Dinkelland, Netherlands


Dinkelland is a municipality in the northeast of Twente, in the Dutch province of Overijssel. Dinkelland is bordered in the north by the municipality of Uelsen, in the far north-east by the municipality of Neuenhaus, in the east by the municipalities of Nordhorn and Bad Bentheim (all four in the County of Bentheim, Lower Saxony, Germany). In the southeast, Dinkelland borders on the municipalities of Losser and Oldenzaal, in the extreme south on Enschede, in the southwest on Hengelo and Borne and in the west and northwest on Tubbergen.

The municipality is working together with the municipality of Tubbergen in the joint Noaberkracht Dinkelland Tubbergen scheme.


Location and economy

The municipality forms the north-eastern part of the Twente region. It borders on the Lower Saxon communities of Nordhorn, Lage and Neuenhaus in the county of Bentheim. Denekamp is halfway between Oldenzaal and Nordhorn.

The population lives from tourism and agriculture (livestock). Commuters who work in Oldenzaal also live in Denekamp.



Denekamp was named Demnichem in a church register from 1276 and was first mentioned as an independent parish with its own church and pastor. From the original first church developed, after extensions around 1350 and before 1436, the St. Nicholas Church built from Bentheim sandstone in the early Gothic style domed construction.

Until 1818, Denekamp belonged together with the parishes of Ootmarsum and Tubbergen to the school district of Ootmarsum, then became a municipality together with the villages of Agelo, Breklenkamp, Nutter, Oud Ootmarsum and Lattrop. In 1949, as part of the post-war border corrections, smaller German territories were added to the municipal area of Denekamp. The corrections were 0.03 km² along the Nordhorn-Almelo Canal[3] for water management from Rammelbecke and for customs control on Grensweg. In the 1990s, the municipality lost part of the Klein Angelo farmstead to the municipality of Ootmarsum. On January 1, 2001, the municipalities of Denekamp, Ootmarsum and Weerselo merged to form a new municipality, which bore the name Municipality of Denekamp until May 31, 2002 and on June 1, 2002 was given the name Municipality of Dinkelland.

Ootmarsum, called Othmarsheim in the Middle Ages, is said to have been founded in 126 AD by a legendary king, Othmar or Ottmar. What is certain is that the town already existed in Ottonian times and formed a large parish. Around 1300 Ootmarsum received city rights from the Bishop of Utrecht, it was soon walled off and turned into a small fortress. It lay at the crossroads of two trade routes, one of which ran from Flanders to Bremen. After Moritz von Nassau conquered the city for the Protestant Netherlands in 1602 during the Eighty Years' War, the fortifications were torn down. It fell into an insignificant place as the development of transport and industry took place elsewhere. Around 1900 the place was recognized as a picturesque town and some tourism came up. The center was restored in the 1980s.

Weerselo grew up around an old monastery and was repeatedly ravaged by robber barons in the 14th century. They lived in Saasveld at Saterslo Castle, which was demolished in 1818.



Preparations for the municipal reorganization of Denekamp, Ootmarsum and Weerselo into the municipality of Dinkelland went smoothly. When the merger was completed on January 1, 2001, major internal political differences arose. The cause for this must be sought in the age-old rivalry between Denekamp and Ootmarsum, which is comparable to the rivalry between Hengelo and Enschede or between Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

The major point of contention became the final name for the new municipality in 2001. This was created under the working name Denekamp, much to the dismay of the council members of Ootmarsum. They wanted the new municipality to be called Ootmarsum, because of the name recognition that the city enjoys in the Netherlands. The fault line between Denekamp and Ootmarsum ran right through the party of the CDA, which had obtained an absolute majority with 13 of the 21 seats and had formed the municipal council without other parties. In the end, the name Dinkelland - after the river Dinkel - was proposed as a compromise, but the Ootmarsummers stuck to their point of view. A majority of the council members, mainly from the former municipalities of Denekamp and Weerselo, eventually agreed to the new name.

Although the matter was settled, the atmosphere within the CDA remained tense. In the end, the bomb exploded at the end of 2003 about the new building and the location of the town hall. Five of the thirteen CDA council members, including the four council members from Denekamp, took a different view and eventually decided to leave the party. At the beginning of 2004 they formed a new party under the name Nieuw Dinkelland. This has sought affiliation with the three existing local parties, which jointly participated in the municipal elections in 2006 under the name Lokaal Dinkelland. Within the CDA municipal council, tempers remained calm, although Denekamp alderman Johannink announced in 2006 that he would leave the CDA and join Lokaal Dinkelland.

In 2007 there was a crisis in the daily management of the municipality. On November 6, 2007, the three aldermen lost confidence in the mayor. This breach of trust prompted the city council to submit a recommendation for the dismissal of Mayor Willeme to Queen's Commissioner G.J. Jansen. Partly on the basis of the investigation initiated by the Queen's Commissioner, the Minister of the Interior has decided to resign Mayor Willeme as of 1 March 2008. The Overijssel ex-deputy Jan Kristen was appointed as temporary successor. On 23 June 2009 it was announced that VVD member Roel Cazemier will take over the chain of office from acting mayor Jan Kristen.

After the 2010 elections, Lokaal Dinkelland became the largest party with 12 seats. Although the party had an absolute majority in the council, it opted for a coalition together with the VVD. From October 2011, the future of the local swimming pool "Dorper Esch" in Denekamp caused a split in the fraction of Lokaal Dinkelland. On April 20, 2012, members Bos and Maathuis decided to split from Lokaal Dinkelland and continue as an independent group. On February 27, 2013, Bos and Maathuis announced that they had become members of D66. It was later announced that they will also participate as such in the municipal elections of March 19, 2014.