Zoom has a large number of cycling and walking routes.

Political representative
Dr. Frank Petter, Mayor of Bergen op Zoom
Treasurer EWT
PO Box 35, 4600 AA Bergen op Zoom
The Netherlands

Contact person town office
Gemeente Bergen op Zoom
Paul Versijp
PO Box 35, 4600 AA Bergen op Zoom
The Netherlands
0031 164 277400
p.versijp@bergenopzoom.nl

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