Hengelo, Netherlands


Hengelo (Low Saxon: Hengel) is a town and municipality in the Twente region and the province of Overijssel. The municipality has 81,047 inhabitants.

The city of Hengelo comprises the largest part of the municipality. The church village of Beckum is located in the southern part of the municipality. In addition, the hamlets of Woolde (largely) and Oele fall under the municipality. The municipality of Hengelo works together in the Twente Region. Hengelo is the fourth largest city in Overijssel after Enschede, Zwolle and Deventer.

Hengelo is seen as a (former) industrial city. Because the city in the past offered many jobs to the metal industry, Hengelo has been nicknamed 'metal city'. In addition, large electrotechnical and chemical companies have traditionally been located.



The village Hengelo originated in the cherry game Delden in the neighborhood of Woolde around the Hof (te) Hengelo and the accompanying chapel. Fredrik van Twickelo built the House Hengelo on his Hof Hengelo between approximately 1525-1530. This was demolished in 1821. Only the foundations are still visible. The original gate of Huis Hengelo has been in Twekkelo since 1902.

Although archaeological research has shown that the place where the municipality is now located has been inhabited for a few thousand years, the municipality of Hengelo only came into existence in 1811, although the village already had its own village administration in 1802. At that time the village consisted of no more than a hundred farms and small farm workers' cottages. The municipality only started to grow during the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century. Initially there was also a textile industry in Hengelo, but where in the course of the century it increasingly concentrated in Enschede, in Hengelo economic life the emphasis increasingly shifted to the technical industry. The Stork family played a major role in the latter. In 1868 C.T. Stork, a factory for machine parts in Hengelo, Gebr. Stork & co. After the arrival of this company, other large factories followed, such as Hazemeyer, Heemaf, Koninklijke Nederlandse Zoutindustrie and Dutch Signaal Apparatus. Hengelo grew very quickly as a result of these developments. The former village was even given an urban look.

During the Second World War, Hengelo was regularly bombed, mainly because of the strategic industry that was located there. The center of the city was almost completely destroyed on 6 and 7 October 1944. After the war, Hengelo acquired the appearance of a typical reconstruction municipality. Many of the old buildings still present were not spared in the urge to innovate. For example, the characteristic white town hall disappeared to make way for a modern design with a tower that resembles that of Siena and Florence. One of the most striking structures that survived the ravages of time is the Roman Catholic Saint Lambert Basilica from 1890.

In the 1990s plans were developed to merge the municipalities of Enschede, Hengelo and Borne into one municipality of Twentestad. In 2000, this plan was abandoned, mainly because a referendum held in Hengelo had shown that there was virtually no support from the local population. Since 2001, there has been more intensive cooperation between the municipalities of Enschede, Hengelo, Borne and Almelo, as Network City Twente. The Network City works together with Münster and Osnabrück in the City Triangle MONT (Münster, Osnabrück, Network City Twente).



The municipality of Hengelo is roughly in the middle of Twente and is surrounded by the places Borne in the northwest, Deurningen in the municipality of Dinkelland in the north, Enschede in the southeast, Haaksbergen in the south and Delden in the municipality of Hof van Twente in the west. Part of the Twickel estate lies within the municipal boundaries. In addition to the main town of Hengelo, the municipality has the centers Beckum and Oele, both located in the south of the municipality and the hamlet of Woolde to the west of Hengelo. From a spatial point of view, Hengelo forms an agglomeration with Enschede, Borne and the German Gronau with almost 400,000 inhabitants.