Wijk bij Duurstede, Netherlands


Wijk bij Duurstede is a fortified city and municipality in the south of the Dutch province of Utrecht. The municipality has 23,901 inhabitants (1 August 2020, source: CBS) on an area of 50.3 km², of which 2.68 km² is water. The waterways Nederrijn, Lek, Kromme Rijn and the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal flow through and along Wijk bij Duurstede. The municipality is adjacent to the municipalities of Houten, Bunnik, Utrechtse Heuvelrug, Culemborg and Buren. Wijk bij Duurstede was twinned with Jičín (Czech Republic).


Name declaration

Various explanations are given for the name part District, such as that it could be traced back to the Roman vicus, or the Germanic wik, which means "bend" or "inlet". The name part Duurstede can be traced back to the former trading place Dorestad, which name is at least partly of Celtic origin.



During Roman times, a Roman castellum, possibly Levefanum, was located on the site of what is now Wijk bij Duurstede aan de Rijn. The northern border (limes) of the Roman Empire also ran straight through Wijk bij Duurstede.

In the early Middle Ages, one of the most important trading places in northwestern Europe was located here: Dorestad. For a long time it has been believed that Dorestad fell around 850 due to Viking attacks. In the meantime, however, it is seriously taken into account that natural and (church) political factors, together with the shifting power relations, probably played a more important role. The Rhine bed would have moved a bit, the harbor would also have started to silt up at that time and in addition there was a rise in water. The decline of Dorestad meant a period of prosperity for Tiel, Deventer and later Utrecht. Many finds have been made in and around Wijk bij Duurstede from these historical periods, which can be seen in Museum Dorestad.

Wijk bij Duurstede received city rights from Gijsbrecht van Abcoude in 1300. It was built on a residential tower built in 1270 that would grow into Duurstede castle. It is likely that shortly afterwards work began on the construction of an earthen wall and moat in order to defend the city, partly using the old river beds for the moat.

In the middle of the 14th century the city was expanded in an easterly direction and probably in the same period the city was provided with a city wall that was equipped with city gates and fortification towers. The city wall and moat were renovated around 1445.



The municipality of Wijk bij Duurstede has a rural location above the major rivers in the middle of the Netherlands. It is located at the junction of the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal with the Lek and the junction of the Nederrijn in the Lek and the Kromme Rijn.



The municipality consists of the town of Wijk bij Duurstede (18,215 inhabitants) and was merged on 1 January 1996 with the municipalities of Cothen (3,275 inhabitants) and Langbroek (2,430 inhabitants).

For the district division, see districts and neighborhoods in Wijk bij Duurstede.




Sint Jan de Doperkerk on the Markt in the old city center, medieval pseudo-basilica with a late Gothic tower that would have three sections, following the example of the Utrecht Domtoren, of which, however, only the lower and a small part of the middle one have been completed. The church owns the Kiespenning organ from 1631 and the Harrison & Harrison organ from 1883. In the South transept there is a small organ by the organ builders Van Vulpen, the case was made by Friedrichs.
Roman Catholic Sint Johannes de Doperkerk on Klooster Leuterstraat in the old city centre, neo-Gothic pseudo-basilica designed by the master builder Wolter te Riele, realized in 1907 by renovating a simple church building from the mid-19th century, hereafter rebuilt several times.



Duurstede Castle
castle Groenesteyn
Castle Hindersteyn
Castle Leeuwenburg
Castle Lunenburg
Castle Rhijnestein
Castle Sandenburg
Walenburg Castle
Castle Weerdesteyn
Zuilenburg castle



corn mill Oog in 't Zeil (Cothen)
corn mill Rhine and Lek (District near Duurstede)



Museum Dorestad



Blues Pub Crawl (Bluesin District)
Colorful out in Wijk
Pure Wijks
Leak days
Mazijk doll
Catch Up Festival
Bread and games
Christmas at Duurstede
Wine at Duurstede
Dance Behind The Wall
Sunday afternoon concerts in the Grote Kerk
Evensongs in the Grote Kerk
Maleborduur Bock beer festival

Recreation areas
Recreation area 'values of Gravenbol'


Traffic and transport

Utrecht 22km
Amersfoort 23 km
Amsterdam 64km

Provincial roads
N227 (direction Amersfoort), from Cothen
N229 (direction Utrecht, A12 and Tiel)

Wijk bij Duurstede has a harbour. It is on the following waterways:
Lower Rhine
Amsterdam-Rhine Canal
Curved Rhine

Public transport
The buses depart from the Wijkse Busstation.

U-link 41 (regular connection to and from Utrecht Central Station)
Bus 56 (regular connection to and from Amersfoort via Zeist)
Bus 695 (rush hour/school bus to and from Maarsbergen)

Ferry services
Ferry Spes Futura van het Wijkse Veer sails on the river Lek and connects Wijk bij Duurstede with Rijswijk (Gelderland).
Ferry Spes Salutis of the Beusichemse Veer sails on the river Lek and connects Wijk bij Duurstede with Beusichem.



Wijk bij Duurstede has a football club (CDW) and a hockey club (Dorsteti). There are also associations for judo, karate, tennis, basketball, badminton, volleyball, baseball and korfball.

In 1955 the Dutch road cycling championship was held in Wijk bij Duurstede, Thijs Roks then became Dutch champion.


Well-known (former) residents

Born in Wijk bij Duurstede
Dirck van Baburen (ca. 1595-1624), painter
Willem Verbeek (1820-1888), general practitioner and editor-in-chief of chess magazine Sissa
Dirk Fock (1858-1941), politician
Gijsbertus Vonk (1889-1969), politician
Rie Lips-Odinot (1908-1998), Member of Parliament for the CPN
Everhardus Jacobus Ariëns (1918-2002), professor of pharmacology
Jochem Royaards (1943-2012), actor and director
Joost van Ginkel (1971), film director and screenwriter
Bert Slagter (1982), writer

Born elsewhere
Jordaan Everhard van Rheden (1822-1890), teacher and amateur photographer.
W.G. van de Hulst jr. (1917-2006), painter, sculptor, illustrator and children's book author
Wim Peters (1921-2019), journalist and mayor
Jaap Bethlem (1924-2017), professor
Karel Prior (1924-1997), radio presenter, television director and producer
Anton Houtsma (1938-2014), politician and mayor
Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld (1939), princess. She lived part of the year in this city until 2015.
Jelles Bode (1942-2012), police officer and traffic jam reader
Sis van Rossem (1945-2022), art historian, columnist and presenter
Leo van Veen (1946), football player and football manager
Stef Stokhof de Jong (1950), sculptor, glass artist and textile artist
Peter R. de Vries (1956-2021), crime journalist
Sierd de Vos (1959), football commentator
Eric Balemans (1961-2021), politician
Joshua Douglas (1977), children's author
Wouter Hamel (1977), jazz singer
Peter Kuipers Munneke (1980), weather forecaster
Nikkie Plessen (1985), presenter, actress and model
Mohamed El Makrini (1987), professional football player
Laura Dekker (1995), solo sailor