Breda is one of the most attractive cities of the Netherlands and therefore a particular interesting city to live, work and relax. Breda is attractive because of its historical inner city (since 1252 city rights), the green surroundings (Breda is enclosed by forest) and its central situation within the Benelux (highways, high speed trains with direct connections to other large European cities). Moreover Breda has many facilities that considerably contribute to a pleasant living climate such as sport organisations, swimming pools, schools, child care centres, higher education schools and many job opportunities. Breda has about 170.000 inhabitants.
HistoryThe name Breda has its origins in the joining of the ‘Brede Aa’ (large Aa), the point where the rivers Mark and Aa come together. In 1252, Breda got its city rights. After that, at the beginning of the 14th century, the city was fortified by a wall. Around the city are the ‘singels’, those are streets of a kind of oval shape, a noticeable characteristic of old, fortified cities. The emblem of the city of Breda is very old. The ‘Andrieskruisen’ (crosses of Andries) refer to the function of a judge and thus the guarantee for justice. The fort is a symbol of power from the Lords of Breda, representing their ability to give protection. The angel can possibly symbolise the heavenly protection of the city. The lions are probably related to the emblem of the Feudal Lord of Brabant, from whom the Lords of Breda got their rights.
Grote MarktThe Main Market (‘De Grote Markt’) is the most important place of Breda and is situated in the centre of the inner city. At the Main Market is the church ‘Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kerk’ (Our Beloved Lady Church) or Grote Kerk (‘Large Church’) from the 15th century. The Main Market didn’t use to be as big as it is at present. After a main city fire in 1534, a few houses that were burned down were broken down and that is how the Market got its present dimensions.
At the Main Market are many possibilities for enjoyment such as cafés and restaurants, most of those with a terrace. As soon as the weather is nice, it becomes a busy place. Further, the weekly market on Tuesdays and Friday mornings takes place here. On Wednesdays there is a book and antiquities market on the Main Market.
HarbourThe harbour of Breda has mainly been composed of a deliver and stand place at the end of the ‘Vismarktstraat’ (‘Fishmarket street’). Between 1552 and 1613 solid dock walls were constructed. This is how the harbour, very important to the peat navigation, was created. After the filling up of the Market inside the ‘singels’ (historical streets) in 1937-1941, there was no more water coming through. It became a nuisance, smelling very badly. That is why in 1965, the harbour was filled up. The surrounding of the sugar factory took over the harbour functions.
During the last weekend of June 2007, the harbour was reopened and is now part of the attractive inner city with many restaurants and terraces.
ShoppingBreda is one of the most attractive cities of ‘Noord-Brabant’ (North-Brabant) and has many possibilities for activities. The historical constructions and streets make the atmosphere unique. There is a large choice for shopping (872 shops). The big shopping chains and small shops make it impossible not to find what you are looking for. The city has many restaurants and cafés in the inner city to take a break from shopping or walking.
Besides outside the centre of Breda is a large choice in shops such as the furniture boulevard (with amongst others IKEA), several construction markets and gardening centres.
Singels(Historical Streets in Breda)In order to be able to defend the city well, Breda was encircled by a fortified wall at the beginning of the 14th century and singels were constructed around the city.
The natural enlargement at the place where the rivers the Mark and the Aa come together was considered as the perfect place to build a harbour, in 1552. This harbour has been filled up from 1965 to 2007. After the reopening of the harbour (2007), it can be reached again, like before, by the singels. It is possible to canoe or make a trip on a boat over the singels. You will start at the Spanjaardsgat (at the harbour) and come along many attractions of the city, worth seeing.
Primary SchoolsIn the area of Breda are 44 primary schools:
- North: 7;
- South: 8;
- East: 8;
- West: 11;
- Prinsenbeek: 3;
- Ulvenhout: 2;
- Bavel: 2;
- Teteringen: 3;
HighschoolsThe area of Breda has 18 secondary schools:
- Zuid: 6;
- Oost: 6;
- West: 3;
- Prinsenbeek: 1;
- Teteringen: 1;
- Haagse-Beemden: 1;
MBO Schools (Vocational Education, after primary school)In Breda are 8 MBO- schools. This schools have different educations. You can choose economic, technical and hospitality educations.
HBO-Schools (High School) and Universities,Because of its large scale of offers in education, the area of Breda can be called a student city. The following possibilities are offered:
- Koninklijke Militaire Academie,
- Nederlandse Hogeschool voor Verkeer en Toerisme (NHTV)
- Avans Hogeschool with many educations
- Rotterdam (ca. 45 km),
- Tilburg (ca. 25 km)
- Antwerpen (ca. 45 km).
Children Day Care (CDC)
Breda has 77 CDC's. This is for children at the age off 6 weeks till 4 years. These are spread trough Breda.
Breda has 88 out-of-school Cares. This is for children at the age off 4 till 12 years. These are also spread trough Breda.
Job opportunitiesWith about 10.600 establishments that provide about 97.000 workplaces, Breda offers a lot of job opportunities. Breda is situated centrally, between two (world) harbours: Rotterdam (50 km) and Anvers (50 km). Further at a short distance from the airports of Amsterdam and Brussels (100 km) it is well situated, taking into consideration the important national and international economical places such as important cities in Belgium, the Ruhr area and the Randstad.
The shuttle connection through a High Speed line enhances the position of Breda. The city will be linked with Amsterdam / Schiphol and Anvers / Brussels from where it is easy to reach Paris. This is why Breda is being called “the gate of Europe’. It is a big advantage as well for business life as tourism.
Moreover Breda is famous for having the most important offices of West-Brabant. Different companies such as Esso, Polaroid, Amgen and Stimorol have their head office in Breda. Different large companies in the food and pleasure branch such as Van Melle and Royal Cosun, have chosen Breda as well.