Main Births etc
—  Municipality  —


Coat of arms
Location of Tilburg
Coordinates: 51°33′18″N 5°5′26″E / 51.555, 5.09056Coordinates: 51°33′18″N 5°5′26″E / 51.555, 5.09056
Country Netherlands
Province North Brabant
 • Mayor Peter Noordanus (PvdA)
 • Aldermen Auke Blaauwbroek (PvdA)
Berend de Vries (D66)
Roel Lauwerier (VVD)
Marjo Frenk (GL)
Joost Möller (VVD)
Marieke Moorman (PvdA)
Erik de Ridder (CDA)
 • Municipality 119.15 km2 (46.00 sq mi)
 • Land 117.30 km2 (45.29 sq mi)
 • Water 1.85 km2 (0.71 sq mi)
 • Urban 161.39 km2 (62.31 sq mi)
Population (December 31, 2011)Source:
Provincie Brabant, [1].
 • Municipality 207,510
 • Density 1,769/km2 (4,580/sq mi)
 • Urban 229,043
 • Demonym Tilburger
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postcodes 5000–5049, 5056, 5070, 5071
Area code(s) 013

Tilburg [ˈtɪlbʏrx]  ( listen) is a landlocked municipality and a city in the Netherlands, located in the southern province of Noord-Brabant. Tilburg municipality also includes the villages of Berkel-Enschot and Udenhout. With more than 206,000 inhabitants, it is the second largest city of Noord-Brabant, and the sixth city of the Netherlands. With Goirle, it forms an agglomeration of 229,000 inhabitants.

Tilburg University is located in Tilburg, as are Avans University of Applied Sciences and Fontys University of Applied Sciences.

Tilburg is known for its 10-day-long funfair,[1] the largest in the Benelux, held in July each year. The Monday during the funfair is called "Roze Maandag" (Pink Monday), and is primarily gay-oriented, though also enjoyed by many heterosexuals.

There are three railway stations within the municipality: Tilburg, Tilburg Universiteit and Tilburg Reeshof.


Little is known about the earliest history of Tilburg. Documents from the year 709 show the name Tilburg for the first time. After that, sources remain silent for some centuries. In the later Middle Ages, Tilburg was more of a local 'region' than a village or city, although a couple of small hamlets provided its population centers, one of which was known as 'Eastern Tilburg' (Oost-Tilburg), which was later reflected in the name of Oisterwijk ('Eastern Quarter'). This village centered around a small (probably wooden) castle or 'Motteburcht' on an equally small hill, which became derelict and was torn down after a few centuries at most. Of this first 'Tilburg Castle', nothing remained c. 2000, save a few remnants of its moat in the suburbs of Oisterwijk. In the 14th century, Tilburg was proclaimed a manor. Together with Goirle, it acquired the title of "The Manor of Tilburg and Goirle".

Successively, the manorial rights fell into the hands of several lords of noble lineage. They derived their income from taxes, fines and interest paid by the villagers.

In the 15th century, one of the lords of Tilburg, Jan van Haestrecht, built Tilburg Castle. "That stone chamber at Hasselt" is mentioned in several historical documents. In 1858, however, the castle had to make way for a factory. It lives on, however, in the city arms and logo. A replica of the fundaments of the castle was restored in ca. 1995 on its original location, after the factory was demolished. In 1803, Goirle was separated from Tilburg and on 18 April 1809, Tilburg was granted city status. In that year, it had about 9,000 inhabitants. Tilburg hosted several festivities in 2009 in celebration of 200 years' status as a city.

"Herd places"[]

Tilburg grew around one of the so-called "herd places", three-cornered plots where a number of roads (usually sand roads) met. These herd places were collective pasturelands for flocks of sheep. Their triangular shape is still reflected in the layout of many places in Tilburg. Many districts – such as Korvel, Oerle, Broekhoven, Hasselt, Heikant, De Schans and Heuvel – bear the names of these old hamlets.

Tilburg as the 'wool capital' of the Netherlands[]

The poor farmers living in these hamlets soon decided to stop selling the wool of the sheep and to weave it themselves. For a long time a greater part of the space in their houses, which used to be very small, was occupied by a loom. In the 17th century the number of looms in Tilburg was about 300. Enterprising people saw their chance. As so-called drapers they supplied the weavers with the raw materials for their "home working". The first Tilburg "millhouses" had come into existence. From that point on, the wool- industry underwent rapid growth and in 1881 Tilburg had as many as 145 woolmills. Home weaving continued, however, until the early years of the 20th century. Woolen textiles from Tilburg were known far and wide. After the Second World War, Tilburg retained its place as wool capital of the Netherlands, but in the 1960s the industry collapsed and by the 1980s the number of woolmills could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Present-day Tilburg industry is characterized by a large variety of enterprises. The main economic sector has become transport & logistics, with a variety of industry as a good second.

King William II[]

King William II (1792–1849) always bore a warm heart towards Tilburg. "Here I can breathe freely and I feel happy", he once said about the town. And he acted accordingly. King William II always supported Tilburg, also in a financial way. He improved the sheep breeding, built new farms and founded a cavalry barracks on the St. Joseph Street, now a monumental building of the City Archives. Although the King was always received with open arms by several befriended manufacturers, he needed his own residence in Tilburg. He commissioned the construction of a palace which should function as a country residence. The construction started in 1847 and was finished in 1849.

William II died a few days before the completion of his palace. It is now part of the City Hall of Tilburg. In 1987, close to the palace, an obelisk was erected, in remembrance of King William II. It replaced the old needle from 1874, which disappeared from the street scene in 1968. After being restored, William II's statue has got a place again in the heart of the city, where he felt happy among its inhabitants. The local football club Willem II Tilburg was named after the king.


Tilburg Centrum[]

Location of Tilburg-Centrum

Tilburg Centrum is the downtown of Tilburg, and is situated between (clockwise) the Spoorlaan, Heuvelring, Paleisring, Schouwburgring and Noordhoekring, which is the same as the order of the one-way roads around the district. The district has 6.331 inhabitants, and most of the shops, hotels, restaurants and cafes of the city. In 2008, the reconstructed Pieter Vreedeplein was opened to public, creating more shopping area in the city which had not the shopping possibilities as similar-sized cities in the Netherlands. Two smaller cinemas were replaced by a bigger one on the Pieter Vreedeplein in 2007. Despite being called Centrum, the district is lying far southeast of the geographical center. The district is connected by Tilburg railway station.


Location of Tilburg Oud-Noord

Oud-Noord is situated north of the railway that crosses Tilburg, and between the Ringbanen (Ring roads around the city center). The district has 31.649 inhabitants. Contemporary arts museum De Pont is located within the district. Because the trainyard of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen became obsolete, the area along a big part of the railway crossing the city, the Spoorzone, became an urban renewal project. Two courses of Fontys will come to this area, as well as the main library of Tilburg, replacing the main library at Koningsplein [2] The trainyard is the largest area, however, more areas along the railway will be reconstructed.[3]


Location of Tilburg Oud-Zuid

Oud-Zuid is a district south, and also west and east of downtown Tilburg. The district has 38.659 inhabitants. As of 2012, all the 'skyscrapers' of Tilburg, higher than 100 m (330 ft) are located within the district. The Hart van Brabantlaan is almost surrounded by high buildings like Westpoint Tower and the StadsHeer as a small part of the urban renewal. This area along the railway is partly located in Oud-Zuid. Many important locations in Tilburg are located within the district, just out of the center, such as 013 music venue and the Schouwburg built in 1961. Also the Koningsplein with the main library and the Piushaven are located within the district. Old herd places include Korvel, Broekhoven and Oerle.


Location of Tilburg-Noord

Tilburg-Noord is located north of the Wilhelminakanaal. The district has 22.763 inhabitants. Tilburg-Noord is built in the period 1966–1974. Therefore, it has many apartment buildings up to 16 floors, drive-in houses, green strips and industrial development. The streets in this district are mostly named after musicians from the renaissance up to pop artists from the 1960s. The main shopping center is Wagnerplein, while there's also the Verdiplein in Stokhasselt. The one at the Tartinistraat became defunct.[4] Before the district was built, it mainly was agricultural area with some villages. The most notable was Heikant, which is still the name of the biggest neighbourhood. Its former village square including the old church is still present. The northernmost part of the district is still agricultural with some forests. In this agricultural area, the blessed Peter Donders was born, there still stands a chapel and a procession park.


Location of Tilburg-Oost

Tilburg-oost consists of primarily industrial development. The living neighbourhoods are in a small strip east of the Ringbaan Oost rather than the whole district, however, is not considered as a part of the city center. The district only has 770 inhabitants.


Location of Tilburg-Zuid

Tilburg-Zuid is located between the A58 motorway and the Ringbaan Zuid, and is the southernmost district. Tilburg-zuid has 14.836 inhabitants. The district contains two neighbourhoods and many businesses. The football club Willem II is located within the district, as well as the ice-skating rink with a speed skating rink, the Ireen Wüst IJsbaan, is located here. Next to the Ice Skating rink, there's a Multiplex cinema with twelve screens and there's a large campus where the most courses of Fontys in Tilburg are located. The district contains a hospital (St. Elisabeth hospital) and has one of the largest parks of Tilburg, the Leijpark.


Location Tilburg-West

Tilburg-west was mostly built after WWII, and has 29.611 inhabitants. The district with its neighbourhoods consist mostly of small brick houses and apartment buildings, except for Zorgvlied, which contains more expensive, free-standing houses. The Westermarkt is the largest shopping center out of the inner city. Many higher educational buildings are standing here, like as the Tilburg University and Avans Hogeschool. Another place of many schools is along the Reitse Hoevenstraat with multiple secondary schools. The district is connected by train with the Tilburg Universiteit railway station and has one of the two hospitals in Tilburg (Tweesteden Ziekenhuis). The largest mosque of Tilburg, the Turkish Süleymaniye-Mosque built in 2001, stands in the southeastern corner of the district. West is surrounded by forests like Wandelbos and the Oude Warande, located west of the university.


Location of the Reeshof

The Reeshof is the westernmost district and the most recent expansion of the city of Tilburg proper. and has a population of 42.696 inhabitants. Because of this, the Reeshof became the largest district of Tilburg. The first houses were completed in 1980, in the neighbourhood Gesworen Hoek. As of 2012, the last neighbourhood (Koolhoven Buiten) is under construction. The district is connected by Tilburg Reeshof railway station and multiple roads that encircle the district plus the industrial development Vossenberg north of the Wilhelminakanaal. The Donge runs through the district, including the nature development with some Highland cattle grazing between the fences protecting the surrounding neighbourhoods. This small-scale nature project is called the Dongevallei,[5] which literally means Donge Valley in English.

Villages of Berkel-Enschot and Udenhout[]


Ethnic makeup[]

As of 1-1-2011, the population of Tilburg consisted of 206,234 persons. According to the Tilburg city council, the city will reach a population of 217,000 inhabitants the year 2025. Of these, 23,3% or some 47,964 people are of foreign descent.[6] People are classified as being of foreign descent when they were born outside of the Netherlands, or when at least one of their parents was born outside of the Netherlands.

  • Dutch (158,270) (76.7%)
  • Turks (7,786) (3.8%)
  • Moroccans (5,483) (2.7%)
  • Indonesians (5,077) (2.5%)
  • Antilleans/Arubans (4,333) (2.1%)
  • Surinamese (3,315) (1.6%)
  • Somalis (1,159) (0.6%)
  • Others (20,811) (10.1%)


Like everywhere in Brabant, Tilburg had more Catholic people than other parts of the Netherlands.

The Tilburg agglomeration has the following religious makeup as of 2003:[7]

  • Roman Catholic (60.7%)
  • Atheism (21.7%)
  • Dutch Reformed (7.8%)
  • Islam (4.8%)
  • Reformed (4.4%)



Tilburg experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the Netherlands. The most notable fact from Western Brabant is that there are more thunderstorms than anywhere else in the Netherlands, up to 31 days a year.[8]

Climate data for Gilze-Rijen, 1981–2010 normals (Source:
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.8
Average low °C (°F) 0.0
Precipitation mm (inches) 70.0
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 17 14 17 13 14 14 14 13 14 16 18 18 182
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 cm) 6 6 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 25
humidity 88 84 81 75 74 75 76 77 82 86 89 90 82
Mean monthly sunshine hours 63.1 84.5 119.1 171.7 203.8 195.5 205.9 190.2 142.0 113.4 64.2 50.1 1,603.5


The economy was concentrated on wool industry for centuries, however, since the 1960s, Tilburg made more progress in having different kinds of industries, supported by the government to prevent the city from poverty after the decline of wool industry. Chemical company IFF [9] has a factory in Tilburg. In the 1980s, the Japanese company Fujifilm came in Tilburg.[10] Insurance companies like Interpolis and CZ are headquartered in Tilburg, as well as transportation/distribution industries situated in Tilburg for being the geographical center of the Benelux-countries. Iris Ohyama has its European offices in Tilburg.[11]


Tilburg University[]

Higher education is of significant importance, with Tilburg University attracting scholars from all over the world. It has a student population of about 13,000 students, about 8 per cent of whom are international students.[12] This percentage has steadily increased over the past years.[13] TiU offers both Dutch-taught and English-taught programmes.

The institution has gained a reputation in both research and education. In the field of economics, the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ranked #1 in Europe for the second consecutive time in 2007 according to the Journal of the European Economic Association with regard to publications in top journals.[14] In 2007 the Executive MBA program at the university's TiasNimbas Business School ranked # 11 in the world according to the Financial Times.[15] In the field of law, Tilburg University was ranked #1 in the Netherlands for the last three years according to Elsevier Magazine. [16].

Culture and recreation[]

Tilburg is a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the EU Intercultural cities programme.


Schrobbelèr is a local liquour. It has an alcoholic percentage of 21.5%, slightly lower than most bitters and has a relatively sweet flavour. The drink is sold in a stone jar and is drunk cold from own glass, a high and tiny chalice glass, larger than a Jägermeister glass [17] The drink originated in 1973 when Tilburgian entrepreneur Jan Wassing started experimenting with a drink with lower alcoholic percentage that was appropriate for his stomach. The result was successful. The drink is distilled now at Loven industrial area in Tilburg by the Eindhoven company Schrobbeler Ltd, without the è on the last vowel. The drink is especially drank at Carnival. The name is derived from the profession of 'Schrobbelaar', in the textile industry in Tilburg. The profession was unskilled and had a low wage.

Another known drink from Tilburg is Peerke's Nat, which has a higher alcoholic percentage than Schrobbelèr (25%) and is introduced at the beatification of Peter Donders (locally named Peerke). The drink is sold in bottles of 70 centiliters.

The Koningshoeven Brewery brews trappist beer and is the only brewery in the Netherlands who does so. It was founded in 1884.

Open air art[]

The statue of Willem II

Tilburg has some notable art in the city, mostly supported by KORT (Kunst in Open Ruimte Tilburg, Dutch for Art in Open Space Tilburg).[18] The most notorious example is the turning house on the Hasseltrotonde, a roundabout,[19] mostly being criticised for being 'no art' and 'waste of money'. However, the house was erected in 2008. Except for being responsible for newer, modern art, KORT also gives information about older works of art, like the Willem II statue on the Heuvel.

Festival city, music[]

The city of Tilburg hosts many festivals, such as the Festival Mundial (world culture), Stranger Than Paranoia (jazz), Incubate (formerly known as ZXZW), Tilburg Students Festival, and Roadburn Festival. 013 is a modern pop-centre where artists like Nick Cave, Jerry Lee Lewis, and GZA performed. Paradox is a club for experimental jazz and improvised music. Fontys University of Applied Sciences started a pop-academy in the beginning of the 21st century, and students often perform on local stages.


Tilburg has an outstanding museum of Modern Art – De Pont Foundation. There is a large textile museum, offering not only a historical view in its former factory, but also a laboratorium for design, production and development of textile as a material. Another museum is Noordbrabants Natuurmuseum.

Parks and forests[]

A lot of parks and forests provide people from Tilburg area for recreation. The Leijpark and the Reeshofpark are the largest among the parks in Tilburg. The Leijpark is famous for Festival Mundial and lies next to the St. Elisabeth hospital and a monastery, the Cenakel. The Reeshofpark is created in the late 1990s, including some restaurants opened in 2011.[20] Some older parks include the Wilhelminapark in Oud-Noord, is built on the square of the former herd place Veldhoven. Tilburg offers, in comparison to other top-ten cities in the Netherlands the most forest area. In the municipality, Tilburg has the Wandelbos, a forest south of the similarly named neighbourhood in Tilburg-West, the Oude Warande, the Kaaistoep, a forest of 4.5km2, and partially, Huis Ter Heide in the northwest of Tilburg, a 6.5km2-sized natural redevelopment area. Out of the municipality, there's a national park called Loonse en Drunense Duinen which includes dunes of drift sand from the west coast.


The local football team is Willem II, named in remembrance of King William II.

Tilburg Ten Miles is an annual road running competition held in Tilburg.

Students sports like rowing and hockey are popular as well. Tilburg hosts three field hockey clubs that play in top national leagues.

Tilburg has an ice skating rink, including the speed skating rink Ireen Wüst IJsbaan of 400m. Within the speed skating rink there's an ice hockey field. The Hockey team Tilburg Trappers also does well in the Eredivisie (Dutch Premier League).


Tilburg has three railway stations: Tilburg (Centraal), Tilburg Universiteit and Tilburg Reeshof. The third of them, Station Tilburg Reeshof was built to connect the then-latest district of Tilburg, the Reeshof. Intercity trains only stop at Tilburg (centraal). The name of Tilburg Universiteit Station was from its construction in 1968 to December 2010 Tilburg West, however, after 40 years, it was not the westernmost station anymore. A fourth railway station is planned for Berkel-Enschot, also in the municipality of Tilburg and more getting absorbed by Tilburg. In the past, until 1938, Berkel-Enschot had already its own train station. Udenhout, lying further northeast in the municipality, also had its train station until 1938. Both stations are on the line to 's-Hertogenbosch.

The Tilburg city- and local buses are operated by Veolia Transport Nederland. The city experimented from 2005 to 2008 with free public transport for children and 55+-people. Before Veolia took over the bus network, it was operated by BBA (abbreviation for Brabants(ch)e Buurtspoorwegen en Autobussen).

Tilburg has an extensive bicycle path network called Sternet-Routes. The first bicycle path of this network was built between the city center and the university in 1975. From the mid-1990s, multiple bicycle paths (rather than lanes along the road) have been built. Since most of these have been paved by tiles, there is an increasing call for asphalt-paved paths. For this network of bicycle paths, there are built some new tunnels; under the railway that crosses the city.[21]

Tilburg is, opposed to other Dutch cities of the same size, connected by only one national motorway, the A58 / E312 (to Breda and Eindhoven). An outer beltway, consisting of two provincial 2x2-roads and the A58, has been finished in May 2012 [22]. Although the outer beltway is fully rideable, the Burgemeester Bechtweg, which was built initially as a two-lane (one per direction) road, will be finished in 2013. Two other routes are of big importance for Tilburg: the A261/N261 to Waalwijk and the A65/N65 to 's-Hertogenbosch. None of both is a complete motorway, and both have a bottleneck status. Various plans exist to build both to higher standards, with the N261 improved in 2015 [23]

International relations[]

Twin towns — Sister cities[]

Tilburg is twinned with:

  • South Africa Emfuleni, South Africa
  • Japan Minamiashigara, Japan
  • Serbia Zemun, Serbia


Notable people from Tilburg[]

Vincent van Gogh's school picture.

  • Vincent van Gogh, attended the King Willem II school, where he was taught painting
  • Guus Meeuwis, singer-songwriter
  • Michael van Poppel, "BNO News"-founder
  • Gerard van Spaendonck, painter
  • Theo l' Herminez (1921–1997), painter
  • Ela Timmermans,Martial Artist
  • Ward Mols, Famous Jewish mastermind who led the revolution against the Oisterwijkers in 1820.
  • Norbert Schmelzer, minister
  • Pepijn Lanen , rapper affiliated with SLBMG and De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig
  • Bart le Blanc, Vice President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Leonard Retel Helmrich, cinematographer and film director
  • Bas Rutten, Mixed Martial Artist
  • Hennie Vrienten, musician, composer
  • Cilvaringz, rapper affiliated with Wu-Tang Clan
  • Cornelis van Spaendonck, still lifes painter in Paris and at the Manufacture de Sèvres (miniatures on porcelain); died in Paris in 1839.
  • Fedde Le Grand, musician, producer
  • Jaap Kivits , musician
  • Remy Bonjasky, martial artist; originally from Suriname

See also[]

  • Jewish Tilburg
  • Brabantian
  • Intercultural cities


External links[]

Template:Principal cities of the Netherlands

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Tilburg. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.