Goes, Netherlands


Goes (Zeeuws: Hoes) is a city on the South Beveland peninsula, centrally located in the Dutch province of Zeeland. The city of Goes has 28,260 inhabitants (2020) and the municipality has 38,423 inhabitants (1 August 2020, source: Statistics Netherlands). Goes is also the capital of the eponymous municipality of Goes.



Goes originated in the tenth century on the edge of a creek called the Korte Gos. The village built on a creek ridge grew rapidly and as early as the 12th century there was a market square and a church dedicated to Mary Magdalene. Due to the rapid growth, Goes received city rights from the count of Zeeland, Willem VI in 1405 and in 1417 official permission to fortify itself with city walls and a city canal. The prosperity of the city was based on the cloth industry and the extraction of salt, which is extracted from peat. In the sixteenth century, Goes was less successful. The connection with the sea became silent and in 1554 a large city fire destroyed the northwestern part of the city. The cause was a salt shack that caught fire in combination with a strong northeasterly wind.

At the beginning of 1572, the Spaniards took the city; the then ruling governor of Walcheren (in the name of William the Silent), Jerome Tseraerts, made an attempt to recapture the city with English mercenaries. This was unsuccessful due to food and ammunition shortages and the siege was dissolved. In 1577, the Spanish troops ruling the city at the time left Goes, and the city joined the Prince of Orange. Between 1585 and 1625 the defensive belt around Goes was further built, which is still partly present today. In the following centuries Goes played no important role except that of the agricultural center of South Beveland. In 1868 Goes got a train connection. However, this did not lead to industrialization as in many cities. The economy continued to focus on services and distribution. The agricultural sector also continued to play an important role, to this day.

Goes did not suffer much from the world wars. During the First World War, 7 bombs hit Goes and Kloetinge; this was a mistake by the crew of a British plane. 3 bombs fell in Kloetinge, the damage was not too bad. In Goes a house on the Magdalenastraat was destroyed, 1 person was killed. A number of cargo ships in the port were also hit and suffered major damage. During the Second World War, Goes did not notice much of the war that nevertheless took place right next to the city (the Sloedam and the battle of the Scheldt). Little was destroyed in Goes, but the city was under the command of the Germans until the liberation on October 29, 1944.

During the flood of 1953 Goes remained dry. The dykes to the north of the city held up, although it was close, such as the dyke at Kattendijke, which remained intact due to reinforcement by sandbags. If this had not been the case, the consequences for Goes and the rest of South Beveland would have been incalculable. Wolphaartsdijk and Oud-Sabbinge, then still their own municipality, were hit, now part of the municipality of Goes. In those villages a total of 14 people died. During the disaster, the city of Goes served as a shelter for the many people who were evacuated from flooded villages such as Wolphaartsdijk, Kortgene and Kruiningen. In addition, corpses were laid out in the Grote Kerk in Goes.

Goes did not experience the next growing spells until the 60s and 70s of the twentieth century. Industry increased and the role of service center was strengthened. The northwestern part of the city center, the Smallegangesbuurt, was largely demolished. From 1982 the neighborhood was rebuilt. The city grew strongly due to the construction of new neighborhoods such as Noordhoek, Goese Meer, Oostmolenpark, Overzuid and Ouverture. Goes has been going well ever since; After Middelburg, Terneuzen and Vlissingen, it is now, according to CBS data, a considerable economic center in Zeeland, and this can be seen in the modern office park 'Stationspark'. According to Statistics Netherlands, Goes is the third largest city in Zeeland after Middelburg and Terneuzen in terms of business accommodation, commercial services and culture / recreation. In terms of retail, it is even the second largest city, after Middelburg. In the field of education (number of students in secondary, higher and university education), Goes should give credit to Middelburg, Terneuzen and Vlissingen. After Terneuzen and Vlissingen, Goes is the largest industrial city in Zeeland.

On October 27, 1976, a serious train accident occurred near Goes, in which 7 people were killed and 8 injured.



Many new neighborhoods are in preparation, such as Goese Schans (postponed due to problems with zoning), Mannee and Aria, Riethoek together good for about 3,250 new homes.



The most likely origin of the name Goes is a text from 976 that mentions Curtagosum. The water name Gosa with the designation curt is read as Korte Gos. Goes probably obtained city rights in 1405 and therefore celebrated its 600th anniversary as a city in 2005.

The coat of arms of Goes shows, among other things, a white goose, which comes from South Beveland. There are several theories as to why the goose appears in the city's coat of arms. According to the website of the municipality of Goes, the geese are probably a reference to the wild geese that hibernate in South Beveland. It is often suggested that Goes is a Hanseatic city, mainly inspired by the goose in the coat of arms and the Hanseatic bank that existed in the early 20th century. However, Goes never belonged to the Hanzesteden group. During carnival the name is temporarily changed to 'Hanzehat', Zeeuws for 'Ganzegat'.


Culture and recreation

Buildings and architecture

Well-known or notable buildings in Goes:

The town hall on the market, dating from the 15th century, built in Gothic style.
Hotel 'de Korenbeurs', housed in the former mayor's house, built in 1753
The Grote or Maria Magdalena Church in late Gothic style, dating from 1423; interesting are the choir, the organ and a funerary monument
A tidal water mill 't Soepuus on the Kleine Kade, which was in operation until about 1800, with a dome tower from 1624
Several old gates, including in the Zusterstraat, dating from 1655
The round stone corn mill De Koornbloem with a position from 1801
The television tower Goes from 1957, 135 m high (before 2007 146 m high)
The water tower from 1912
The city harbor of Goes
Old streets such as Sint Jacobstraat, Pyntorenstraat, Korte Kerkstraat, Koningstraat, Opril Grote Markt and Zusterstraat
Old squares such as: Vlasmarkt, Singelstraat, Beestenmarkt and of course the largest square in Goes: the Grote Markt
The Sion Church of the Reformed Congregation is the largest church in the city with 2,250 seats.
Historical Museum De Bevelanden in an old monastery close to the Manhuistuin
The old walls and vestes around the city center of Goes
The Music School in the old villa
Steam train Goes - Borsele
Recreation Park De Hollandsche Hoeve
Theater De Mythe
A hiking network, the Kiekendiefpad, runs through the municipality of Goes along relatively unknown nature in the area of ​​the Eastern and Western Schenge
The Sint Maartensbrug over the city harbor
The Municipal Office



Historical Museum De Bevelanden
Steam train Goes - Borsele (SGB)


Film and theater

Since 2009, Goes has a brand new cinema: Da Vinci theater. Goes did not have a cinema for a few years because the former cinema on Singelstraat was closed.

There are also two theaters in the city. De Mythe, adjacent to the city center, is the city's largest theater. 't Beest, theater and film house, is located just a few meters from De Mythe.



In Goes there are annual large-scale events:
Dance tour Goes
Racoon & friends concert (last held in 2016)
Veste Verlicht (biennial)
Goes Children's City
Christmas market Goes
Goes Modestad
Goes Couture (first held in 2016)
Festival de Veste (first held in 2016)
Lichtjestour Goes-Oost (every two years)