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Old harbour in the centre of Vlaardingen
Old harbour in the centre of Vlaardingen


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Haringstad (Herring town)
Coordinates: 51°55′N 4°20′E / 51.91, 4.34
Country Netherlands
Province South Holland
 • Total 26.71 km2 (10.31 sq mi)
 • Land 23.76 km2 (9.17 sq mi)
 • Water 3.23 km2 (1.25 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2007)
 • Total 71,938
 • Density 3,001/km2 (7,770/sq mi)
  Source: CBS, Statline.
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Vlaardingen is a town in South Holland in the Netherlands. It is located on the north bank of the Nieuwe Maas/Nieuwe Waterweg river at the confluence with the Oude Maas. The municipality administers an area of 26.71 square kilometres (10.31 sq mi), of which 23.81 square kilometres (9.19 sq mi) is land, with 71,938 residents (in May 2006).


The town is divided into a northern (locally known as the "Holy") and a southern part by the A20 motorway. On the east the town is (currently in part) separated from Schiedam by the A4 motorway. Other places nearby are Maassluis to the west, Schipluiden and Delft to the north, and Spijkenisse in the south-west, on the other side of the Nieuwe Waterweg. The A20 connects Rotterdam to Hoek van Holland. The Beneluxtunnel (the tunnel that runs under the Nieuwe Waterweg) connects the A20 to the A15.

The centre of the city is on the west side of the old harbour, which is a widened section of the canal (Vlaardingse Vaart) which runs from Vlaardingen to Schipluiden.


The area around Vlaardingen was already settled by about 2900 to 2600 BC. In 1990, a skeleton dated at about 1300 BC was dug up in the periphery of Vlaardingen; some human nuclear DNA was identified, the oldest found anywhere in the Netherlands. Between roughly 250 AD and 700 AD the region was uninhabited, like much of the west of the Netherlands. In 726 or 727 the area is again mentioned as Marsum, where a little church was established, around which Vlaardingen formed.

Vlaardingen in 1867.

In 1018 Vlaardingen was a stronghold of Dirk III, who levied an illegal toll on ships on the Meuse river. An army sent by German Emperor Henry II in order to stop this practice was defeated by Dirk III in the Battle of Vlaardingen. In 1047, his successor Dirk IV repelled another such attack.

The flood disaster of December 21, 1163, ended the growth of Vlaardingen. The Counts of Holland moved away and its development stagnated.

In 1273 Vlaardingen was granted city rights by Floris V, Count of Holland.

In 1574, during the Eighty Years War of Dutch independence, a group of Watergeuzen burnt down Vlaardingen as commanded by William of Orange to prevent the Spanish from capturing the city. Vlaardingen later became a shipbuilding area and a significant harbour for the herring fishing industry. The fishing boats (locally known as "haringbuizen") ceased to use Vlaardingen in the years after World War II.

In 1855 the former municipality of Zouteveen was merged into the municipality Vlaardingerambacht which in turn was merged with Vlaardingen during the occupation of the Netherlands in the Second World War by the Germans in 1941.

Vlaardingen consists of 8 districts/neighbourhoods:

  1. Vlaardingen Centrum
  2. Westwijk
  3. Vettenoordse polder (includes industry)
  4. Vlaardingen Oost
  5. Ambacht/Babberspolder
  6. Holy Zuid
  7. Holy Noord
  8. Broekpolder


Mayor: mr. T.P.J. Bruinsma (PvdA)

Seats in the city council after the municipal elections in 2010:

  • Labour Party (PvdA), 6 seats
  • Vlaardingen Ahead 2000/Livable Vlaardingen (VV2000/LV), 6 seats
  • Groenlinks (GL), 4 seats
  • People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), 4 seats
  • Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), 3 seats
  • Socialist Party (SP), 3 seats
  • Democrats 66 (D66), 2 seats
  • Christian Union/Political Reformed Party (CU/SGP), 2 seats
  • City Interests Vlaardingen (SBV), 2 seats
  • Proud of the Netherlands (TON), 2 seats
  • General Elderly Alliance (AOV), 1 seat


The 2 Vlaardingse ertskranen in the Vulcaanhaven.

A Unilever research centre is located in Vlaardingen. There are still some ship repair business(es) in east Vlaardingen beside the Nieuwe Maas River. The Vulcaanhaven was for many years the largest privately owned artificial harbour in the world.



Some historical buildings in the centre of town are the Grote Kerk (Big Church), the Waag (Weighing Bridge) adjoining to the church and the old town hall (among other things used for weddings), all located on the Markt, the former marketplace, the Visbank (Fish Auction) at the harbour and the Oude Lijnbaan (Old Ropewalk, where ropes were made). The Grote Kerk was probably established between 1156 and 1164 and has been expanded, damaged and rebuilt over the centuries. To the north of the old harbour is the old windmill (named Aeolus), which is still in operation and sells ground cereals. The harbour itself is used as a marina and open air museum with a collection of old ships. At the harbour is the Visserijmuseum (in 2003 the museum was renamed Visserij en Vlaardings Museum), a museum dedicated to commercial sea fishing and local lore.


The " Vlaardings Loggerfestival"[1] (it should be noted that Logger is a traditional ship used for herring fishery, the customary English name is Lugger) is held on the first Saturday of June. The festival used to be called "Haring en Bierfeest" (translation: herring and beer festival), but in 2003 the mayor decided to rename it.

Notable people[]

People who are born in or (have) lived in Vlaardingen:

  • Agnes van Ardenne, politician (Christian Democratic Appeal)
  • Paul-Jan Bakker, former Dutch cricketer
  • Bassie en Adriaan, (brothers) actors in a children's TV show
  • Gerrit Berveling, theologian and Esperanto poet
  • Wouter Bos, former Deputy Prime Minister, former Minister of Finance during Balkenende IV Government (Labour Party)
  • Edith Bosch, judoka
  • Gerard Callenburgh, vice admiral and town councillor (later mayor)
  • Arjan El Fassed, politician (GreenLeft), development aid worker and human rights activist
  • Wilma van Hofwegen, swimmer
  • Andries Hoogerwerf, middle-distance runner, scientist and conservationist
  • Mark Huizinga, olympic gold medal winner in judo
  • Rudie Liebrechts, speed skater and cyclist
  • Geert Mak, author and journalist
  • Karen Mulder, former supermodel
  • Martijn LeNoble, bassplayer (amongst others The Cult and Porno for Pyros)
  • Roel Pieper, internet businessman, Professor of Electronic Commerce, former director at Philips
  • Ericus Verkade, manufacturer
  • Harald Wapenaar, professional football player for Sparta Rotterdam

Twin city[]

Czech Republic Moravská Třebová


See also[]

  • Vlaardingse Vaart Bridge


External links[]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Coordinates: 51°54′N 4°20′E / 51.9, 4.333

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Vlaardingen. 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.