Wageningen, Netherlands


Wageningen is a city and municipality in the Dutch province of Gelderland, in the Gelderse Vallei region. The city has 39,134 inhabitants (August 1, 2020, source: CBS), many thousands of whom are students. Wageningen University and related institutions have about 7,400 employees, of whom less than 40% live in Wageningen. The municipality has three residential areas: Wageningen, Wageningen-Hoog and Nude. Wageningen-Hoog and Nude do not have their own zip code and place name in the postcode book, which is why the postal addresses are 'in' Wageningen. Wageningen works together with the municipalities of Rhenen, Veenendaal, Ede, Barneveld, Nijkerk, Scherpenzeel and Renswoude in the regional partnership Region FoodValley.



Festivals and activities

Various events are organized in Wageningen every year. In January it is always the Blues Festival, the pub crawl par excellence. In April and November, up to and including 2019, the Bergrace by Night was held between Wageningen and Rhenen, a night run that ends on the Grebbeberg in Rhenen. The entire race took place in darkness, marked by the thousands of swaying lights that runners carry. The last challenging 'climb' through the dark forest was traditionally marked by the 1000 burning candles that line the route. The evening ended with a closing party in the Jungle restaurant of Ouwehands Dierenpark in Rhenen.

In May there is the Liberation Festival, the May 5 celebration and the Capitulation Liberation Tour. In June there is street theater in the form of the Leeffestival and the Hel van Wageningen/Jan Janssen Classic, the major touring bicycle event. In August the General Introduction Days (AID) for the new Wageningen students (from both WUR and Aeres Hogeschool). In September there is, among other things, the Open Port Day, Open Monument Day and the Rhine Town Jazz Festival. Every year on the last Sunday in August, Rugby Club Wageningen organizes the FIALAR rugby tournament. This 15 a-side rugby tournament is specially designed for second and third division rugby teams and the national women's league. And of course there is the arrival of Sinterklaas in the Wageningen harbor in November for the children.


Student life

The Wageningen students often live in student houses in the city center or in student flats throughout the city, such as the characteristic star flats Asserpark, Hoevestein, Bornsesteeg and Dijkgraaf, which form a skyline of Wageningen from the north, as it were. This series of star flats was built between 1969 and 1978 as a follow-up to the star flats Thorbeckestraat and Albardaweg for the civilian population. One of the oldest student flats in the Netherlands, on Nobelweg, was built in 1959 and demolished in 2004. The star flat on the Rijnsteeg was demolished in the summer of 2006 and in 2013 a new student complex called Rijnveste was built on the same spot.

Also famous is the student complex Droevendaal, the place where students lived for 20 years in dilapidated barracks, had cannabis plants in the garden and lit campfires in the evening. The 'Droevendaalfeest' is an annual event where bands from the region can show their skills. The barracks were replaced by new buildings in 2000. Droevendaal is located on the Droevendaalsesteeg, right next to the hamlet of De Peppeld mentioned above.

There are three larger student associations in Wageningen: W.S.V. Ceres, K.S.V. Sint Franciscus Xaverius and SSR-W and a smaller student association D.L.V. Nji-Sri. In addition, the youth association J.V. Unitas and the student rowing club W.S.R. Argo is regarded as a student association. Wageningen also has four Christian student associations: VGSW, C.S.F.R. Dei Gratia, NSW and Ichthus Wageningen. Together, these four associations have about 400 members.

In addition, Wageningen has three regional student associations, namely the Wageningsk Studinte Selskip foar Fryske Stúdzje (WSSFS, Frisian), the Brabants Studenten Gilde (BSG, Brabants) and the Noaberschop (Twents and Achterhoeks).



Roman time

Roof tiles with the stamp of a Roman legion have been found at the bottom of the Wageningse Berg. However, there are no indications that there was a Roman foothold on this north side of the Rhine. The Roman Vada probably meant a settlement near the North Brabant village of Kessel aan de Maas, and not Wageningen, as has long been thought.


Middle Ages

The oldest known settlement in Wageningen as a predecessor of the city was probably at the bottom of the Holleweg. At the beginning of the Middle Ages, the settlement moved higher up; on the Wageningse Berg, near the Holleweg, the remains of a tuff stone chapel and wooden farms have been found. In the twelfth century a new settlement arose at the bottom of the mountain. After the construction of a quay as a connection between the flank of the Wageningse Berg and the higher-lying area west of the current city, the current Hoogstraat, the oldest part of the city was built south of it, around Heerenstraat (formerly Achterstraat) and the church . Later, there was also construction on the northwest side of the Hoogstraat, in a regular pattern of side streets: Beuningstraat, Junusstraat, Rouwenhofstraat and Riemsdijkstraat. On June 12, 1263, Count Otto II of Gelre granted Wageningen city rights.


Former hamlets

Between about 350 and about 900, the cemetery on the corner of Geertjesweg and Diedenweg was in use. The burials presumably came from the various neighborhoods of Wageningen, which lay on the border of the flank of the lateral moraine and the Binnenveld. Recognizable are the neighborhoods of De Peppeld (near Wildekamp) and Leeuwen (nearby restaurant Het Simpel, formerly De Keijzer); in both neighbourhoods, the characteristic drinking pool or vortex is still present. The hamlet of Dolder lay around the Van Uvenweg / Churchillweg / Dolderstraat intersection. Dolder or Thulere was already mentioned in 838, as was Brakel (Bracola), on the corner of Julianastraat and Van Uvenweg.

The various neighborhoods were built according to the same principle: farms around a shared agricultural space (green), on the east side the arable land (on the Wageningse eng, which was much larger at the time) and to the west of the hamlets the meadows in the Binnenveld, very regularly plotted. This Binnenveld was cultivated from the thirteenth century.

Important farms were the Stenen Kamer in Dolder (built 1597, demolished 1954) and the Tarthorst on the Tarthorsterweg, now Haverlanden (demolished 1969). The greens were connected to the meadows in the Binnenveld by means of sheep drives. The sheep drive of the Droevendaalsesteeg has remained relatively intact. Old alders can still be found along it.


City wall

After the fortifications were dismantled in the nineteenth century, part of the former ramparts was built on, including the buildings to the east of Schoolstraat and Molenstraat and the buildings on Emmapark. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the synagogue and the Mennonite Vermaning (church) were built on the former west wall. Both were destroyed in 1940 and never rebuilt on the same spot. After the Second World War, the rampart was excavated here for the construction of the Walstraat and student flats were built on the remaining part of the rampart. These are still there today.

Other parts of the former fortress were given a park-like structure, such as the former Noorderplantsoen. Part of this structure was sacrificed during the construction of a traffic road (Plantsoen). The street that connected the eastern Bergpoort and the western Nudepoort, the Hoogstraat, has been the street where shopkeepers settled for many decades. From 1975, this street has been set up as a pedestrian area. There are also important concentrations of small and medium-sized businesses in many side streets of Hoogstraat, such as Kapelstraat, Nieuwstraat and Junusstraat. The catering industry is mainly concentrated on the Markt, on the Heerenstraat and in the Molenstraat.

For the counts and dukes of Guelders, Wageningen was not only a trading port, but also important as a stronghold against the bishops of Utrecht and later the dukes of Burgundy. The old moat (narrower than before) and parts of the (renovated) city wall still exist. The last duke, Karel van Egmond, therefore had Wageningen Castle built within the fortress in 1526-1527. The foundations of three towers and part of the outer wall can still be seen. At the end of the nineteenth century, the residential neighborhood Bowlespark, built up with mansions, was built on the former castle grounds, which largely still exists and is protected as a municipal monument.



The castle of Wageningen was sold in 1702 by the States of Gelderland to Anna Maria Ripperda (1666-1739), widow of drost Assueer Torck (1656-1698) and mother of the mayor of Wageningen and last drost Lubbert Adolph Torck (1687-1758 ). The Torck family converted the castle into a small city palace with baroque landscaping. Lubbert Adolph Torck was married to the wealthy widow Pieternella van Hoorn, daughter of Governor-General of the East Indies Joan van Hoorn. Later he inherited Rosendael Castle in Rozendaal near Arnhem from his aunt. Torck was politically active in The Hague and, as mayor of Wageningen, commissioned various public works. He invested in the city building mansions for retirees from the Dutch East India Company. This would become important later because Wageningen was able to make one such complex - the so-called 'Bassecour' - available to bring the state agricultural school to the city in 1873.


19th century

Wageningen has had several windmills in the past. Already in the Middle Ages there were two windmills on the former Molenweg, now the Generaal Foulkesweg. The last of these windmills was demolished around 1996, called the Eendracht. The windmill De Vlijt, built at the end of the nineteenth century, is located on the Harnjesweg, formerly surrounded by arable land. This mill is one of the few still in operation professionally, in particular there is a large amount of organically ground grain products available.

In 1882 Wageningen got its first steam tram connection, the tram line Ede - Wageningen. A few years later, the Arnhem - Zeist tram line was also established. In 1885 Wageningen was accessible from Arnhem, in 1887 from Zeist. This tram line through Wageningen was discontinued in 1937. The tram line to Ede was closed to passenger transport in the same year. The station in Ede was then renamed Station Ede-Wageningen. Goods transport to Ede continued until 1968, after which the tram line was broken up. The former tram station of Wageningen was located on the site of the current bus station on the Stadsbrink.


Agricultural college and university

In 1876, the National Agricultural School was founded in Wageningen. In 1918 this became the Agricultural College, in 1986 the Agricultural University and in 2016 Wageningen University & Research (WUR).

This marked the beginning of a special development from a small fortified town to a special university town with the current Wageningen University. On 1 January 2004, Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences joined Wageningen University and Research Centre. This accession created, as the first in the Netherlands, a very large and versatile combination of HBO and scientific education and research in the field of life sciences and the natural environment. However, a conflict between the educational institutions led to a break in 2012 and the collaboration ended.

The Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) was founded in 1932 as the Dutch Ship Model Basin (NSMB). MARIN is a world-renowned institute in the field of maritime and hydrodynamic research. MARIN has the status of Large Technological Institute in the Netherlands.



Wageningen is also the city where, at the end of the Second World War, the Allies under General Foulkes and the German occupiers under General Blaskowitz negotiated about how the German soldiers should behave after the capitulation. The talks started on May 4, 1945 in a farm in Nude, west of Wageningen, and continued on May 5 in Hotel De Wereld in Wageningen. That was because Hotel de Wereld was situated between the two camps. The Allied troops had their camp on the Grebbeberg and the German troops were stationed at the Edese heath.[2] Prince Bernhard van Lippe-Biesterfeld, the husband of the then Crown Princess Juliana, was present in Hotel de Wereld as commander of the Domestic Forces. An agreement was drawn up on that day, but not signed until a day later. The signed document, known as the Dutch Act of Capitulation, can be regarded as an elaboration of the general capitulation by the German armed forces for Northwest Europe on 4 May. The deed itself, present in the Wageningen municipal archive, is dated Wageningen, May 5, 1945. The celebration of Liberation Day in the Netherlands on May 5 is based on this.

The capitulation was annually commemorated in Wageningen up to and including 2005 with a parade of former soldiers of American, British and Canadian descent, and up to and including 2004 it was conducted by Prince Bernhard, who died in that year. In 2005, the parade was conducted by Prince Willem-Alexander. From 2006, the Liberation Defilé will take place, a much richer parade of war material and veterans from the Second World War and other deployment areas. There is also room for charities and primary school students in the Liberation Defilé.

In Wageningen, more than 60 objects are protected as national monuments. Most of them are located in the historic city center. In addition, more than 400 objects are protected as municipal monuments.




Wageningen is situated where the Veluwerand, the Gelderse Vallei and the Rhine (here called Nederrijn) meet. Where the Utrechtse Heuvelrug in Rhenen ends with the Grebbeberg, Wageningen has one last bulge of the Veluwe in the form of the Wageningse Berg. Wageningen has an important inland port on the Rhine, with transhipment and storage capacity for oil (see Rijnhaven). Via Opheusdense Veer in the west there is a connection across the Nederrijn with Opheusden and via Lexkesveer in the east with the Betuwe villages of Randwijk and Zetten. The municipality of Wageningen is located south of the municipality of Ede. The municipality lies largely north of the Nederrijn, but also includes part of the floodplains south of the river (Maneswaard).



In addition to the residential areas of Wageningen, Wageningen-Hoog and the (old) Nude, the municipality includes:
in the northwest an outlying area, part of the Binnenveld,
on the east side the forest area on the Wageningse Berg, with Oranje Nassau's Oord,
on the slope between the Wageningse berg and the city a farmland, the Wageningse Eng,
to the south the floodplains De Bovenste Polder, the Plasserwaard, the Blauwe Kamer and Maneswaard.


Traffic and transport

Road transport

Wageningen is located on the N225 from Driebergen to Arnhem. From the A12, the N781 leads to Wageningen. The Rhine can be crossed at Wageningen using the Lexkesveer, which leads to the N836 to Zetten and the A15, and via the Opheusdenseveer, a vulture ferry between the Blauwe Kamer nature reserve and the Rijnbandijk near Opheusden.


Public transport

Public transport in Wageningen is provided by regional buses from Hermes, Syntus Utrecht, U-OV, Breng and Arriva. Buses run from the centrally located bus station to Tiel, Utrecht, Arnhem and the Ede-Wageningen train station. Wageningen is the only student city in the Netherlands without a train station. However, there is the Ede-Wageningen station eight kilometers north of Wageningen.