Tiel, Netherlands


Tiel is a city (Hanseatic city) and municipality in the Dutch province of Gelderland. The municipality had approximately 41,962 inhabitants on 1 August 2020 (source: CBS) and has an area of 34.81 km² (of which 2.17 km² is water).

Tiel is located on the A15 and can be reached via the N834 and N835. The city is wedged between the rivers Waal (in the south), the Linge (in the north) and the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal (in the east). Tiel acts as the terminus of the Utrecht - Tiel and Arnhem - Tiel railway lines. Tiel has had a station on these lines since 1882; since 2007, the Passewaaij district also has a station on the Utrecht - Tiel line. Furthermore, Tiel has an overnight port for inland shipping.

The city's mascot is Flipje, the fruit boss (the cartoon character of the former local jam factory De Betuwe). There is a statue of Flipje in the city center.



Prehistory and Antiquity

In 2011, a site from the New Stone Age was uncovered near the Kellen business park along the Linge. Archaeologists found traces of habitation, pottery, flint and animal bone.

In 2017, one of the richest Roman sites in the Betuwe was found during an expansion of the Medel business park. Among the 2,500 bronze objects found were a rare balsamarium (ointment jar) decorated with love deities in relief, and luxury items such as cloak pins, rings, daggers, an oil lamp and a wine strainer. The objects lay in a small area of ​​twenty to fifty meters wide in an old river bed that lay along the slightly higher situated "Hoge Hof". Researchers suspect that a villa or a sanctuary has stood there. Several New Stone Age burial sites (circa 3650 BC) were also found, including a tomb of at least eight people.


Middle Ages

Tiel is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands: the place dates from the period 850-1100, while most Dutch cities originated in the late Middle Ages (1150-1300).

The decline around 850 of the international trading place Dorestad, approximately ten kilometers away, caused part of the trade to shift to Tiel. In 896 Tiel received toll charges from the Frankish king Zwentibold. Archaeological research in the inner city confirmed what was already known from written sources: in the tenth and eleventh centuries the city was a trading post of international importance, which had close ties with the much richer and more powerful trading city of Cologne. Tiel also had close trade relations with England at that time.

According to the Benedictine chronicler Alpertus van Metz, Tiel was plundered by Vikings. He wrote that pirates entered the trading settlement without encountering any resistance in 1006, quickly dragged away the supplies of life, after which the settlement was burned to the ground. Archaeological evidence for the looting is lacking.

They were merchants from Tiel who, around 1015, complained to the German emperor about the illegal toll set up by Count Dirk III of Holland near Vlaardingen. This would lead to the (for the emperor) badly ended punitive expedition against the Dutch count.

It is not known whether Tiel obtained the right to coin, but coins were minted. From the twelfth century onwards, the international role gradually declined. In the thirteenth century, Tiel received city rights from the bishop of Utrecht and joined the Hanseatic League, a Northern European alliance of trading cities, which was particularly important for Baltic Sea trade. Until the late Middle Ages, Tiel was an important trading city.

Major city fires took place in Tiel in 1136, 1334 and 1420.

The city was often the focus of power struggles between the counts of Gelre and the dukes of Brabant. In 1339 the city became definitely Gelderland, when Duke John III of Brabant transferred Tiel to the Duchy of Gelre. In the late Middle Ages and the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the walled city expanded further with a suburb and new fortifications.

In the old city center, several monuments remind us of that rich past, such as the Sint-Maartenskerk, the Waterpoort with Groote Society, the Courthouse, the former Bellevue society, the Ambtmanshuis dating from 1525 that, together with the Ambtmans garden designed by Jan David Zocher, is part of the town hall complex, and the Gothic house on Weerstraat, which also dates from the sixteenth century.

Tiel was one of the first municipalities in the Netherlands to have a cemetery built outside the city limits. The Ter Nav current cemetery dates from 1786.


Nineteenth century

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Tiel developed into a small industrial town. The metal industry, galvanizing companies and fruit processing in particular developed. The city walls were demolished and the first urban expansion started. The Inundation Canal was constructed between the Waal at Tiel and the Linge at Wadenoijen, as part of the New Dutch Waterline.



In the Second World War, Tiel was badly hit during fighting between the German occupiers who were stationed in the city and the Allies who were located on the other side of the Waal. The St. Martin's Church and the Waterpoort, among others, were seriously damaged by the shelling. In the years after the war, the city center was restored, but traces of the bombing can still be found.


The victims of the Second World War are commemorated with various monuments: the execution site on the cut, the monument to the fallen warrior, the Jewish monument, the monument in the Jewish cemetery, a plaque for N.A. Oostinga, the Indisch monument, the Moluccan monument and 21 Stolpersteine. The statue De Roeier is located in the hamlet of Zennewijnen. See also the list of war memorials in Tiel and the list of Stolpersteine ​​in Tiel.


After 1945

In 1949, the 50,000th newly built house in the Netherlands was completed after the war in Tiel and opened by the Minister of Housing. The Waterpoort was rebuilt in 1979. In 2006, dredging and cleaning of the city canals, which still contained ammunition from the war, began. The dredging was carried out with the help of the so-called Bombox, a mobile safety construction that was specially built for this project. In total, five hundred large and small explosives were brought to the surface.

In the twentieth century the city expanded significantly. The A15, built in the 1960s, provided good access. The western extension Westluiden arose, consisting largely of social housing for the migrant workers from the Mediterranean region who came to work in the industry. The municipality was later expanded with the villages of Drumpt, Kapel-Avezaath and Wadenoijen, which were transferred by the former municipality of Wadenoijen. In addition, the hamlet of Latenstein in 1956 and the hamlet of Medel were transferred to Tiel in 2002 by the municipality of Echteld. In the nineties of the last century, on the site of the hamlet Passewaaij, between Wadenoijen and Tiel, the construction of the large-scale Vinex new housing estate Passewaaij was started.

On January 31, 1995 and in the days that followed, 250,000 people, varying from five days to two weeks, were forced to evacuate from large parts of the river area due to the dangerously high water levels of the Rhine, Maas and Waal. Tiel was one of the cities that was evacuated. The Rivierenland evacuation was one of the largest evacuations in recent Dutch history.