Helmond

 

Helmond (dialect (Helmonds): Hèllemeund) is a city and municipality in the province of North Brabant in the Netherlands. The municipality and city has 92,420 inhabitants (August 1, 2020, source: Statistics Netherlands) and has an area of 54.57 km² (of which 0.10 km² is water). The municipality of Helmond is part of the BrabantStad urban network and was part of the former framework law area Samenwerkingsverband Regio Eindhoven (SRE).

The city of Helmond is characterized by a history of the metal and textile industry. The street names that end in -wal indicate the former wall of the fortified town of Helmond, of which the fourteenth-century castle was part.

The municipality of Helmond has four centers: The city of Helmond, subdivided into a number of neighborhoods and the former villages of Stiphout, Mierlo-Hout and Brouwhuis. The last three have managed to preserve the village character. See also the list of districts in Helmond.

 

Etymology

A helmet is depicted in the Helmond coat of arms. However, the name Helmond has nothing to do with a helmet. The name has been interpreted as a combination of hell, which would mean 'low-lying', and mouth, which would refer to a higher, secure place.

The helmet already appeared on a seal from 1241, when the historical significance was no longer known. It is said to symbolize the fortified medieval city. Originally it was a medieval half helmet. It was later adapted to the fashion and is now a tournament helmet. The oak twigs symbolize Freedom. The bird in the twigs is a medieval decoration and has no meaning.

 

History

Helmond originated from a settlement that must have existed before the year 1000, and was first mentioned in a bull of Pope Alexander III in 1179. The city was founded in 1225 by Duke Henry I of Brabant. Helmond has not kept any proof of the granting of city rights, but it is generally assumed that these were granted in the same period as that of neighboring Eindhoven, so in or around 1232.

For centuries Helmond was a center of textile industry that developed further into a textile industry in the course of the nineteenth century. This was stimulated by the arrival of the Zuid-Willemsvaart in 1825, which connected Helmond with 's-Hertogenbosch and further with the north and western Netherlands and further south via Maastricht with the Liège basin and the Belgian areas along the Maas. In addition, cotton plantations in Suriname played an important role. Remains of the textile industry are a few villas of textile manufacturer families on the canal and on the Aarle-Rixtelseweg, and two companies that are still active, the firm Raymakers and Vlisco.