Arnhem, Netherlands


Arnhem (Arnhems: Ernem, German: Arnheim) is a city and municipality in the Netherlands and the capital of the province of Gelderland. The municipality of Arnhem includes the city of Arnhem, the villages of Elden and Schaarsbergen, the hamlets De Praets and 't Vlot, and parts of the hamlets Terlet and Deelen. The municipality has 161,961 inhabitants as of 1 August 2020 (source: Statistics Netherlands), making it the thirteenth municipality in the Netherlands. The agglomeration of Arnhem, consisting of, among others, the municipalities of Arnhem, Westervoort, Duiven, Zevenaar, Lingewaard, Overbetuwe, Renkum and Rheden, has nearly 450,251 inhabitants on an area of ​​approximately 713.96 km².

Arnhem is located on the river Nederrijn, the IJssel and the Sint-Jansbeek. The city lies on both sides of the Rhine. The southern part of the city in particular developed on a large scale after the Second World War. The city is internationally known for the Battle of Arnhem. Arnhem played an important role in the Second World War because of the air landing and battle of the Allied troops in September 1944, as part of Operation Market Garden. At various places in the city, monuments mark the places where there was fierce fighting during the war.

The Gelderland District Court and the Arnhem-Leeuwarden Court of Appeal are located in the city, and it is the base of the national military chamber and the airmobile brigade. The city is also home to many national and international attractions, including the Dutch Open Air Museum and Royal Burgers' Zoo.


Etymology and language

The name Arnhem would be derived from Arn or Aro - from the Germanic arnu (eagle) - and hem (home).

The name Arneym is first mentioned in 893 in a property register of the Abbey of Prüm. Earlier, around 814, a written mention was made of Meginhardeswich; this is the current Meijnerswijk in Arnhem South. The city was sacked by the Vikings in 847.

In the Arnhem accent the city is called Èrnem. The Arnhem dialect (Ernems) differs strongly from other Southern Gelderland dialects because of the Hague influences: in the second half of the 18th century, rich residents of The Hague moved to country houses in the woods around Arnhem. The Hague accent was adopted by the local Arnhem population because this accent provided status. Today, the accent is still mainly spoken in the working-class neighborhoods such as' t Broek, de Geitenkamp and Klarendal (pronunciation klèrendoal).

Arnhem also has some nicknames. In the second half of the 19th century, the city was called the 'Haagje van het Oosten'; In Arnhem, just like in The Hague in that period, many former Indiëgoers settled. Especially in the Indies, traders, former officers and sugar and tobacco planters who had grown rich built houses along the Velper, Utrecht and Amsterdamseweg. The middle class and cultural life flourished because of their arrival. Arnhem therefore became a city with an elite appearance.




Archaeological finds indicate that about 70,000 years ago there was already human habitation in the area where the city of Arnhem is now located. Two flint planes have been found from the time of the Neanderthals who populated the area in the Stone Age. As hunters and gatherers, Neanderthals generally did not have a permanent residence, they roamed the region in search of prey. The oldest remains of modern humans in the region date from about 5000 BC. Remains of a hunting camp have been found at a depth of two meters in the area of ​​the Schuytgraaf district.

In the vicinity of Warnsborn and Schaarsbergen, the first traces of farmers, residents with a permanent residence, have been found. These burial mounds of the foot cup people date from ca. 2400 BC. Traces of a settlement on the Hoogkamp in the form of farms have been found from the Bronze Age (ca. 1500 BC). Remains of inhabitants from the Iron Age have been found where the center of Arnhem is now.


Middle Ages, 16th, 17th, 18th century

Arnhem (as Arneym) is first mentioned in 893 in a register of the possessions of the Abbey of Prüm in the Eifel. It is described as a church dedicated to Saint Martin, with surrounding lands. Although the early traces of settlements have shown that the early inhabitants of Arnhem descended from the higher situated forests, Arnhem was originally not built on the banks of the Rhine, but on the higher part along the Sint-Jansbeek. Arnhem originated on the spot where the road between Nijmegen and Utrecht / Zutphen split. Seven streams supplied the city with water and it was only when the course of the Rhine was diverted by the inhabitants of Arnhem in 1530 that Arnhem came to lie on the river.

The settlement received city rights on 13 July 1233 from Count Otto II of Gelre, the Count of Zutphen. In the 13th century Arnhem had 2000 to 3000 inhabitants, who lived within the ramparts of the current city center. Although Arnhem already had some form of defense before the city law was granted, it grew into a city wall in 1291, which was expanded in 1505, 1519 and 1533 and finally demolished in the 19th century.

In 1441, Arnhem was admitted to this armed trade alliance at the annual meeting of the Hanze in Lübeck, and was assigned to the Cologne quarter. The city undertook to supply four armed men when necessary, and until 1615 usually attended the Hanseatic days in Wesel and sometimes the Lübeck days. It therefore represented Wageningen and Hattem.

In 1543, when the duchy of Guelders was merged into the Habsburg Empire, Arnhem was one of the four capitals in Guelders to be the home of the court and the accountancy office. As a result of the Eighty Years' War, the duchy of Gelre was split up. The three northern quarters took part in the Union of Utrecht (1579) and then became part of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. In 1543, Gelre came into the hands of Emperor Charles V. It was Charles V who established the Court of Accounts and the Court of Gelre and Zutphen in Arnhem, with which Arnhem can be considered the de facto capital from that time. Official status was granted in the 19th century.

At the end of November 1813, heavy fighting took place in and near Arnhem between the French occupying forces and Prussian troops, supported by Russian Cossacks. In 1817 it became the capital of the province of Gelderland in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.


Modern time

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Arnhem came to the attention of the well-to-do bourgeoisie from the west of the Netherlands because of the favorable tax climate. Arnhem grew rapidly, and many houses from that time testify to the wealth of the new residents. The new bourgeoisie of Arnhem did, however, bring an important stimulus to social and cultural life. The wealthy residents who had come to Arnhem from The Hague and Amsterdam needed the facilities they were used to. Musis Sacrum, the Stadsarmapotheek and the Municipal Hospital date from this time.

Around 1870 the migration to Arnhem slowly decreased, and the city started looking for other sources of income. The development of tourist attractions kept Arnhem in the interest of the wealthy. Conferences and exhibitions were organized, and transportation was modernized with an electric tram network. With the Nederlandsche Heidemaatschappij and the Eerste Nederlandse Kunstzijdefabriek Arnhem, Arnhem drew two important employers to the city.

Arnhem grew strongly during the second half of the 19th century. From 9,000 inhabitants in 1820 to almost 24,000 in 1859. Arnhem has also expanded considerably in the 20th century. In the 1930s Arnhem was badly hit during the Depression, but some work could still be generated due to the construction of new city districts.

During World War II, the city became the scene of the Battle of Arnhem, a historic airborne landing and battle that took place from September 17-25, 1944, as part of Operation Market Garden. It is the largest operation on Dutch territory during the Second World War. For the Allies and the Netherlands it was largely a failure because the last bridge (the one at Arnhem) could not be taken and the west of the Netherlands could not be liberated because of this. As a result, the west of the Netherlands had to deal with the hunger winter. Arnhem itself was largely destroyed by bombing from both the German and the Allied sides. The city was also looted by the German occupiers when they evacuated the city in 1944.

On 12 and 13 April 1945 a second battle took place during the liberation of Arnhem, which concentrated on the Geitenkamp district. Arnhem was evacuated by order of the Germans at the end of 1944 and forced laborers were established in the district and NSB members also lived in the vacant houses. The Canadian troops thought that Arnhem was well defended and carried out a heavy artillery bombardment on the Goat Camp. The residents, who had been warned but had nowhere to go, had an unknown number of victims.


After the second World War

After the war, reconstruction and expansion of the city began. The Second World War had made huge holes in the historic city center. The Haagje van het Oosten underwent a major metamorphosis. In a drive for renewal and modernization, many damaged buildings were not repaired but demolished. In addition, emergency homes and emergency shops were built to provide the very first necessities of life. The seriously damaged tram network was replaced by a trolleybus network, a plan that was already in place before the war. But it had now become a necessity, because the depot and a large number of trams had been irreparably damaged by the war. On September 5, 1949, the first trolley line, between Arnhem and Velp, was put into use.

Reconstruction is in full swing in the 1950s. Many new residential areas are being built in a short time, such as Malburgen and Presikhaaf. The boundaries of Arnhem in the south are being significantly shifted at the expense of the surface of the municipalities of Huissen and Elst. The Immerloo and Het Duifje neighborhoods were created in the mid-1960s, where large gallery flats were built in addition to many terraced houses. A few years later, some more luxurious and single-family homes were established in the Holthuizen and Vredenburg / Kronenburg districts. The village of Elden increasingly bordered on the new Arnhem district and after the 1980s was almost surrounded by the neighborhoods Elderveld, De Laar and Rijkerswoerd. Arnhem also managed to get a few large companies within its borders.

In the 1980s Arnhem had a fairly extensive squatters' community. A number of buildings, including the nationally renowned Hotel Bosch, collaborated on cultural activities. Loesje's posters also appeared for the first time in Arnhem in the early eighties. In 1989, there was a 'popular uprising' against drug nuisance in the Klarendal district, where numerous people were injured in police charges. Afterwards, much was renewed and improved in Klarendal, including the Modekwartier with numerous shops.


The Gelredome stadium was built in 1998 on the northeast side of Elden. In 1999, the Sonsbeek Park celebrated its 100th anniversary and extensive renovations were carried out as well as the 'Steile Garden'. Furthermore, the Water Museum (2003) was established. In 2004, ProRail built Arnhem South station on the Arnhem - Nijmegen railway line. Since 2002, the Vinex district Schuytgraaf has been built west of the railway line.

In the nineties, the outdated station in Arnhem was found to be too small, so it was decided to build a new station. The entire station area was overhauled, office towers and a new bus station were built, where the well-known trolley buses also stop. After a relatively long construction period (1997-2015), the new public transport terminal of Ben van Berkel, with a capacity of 110,000 train and bus passengers per day, was officially opened on 19 November 2015. The station has since been officially called Arnhem Central.



The Arnhem coat of arms is blue in color and consists of a silver eagle. The jaws and claws are all gold in color. The crown is gold and consists of five leaves. The heart shield is held by two standing lions of natural color. The lions look at the viewer.

Stamps from 1281 and subsequent centuries already show double eagles; in the 17th century the eagle is placed on a shield. Historians cite the Van Arnhem family coat of arms as the origin of the Arnhem coat of arms. That coat of arms consisted of a silver shield with a red one-headed eagle on top. The family has held several high positions at the court of various emperors and also on the council of the city of Arnhem. The coat of arms became official on July 20, 1816.




The city has several theaters, of which the Stadstheater Arnhem is the most important. This theater serves as a theater and concert hall. Musis Sacrum on Velperplein is the permanent concert hall of Phion, the orchestra of Gelderland and Overijssel. Theater aan de Rijn, KAB Posttheater, Huis van Puck, Theater Het hof, Theater aan de Rijn, Theater Huis Oostpool, Theater de Plaats and Theater de Leeuw are smaller stages. Toneelgroep Oostpool is one of the four larger theater companies in the Netherlands. Like Phion, Philharmonie Gelre and the professional dance company Introdans, Oostpool is located in Arnhem. Arnhem also has two theater festivals: Height 80 and Sonsbeek Theater Avenue.

Luxor Live is a center for pop music in Arnhem, with Willemeen and the Jacobiberg as smaller stages for amateurs and starting bands. There are also many concerts in the GelreDome with a capacity for 40,000 visitors. Film houses in the city are Focus film theater and the cinemas Vue Eurocinema and Pathé Arnhem.



Centrally located in the city are the Korenmarkt and the Varkensstraat with mainly grand cafes, discotheques, clubs and large terraces. The Korenbeurs has been converted into a food hall that will open daily from 2019. The Rijnkade is located on the south side of the center, with terraces during the summer months. Also on Jansplein, Willemsplein, Audrey Hepburnplein and Jonas Daniël Meijerplaats are several restaurants and cafes. Grand cafes, terraces, restaurants and a cinema can be found at Central Station on Stationsplein, just like on Velperplein.

Prostitution in Arnhem consisted of window prostitution in and around the Spijkerkwartier, but in 2006 the municipality had all these windows closed. There is also an official streetwalk area on Oude Veerweg.


Arnhem Girls

A local delicacy, associated with the name Arnhem, but also known outside the city, are the Arnhem Girls. Arnhem Girls are oval hard-baked puff pastry cookies that are richly sprinkled with sugar. The cookies were first baked in 1829 by the Arnhem baker Hagdorn. When Roald Dahl was in Arnhem, he liked this delicacy so much that he agreed with the baker to get the secret recipe from the Arnhem Girls.



As a result of Operation Market Garden and the Battle of Arnhem, the city attracts many interested parties in the Second World War. Because the interest, especially from the Western world, in the battle is great, several films, documentaries, computer games, museums and exhibitions have appeared about The Battle and Operation Market Garden in the Arnhem region. The most famous museum about The Battle is the Airborne Museum. The museum is located in the former headquarters of the British forces during the battle. In addition to the exhibited collection, the museum also contains the award-winning [source?] Airborne Experience, where visitors themselves can follow in the footsteps of a soldier. From the Airborne at the Bridge information center, on the Arnhem Rijnkade, visitors look out over the John Frost Bridge, which has been so fought for.

The Liberation Route is a route that the Allies followed during the liberation of Europe. The route runs from Normandy via Arnhem over the South Veluwe to Berlin. In 2008 a start was made in the Netherlands to make part of the Liberation Route visible on the basis of so-called listening places. Special routes have been set out for walkers, cyclists and cars per region and a mobile app is available.



Various parts of Arnhem are a protected cityscape: Geitenkamp, ​​Mussenberg, Patrimoniumbuurt-Vogelwijk, Sonsbeekkwartier-Noord, Sonsbeekpark and others, Spijkerkwartier / Boulevardkwartier and Van Verschuerwijk. Arnhem also has hundreds of national monuments, municipal monuments, and a number of war monuments.

The Grote or Eusebiuskerk has been the center of Arnhem since the 15th-16th century. The Eusebius is known as an example of late Gothic in the Netherlands. The abundance of sculpture, both inside and outside, is especially unique. The main client of the Eusebius Church was Karel van Egmond, Duke of Gelre and Count of Zutphen (1467-1538). His mausoleum is located in the church hall, as well as his armor, which is also the oldest armor in the Netherlands. [Source?] The church hall contains more historical objects such as the Salvator clock from 1539, a 16th-century freco, the pulpit and the Strumphler organ. From the church hall you can visit the foundations of the predecessor of the Eusebius (the St. Maartenskerk from 1000-1100) and the tombs with, among other things, the skeletons of three cousins ​​of William of Orange. The tower of the Eusebius has a panoramic lift.



The largest museum in Arnhem is the Netherlands Open Air Museum. The museum provides a picture of life in the Netherlands during the last centuries. In 1996 a tram line was built on the museum grounds. Thanks to this ring line, visitors with reduced mobility can also visit the parts of the museum further from the main entrance. A replica of a quarter of the Arnhem tram depot, which was destroyed in 1944, was built. An Arnhem tram from 1929 was also reconstructed. This came into use in 1998. The museum has been offering an exhibition on the Canon of the Netherlands since 2017.



Various events are held throughout the city in Arnhem every year. A number of them will take place in the center, on the Grote Markt, Park Sonsbeek, Stadsblokken-Meinerswijk and in the GelreDome.

Arnhem, together with Amsterdam and Utrecht, is one of the largest and most popular cities in the Netherlands for King's Night and King's Day festivities. [Source?] On average, half a million revelers come to the capital. To reduce the crowds in the city, events are organized at various locations in the center. According to tradition, the King's Day festivities are concluded with a grand firework lit from the Rhine.

Every year, the international commemoration, during the remembrance week, at the monument on the Airborneplein attracts thousands of visitors to the center of Arnhem. The official commemoration commemorates all Allies who fell in their attempts to capture and preserve the bridge over the Rhine (the John Frost Bridge) in the period 17-26 September 1944. After the commemoration on Airborneplein, The Bridge finds to Liberation takes place at the John Frost Bridge. Thousands of people are taken into the story of the Battle of Arnhem with images and music by Het Gelders Orkest and well-known Dutch artists. During the remembrance week, there are commemorations and events in the region, which focus on the Battle of Arnhem.

Park Open is organized every summer from the end of May to the end of August on Sunday afternoons in Park Sonsbeek, a series of free cultural events with theater, music and dance. In August, the series will conclude with a four-day festival at Sonsbeek Theater Avenue. In the summer months, the park also hosts the Sonsbeek sculpture exhibitions every few years.


Nature and recreation

There are numerous recreational parks in Arnhem and the surrounding area.

Burgers' Zoo
Park Sonsbeek, Stadsblokken-Meinerswijk and National Park De Hoge Veluwe. The Veluwezoom National Park is also a hilly area and consists largely of varied forest, heathland and a few sand drifts. The famous Posbank viewpoint is centrally located in this national park. The village of Schaarsbergen marks the transition between the urban area of ​​Arnhem and the nature reserves of the Veluwe, Schuytgraaf is located in the Over-Betuwe region. It is a rural region with many livestock and fruit cultivation and tree nurseries. The area borders against the flood plains of the Nederrijn. On the other side of the Nederrijn one has a view of the Veluwe moraine, which was formed in the penultimate ice age. The area is very wooded. The Valkeniersbossen, Westerbouwing and Duno Estate are located on the lateral moraine.

Arnhem is also a river landscape due to its location on the Nederrijn and IJssel. The best-known recreational areas are the Rijkerswoerdse Plassen and the Lathumse plas.

Koninklijke Burgers' Zoo is a zoo in Arnhem North. With nearly 1.5 million visitors in 2013, the Arnhem Zoo is the most visited attraction in Gelderland. Nationally, Burgers' Zoo is the fifth most visited attraction in the Netherlands.




Arnhem is located in the province of Gelderland, in the east of the Netherlands. The city lies on the river Nederrijn, the IJssel and the Sint-Jansbeek. The city lies on both banks of the Rhine. The southern part of the city in particular developed on a large scale after the Second World War.

Various streams flow in Arnhem. Although the city has grown considerably over the centuries, these streams have been preserved. Besides the Sint-Jansbeek, there is the Klarenbeek and the Molenbeek or Boekhorstbeek, the Klingelbeek or Slijpbeek and the Lichtenbeek. In addition to these natural waters, Arnhem also has a network of ditches, mainly located in the Presikhaaf district in Arnhem North and Arnhem South. Arnhem also has a number of (recreational) lakes; a pool in the Arnhem part of the Rosandepolder, the Immerlooplas in the Malburgen district, a pool to the east of Schuytgraaf and several pools in the Meinerswijk floodplain park. The Rijkerswoerdse Plassen are located in the municipality of Overbetuwe, but border on the De Laar district in Arnhem.

Arnhem is joint seventh in 2014 of the greenest cities in the Netherlands. The presence of a number of large parks is partly due to the city's location on the southern edge of the Veluwe. Until the end of the 19th century, the parks were largely owned by wealthy families (Het Gelders Arcadië) as estates. These often sold the estates to the municipality when they became unprofitable. The Zijpendaal estate adjacent to the Sonsbeek park only came up for sale in 1924 and, with the help of ENKA founder Dr. J.C. Hartogs. Arnhem now has 15 parks. In addition to Sonsbeek and Zijpendaal, these include Park Klarenbeek, Park Presikhaaf and Park Angerenstein.



Arnhem, as in much of the Netherlands, is located in an area with a moderate maritime climate, with weather patterns strongly influenced by the proximity of the North Sea to the west and the associated northwest winds and storms. Winter temperatures are mild; above zero on average, although frost is not uncommon during gusts of easterly or northeasterly winds from inland Europe, such as from Scandinavia, Russia and even Siberia. Summers are warm, but rarely hot.

Days with high rainfall are regularly observed, but the annual rainfall does not exceed 800 mm. Most precipitation falls as persistent drizzle or light rain. The presence of many water basins means that cloudy and humid days are common, especially in the cooler months from October to March.



The city of Arnhem is administratively divided into 3 districts: (Arnhem-) Center, Arnhem-North and Arnhem-South.

Arnhem Centrum is the center of Arnhem, also known as the old city center, and covers the area that was the city of Arnhem from the 10th century until the 19th century. The central area is bounded on the north and east side by the John Frost Bridge and the canals, on the west side by the Nelson Mandela Bridge and on the south side by the River Rhine. Arnhem's city center is divided into 8 quarters, each with its own character and icon. The quarters are: Rijnkwartier, Rozetkwartier, Musiskwartier, Korenkwartier, Stationskwartier, Eusebiuskwartier, 7 Straatjes (quarter) and Janskwartier.

Arnhem-Noord is the part of Arnhem north of the river Rhine, with the exception of the Arnhem-Centrum part. The city of Arnhem originated around the St. Jansbeek and expanded in the 10th century to the south, to the current center. North of the city are the tourist attractions Koninklijke Burgers' Zoo and the Dutch Open Air Museum. Rijnstate hospital, Papendal Sports Center, ArtEZ University of the Arts and the University of Applied Sciences of Arnhem and Nijmegen are also located in North Arnhem.

Arnhem-Zuid is the part of Arnhem south of the current course of the river Rhine. Arnhem-Zuid has approximately 80,000 inhabitants. In Arnhem-Zuid is the multifunctional stadium Gelredome, home of Vitesse and major events, the indoor Kronenburg shopping center, the residential boulevard and the historic floodplain Meinerswijk. Arnhem-Zuid has a train station: Arnhem Zuid station, located between the Elderveld, De Laar West and Schuytgraaf districts.