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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Provincie Noord-Brabant
Province of North Brabant
North Brabant-Flag.svg Coat of arms of North Brabant
Flag Coat of arms
Map: Province of North Brabant in the Netherlands South Holland North Holland Friesland Groningen Drenthe Flevoland Overijssel Gelderland Utrecht Limburg North Brabant Zeeland
About this image
Capital 's-Hertogenbosch
Largest city Eindhoven
Queen's Commissioner Wim van de Donk
Religion (1999) Protestant 7%
Catholic 67%
 • Land
 • Water
4,919 km² (2nd)
162 km²
Population (2006)
 • Total
 • Density

2,415,946 (3rd)
491/km² (5th)
Inclusion 1815
Anthem Waar de luchten wijder worden
Official website

North Brabant (Dutch: Noord-Brabant, About this sound pronunciation ) is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country, bordered by Belgium in the south, the Meuse River (Maas) in the north, Limburg in the east and Zeeland in the west.



Until the 17th century, the area that now makes up the province of North Brabant was mostly part of the Duchy of Brabant, of which the southern part is now in present-day Belgium. In the 14th and 15th century, the area experienced a golden age, especially the cities of Leuven (Louvain), Antwerp (both now in Belgium), Breda and 's-Hertogenbosch.

After the Union of Utrecht was signed in 1579, Brabant became a battlefield between the Protestant Dutch Republic and Catholic Spain, which occupied the southern Netherlands. As a result of the Peace of Westphalia, the northern part of Brabant became part of the Netherlands as the territory of Staats-Brabant (State Brabant) under federal rule, in contrast to the founding provinces of the Dutch Republic which were self-governing.

Attempts to introduce Protestantism into the region were largely unsuccessful; North Brabant remained strongly Roman Catholic. For over a century, North Brabant served mainly as a military buffer zone. In 1796, when the Netherlands became the Batavian Republic, Staats-Brabant became a province as Bataafs Brabant. This status ended with the reorganisation by the French, and the area was divided over several departments.

In 1815, Belgium and the Netherlands were united in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the province of North Brabant was established and so named to distinguish it from South Brabant in present-day Belgium, which seceded from the Kingdom in 1830. This boundary between the Netherlands and Belgium is special in that it does not form a contiguous line, but there are a handful of tiny enclaves (and enclaves inside enclaves) on both sides of the border, such as Baarle-Hertog. When the province was founded, its territory was expanded with a part of the province of Holland and the former territory of Ravenstein which had previously belonged to the Duchy of Cleves, as well as several small, formerly autonomous entities.

From the end of the 19th century, the province has grown increasingly industrialised. Textile production was centred in Tilburg and Helmond, while the town of Eindhoven has grown to the country's 5th large city thanks to the Philips and Van Doorne's Automobiel Fabriek (DAF) companies.

The period from 1900 till the late 1960s is called Het Rijke Roomse Leven (translated as 'the rich Roman life', with 'Roman' meaning 'Roman Catholic'), a religious and spiritual awakening. Het Rijke Roomse Leven came about as result of the emancipatory drive of the province's disadvantaged Catholic population and was supported by a Roman Catholic pillar, which was directed by the clergy, and not only encompassed churches, but also Roman Catholic schools and hospitals, which were run by nuns. In those days every village in North Brabant had a convent from which the nuns operated. Politically, the province was dominated by Catholic parties: the Roomsch-Katholieke Staatspartij and its post-war successor, the Katholieke Volkspartij, which often held around 75% of the vote.

A sign saying, "Welcome to Brabant". North Brabant is often just referred to as "Brabant".

In the 1960s secularisation and the actual emancipation of the Catholic population brought about the gradual dissolution of the Catholic pillar, as church attendance decreased in North Brabant as elsewhere in Western Europe. The influence of Het Rijke Roomse Leven remains in the form of education still being Roman Catholic (today it is run by professional teachers rather than nuns) and in North Brabant's culture, politics, mentality and customs, such as carnival. The province still has a distinct Catholic atmosphere when compared to the provinces north of the major rivers.


The provincial council (Provinciale Staten) has 55 seats, and is headed by the Queen's Commissioner, currently Wim van de Donk. While the provincial council is elected by the inhabitants, the Commissioner is appointed by the Queen and the cabinet of the Netherlands. With 18 seats, the Christian-Democratic CDA is the largest party in the council.

The daily affairs of the province are taken care of by the Gedeputeerde Staten, which are also headed by the Commissioner; its members (gedeputeerden) can be compared with ministers.


North Brabant is currently divided into 68 municipalities. Traditionally, almost every town was a separate municipality, but their number was reduced greatly in the 1990s by incorporating smaller towns into neighbouring cities or by other mergers. The municipalities in North Brabant are:

Amsterdam Almelo Almere Amersfoort Arnhem Assen Breda Den Haag Delft Delfzijl Den Bosch Den Helder Dordrecht Enchede Haarlem Hilversum Maastricht Middelburg Zwolle Lelystad Leiden Katwijk Nijmegen Eindhoven Vlissingen Rotterdam Leeuwarden Heerenveen Groningen (city) Emmen Almelo Apeldoorn Alkmaar Zaanstad Tilburg Venlo Heerlen Drenthe Flevoland Friesland Gelderland Groningen Limburg North Brabant North Holland Overijssel South Holland Utrecht Zeeland
Map of the Netherlands, linking to the province articles; red dots mark provincial capitals and black dots other notable cities or towns.


Like most of the Netherlands, North Brabant is mostly flat but nearly every part of North Brabant is above sea level, therefore there are not as many canals as in the lower parts of The Netherlands. While most of the population lives in urban areas, the province is scattered with villages and most of the land is cultivated. Consistent with naturally raised areas, forests, heathlands and dune areas can also be found.

The province is bordered by the Meuse River in the north. Its delta flows through the Biesbosch area, a national park.


Employment is found in the agricultural, industrial and service sectors. The main agricultural products are wheat and sugar beet, while cows and pigs are held as livestock. The chief industries are automobile production, electronics (both mainly in Eindhoven), textile and shoes.

In the twentieth century, tourism has become an important sector for North Brabant, the woods and its quiet atmosphere combined with the beauty of some of the cities having proved successful. Another big tourist attraction is theme park Efteling in Kaatsheuvel, the largest of the Benelux.

See also

External links

Coordinates: 51°40′N 5°00′E / 51.667°N 5°E / 51.667; 5


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NORTH BRABANT, the largest province in Holland, bounded S. by Belgium, W. and N.W. by the Scheldt, the Eendracht, the Volkerak and the Hollandsch Diep, which separate it from Zealand and South Holland, N. and N. E. by the Merwede and Maas, which separate it from South Holland and Gelderland, and E. by the province of Limburg. It has an area of 231 sq.m. and a pop. (1900) of 553,842. The surface of the province is a gentle slope from the south-east (where it ranges between 80 and 160 ft. in height) towards the north and north-west, and the soil is composed of diluvial sand, here and there mixed with gravel, but giving place to sea-clay along the western boundary and river-clay along the banks of the Maas and smaller rivers. The watershed is formed by the north-eastern edge of the Belgian plateau of Campine, and follows a curved line drawn through Bergen-op-Zoom, Turnhout and Maastricht. The landscape consists for the most part of waste stretches of heath, occasionally slightly overlaid with high fen. Between the valleys of the Aa and the Maas lies the long stretch of heavy high-fen called the Peel ("marshy land"). Deurne, a few miles east of Helmond, the site of a prehistoric burial-ground, was an early fen colony. The work of reclamation was removed farther eastwards to Helenaveen in the second half of the 19th century. Agriculture (potatoes, buckwheat, rye) is the main industry, generally combined with cattle-raising. On the clay lands wheat and barley are the principal products, and in the western corner of the province beetroot is largely cultivated for the beet sugar industry, factories being found at Bergen-op-Zoom, Steenbergen and Oudenbosch. There is a special cultivation of hops in the district north-west of 's Hertogenbosch. The,large majority of the population is Roman Catholic. The earliest development of towns and villages took place along the river Maas and its tributaries, and the fortified Roman camps which were the origin of many such afterwards developed in the hands of feudal lords. The chief town of the province, 's Hertogenbosch, may be cited as an interesting historical example. Geertruidenberg, Heusden, Ravestein and Grave are all similarly situated. Breda is the next town in importance to the capital. Bergen-opZoom had originally a more maritime importance. Rozendaal, Eindhoven and Bokstel (or Boxtel) are important railway junctions. Bokstel was formerly the seat of an independent barony which came into the possession of Philip the Good in 1 439. The castle was restored in modern times. The precarious position of the province on the borders of the country doubtless militated against an earlier industrial development, but since the separation from Belgium and the construction of roads, railways and canals there has been a general improvement, Tilburg, Eindhoven and Helmond all having risen into prominence in modern times as industrial centres. Leathertanning and shoe-making are especially associated with the district called Langstraat, which is situated between Geertruidenberg and 's Hertogenbosch, and consists of a series of industrial villages along the course of the Old Maas.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun

North Brabant

  1. A province of the Netherlands.


See also

Simple English

North Brabant (Dutch: 'Noord-Brabant') is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country, bordered by Belgium in the south, the Meuse River (Maas) in the north, Limburg in the east and Zeeland in the west. See Google maps. Its capital is 's-Hertogenbosch. The largest city is Eindhoven.


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