Kerkrade, Netherlands


Kerkrade (Kerkraads: Kirchroa, German: Kirchrath) is a Dutch municipality in the Eastern Mining Region in South Limburg. Adjacent municipalities include Heerlen and Landgraaf and the German municipality of Herzogenrath. Kerkrade is part of the administrative partnership plus region Parkstad Limburg. Kerkrade consists of the town of Kerkrade with the same name, and the cores Eygelshoven, Spekholzerheide, Chèvremont and Bleijerheide.



The suffix rade or red means "clearing up" or "reclaiming" and refers to the verb grubbing: clearing and tilling forest areas. The following can be added to this. The oldest form of this was roda. The football club Roda JC and the Rodahal are named after it. A border village in the municipality is called Haanrade (van Hanrothe or Hagenrode), of which the prefix Haan is traced to a person (Hago), but also to the word haag (fence). The name Kaalheide also refers to the cleared Kerkrade landscape.



Kerkrade was a part of Rode ('s-Hertogenrode or' s-Hertogenrade) in the Brabant land of Overmaas. With the dissolution of the department of the Lower Meuse as a result of the Congress of Vienna on April 5, 1815, 's-Hertogenrade itself was assigned to Prussia, but Kerkrade was split off from it and remained Dutch territory. The latter did not happen until more than a year later on June 26, 1816, with the Aachen Treaty. A few years later, Belgium declares its independence and makes Kerkrade Belgian territory. Kerkrade does not become Dutch territory again until April 19, 1839 as a result of the Treaty of London.

Together with Herzogenrath, Kerkrade again forms a symbolic (but now Dutch-German) unity as Europastad Eurode.



The Rodahal is located in the center, on the Europaplein. The hall was designed by Laurens Bisscheroux (1934-1997) and opened in 1966. The hall was built as an event hall and was extensively renovated in 1993 for the World Music Competition (WMC), an internationally renowned music festival every four years. with an emphasis on wind music. The Rodahal also became famous when the Schlager Festival, presented by Dennie Christian, was broadcast on TV. Rock legends such as Golden Earring, Motörhead, Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper could also be found here, in 2007 The Southern Blues Night took place. The hall also offers the opportunity for exhibitions, fairs and markets. The hall has a special shape that relates to the hilly surroundings, like a bow tie, popularly called "ut Sjtriksje". Also special is the hanging roof construction. The Rodahal has a capacity of 2500 people. It was rebuilt after 2005 for € 12 million, so that it again met the requirements set by the next W.M.C. of 2009.

D'r Joep
Since 1957 D'r Joep, the national monument of the miners, has stood on the Markt in the center of Kerkrade. There is also a Sacred Heart statue on the Markt. In 2015 there was a Mining Year as part of the Mine. 50 Joups were painted and edited by Kerkrade residents and schools from Kerkrade, including De Brede Basisschool Steltloper and subsequently exhibited on the market.

Orlando Festival
The Orlando Festival is an annual event from which Kerkrade derives the name "Sound City". This top chamber music event is highly regarded nationally and internationally.

Music kiosk
In June 2001 a new music kiosk was opened on the Markt in Kerkrade. The stage was multifunctional and suitable for demonstrations and performances, but was demolished in 2014.

Kerkrade town hall
The town hall was built in the Neo-Renaissance style in the years 1912-1913 to a design by municipal architect C.J. Duykers. The town hall was officially inaugurated on October 22, 1913 and is a copy of the Nieuwer-Amstel town hall from 1890 in terms of architecture.

Theater Kerkrade
Theater Kerkrade (formerly Wijngrachttheater), together with Theater Heerlen (formerly Stadsschouwburg Heerlen), forms the Parkstad Limburg Theaters. Theater Kerkrade has 633 seats.

World Music Competition
The World Music Competition is an international music festival held every four years in Kerkrade, the last time in July 2017.



Carnival, or 'Vasteloavend', is celebrated in Kerkrade. Many activities are organized by the three largest carnival associations in Kerkrade. Vasteloavendsverain Kirchroa-West, Carnival association Burgerlust and the large city carnival association Kirchröatsjer Vasteloavends Verain Alaaf Kirchroa 1936 (KVV). The latter releases six albums between 1966 and 2013 under the name “Kirchröatsjer Sjpetsiejalietète”. The largest event is "D'r Jroeëse Tsog", the annual carnival parade that takes place on Carnival Monday, one of the longest and largest parades in Limburg with a length of 5 kilometers and more than 4,500 participants every year. In 2017, nearly 5000 participants (158 numbers) took part in the parade. The parade is known for the very colorful and often large groups and the loners. Since 2016, the parade has been broadcast live for 5 hours by the provincial TV channel L1. The renewed "Klonetrekke" on Carnival Tuesday is also a typical Kerkrade carnival event that attracts thousands of "klone" to the Kerkrade market. In the Rodahal big "sietzòngen" are organized. Such as: the kingsite, the herresitzong, the ladiesitzong, the vètdonnesjdigsietzòng and as the apotheosis on Carnival Saturday the jalasietzòng. The Prinseroad of the KVV organizes the renowned Jalabal, which is attended by nearly 1000 revelers every year. The city prince is proclaimed on the first Sunday of the new year and resigns on Carnival Tuesday. Well-known city princes from recent years were Paul Savelsberg, Louis Roukens, Fer Kousen, Jos Bellen, Raoul Deckers, Rik Caumon and Marcel Mahr. Many beautiful carnival songs in Kerkraads have appeared over the years, such as Kirchröatsjer Meëdsjer, Aunt Annie oes Bennekom, Sjweiermam, Ja, die Mokkel, 'T sjunste op de welt. Well-known buutter drinkers are: Frans Haselier and Fer Kirt.

Center Bleijerheide
See Bleijerheide boys' boarding school.

The Rock Temple
The Rock Temple, located at Plein 13, is a concert hall that focuses on the harder music styles.



In Kerkrade, a large part of the population speaks a Ripuarian dialect that is closely related to the dialects mainly spoken in Germany, such as the Cologne or Akens dialect. Most residents of Kerkrade easily switch from Dutch to German in their language use.


Tourism and recreation

Castle Erenstein
Erenstein Castle is a castle built around 1340 and is located in the Anstelvallei nature reserve in Kerkrade. The castle moats are therefore fed by the Anstelbeek. Nowadays a hotel is located in the castle and associated farm. The castle is located right next to GaiaZOO and has its own entrance to the animal park for guests. Every year in August, the prestigious Castle of Love festival takes place, a major dance event.

GaiaPark opened its doors in 2005. This "thematic animal park" tells the story of the earth, of the present and the past. Gaia is the Goddess "Mother Earth" from ancient Greece. The Gaia hypothesis views the Earth as a living whole in which everything is interrelated and influences each other. People thought the name Gaiapark looked too much like a park and that is why the name was changed to GaiaZOO. [Source?] In recent years, GaiaZOO has grown into a well-known zoo that has already won several awards; Every year GaiaZOO invests heavily to maintain the attractiveness of this special zoo.

Discovery Center Continium
Discovery Center Continium is a provincial museum for industry and society. It tells the history of people and machines over the past 150 years. Via a chronological route you can take a look at the life of the past. It charts the industrial and social development of Limburg and the surrounding countries. On June 15, 2009, the Discovery Center Continium officially reopened until that date it was known under the name Industrion. Currently there is also Cube, a museum about design. There is also Columbus, a hemisphere where you are told a story about mining or about the origin of the earth in 3 phases

Parkstad Limburg Stadium
The Parkstad Limburg Stadium was completed in 2000 as a replacement for the Kaalheide stadium. It is the home stadium of football club Roda JC Kerkrade. The stadium has 19,979 seats, 2,500 business seats and 24 sky boxes. The building is also used for events such as the World Music Competition.


Roda JC
Roda JC Kerkrade was created from mergers of originally four football clubs. Kerkrade and Bleijerheide merged to form Roda sport, Juliana merged with Rapid 54 to Rapid JC. Rapid JC became national champion in 1956. In 1962 Roda Sport and Rapid JC merged to form Roda JC, which stands for Roda Juliana Combination. Roda JC played in Stadion Kaalheide and currently plays in Parkstad Limburg Stadium. The club won the KNVB Cup twice.

Rolduc Abbey is the largest preserved monastery complex in the Netherlands. It was founded in 1104 by Ailbertus van Anthoing. This complex is characterized by the different architectural styles such as Romanesque / Gothic and Mosan renaissance. Nowadays it houses the priestly training of the diocese of Roermond as well as a hotel and conference center. There is a rococo-style library, with many old books. The abbey church is built in Romanesque style.


Steam train connection

From April 1995 to November 2014, a steam train ran between the stations Kerkrade-Centrum and Valkenburg. This was managed by the South Limburg Steam Train Company (ZLSM). The Kerkrade-Centrum - Simpelveld section is part of the Miljoenenlijn (the construction of the line in 1925 cost one million guilders per km). The steam train from Schin op Geul also ran on a few Sundays a year to Heerlen between 2004 and 2007. Since the spring of 2015, the ZLSM only runs a rail bus from Simpelveld to Kerkrade. Because this rail bus is not allowed to run on the main network, it stops at a special stop 'Kerkrade ZLSM', 50 meters before the Kerkrade-Centrum station. This stop, already built in the 90s of the last century, was completely renovated in August 2015.

Villa Krichelberg
Kerkrade has a rich Roman past due to its geographic location and fertile soil. During that time, several farmers settled here. These farmers built farms in a style that they had copied from the Romans, for example with a colonnade in front and with roofs that can still be seen in southern countries. An example of such a farm, a Villa rustica, has been excavated on the Krichelstraat (Kaalheide district): the Roman villa Kaalheide.

Worm Valley cycling routes
Kerkrade has a cycle route network that is based on the Node System. The municipalities of Kerkrade, Landgraaf, Übach-Palenberg and Herzogenrath have developed the Wormdalroute / Wurmtalroute. The Baalsbruggermolen is located in the Wormdal.



The municipality is characterized by the various churches, some of which are national monuments. Churches in the congregation are:
Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Bleijerheide
Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Chevremont
Protestant church (former) in Chevremont
Johannes de Doperkerk in Eygelshoven
Kleine Kerkje (former Johannes de Doperkerk) in Eygelshoven
Our Lady of Lourdes (former) in Gracht
Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Haanrade
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Heilust
Saint Catherine's Church in Holz
Pastor of Arskerk (former) in Hopel
Saint Joseph's Church in Kaalheide
Happy Message Church in Kerkrade
Sint-Jozef and Norbertuskerk (former) in Kerkrade
Saint Lambert's Church in Kerkrade center
Maria Goretti (former) in Nulland
Abbey Church Rolduc (Abbey Rolduc)
Saint Martin's Church in Spekholzerheide
Our Lady Immaculate Conception Church in Terwinselen

In addition, there are a few monastery churches and chapels:

Monastery chapel at Franciscan monastery of Bleijerheide
Chapel of the former Ursuline monastery Chevremont
Chapel of the former Elisabethstift in Kerkrade

There are also all kinds of chapels, including the Hambos chapel.