Eindhoven (pronunciation (info / explanation)) is a city and municipality in the southeast of the Dutch province of North Brabant. It has been the fifth largest municipality in the Netherlands in terms of population since 1961. It has 238,478 inhabitants (January 31, 2022) on a territory of 88.84 km². In addition to the city of the same name, it also includes the village of Acht and the expansion location Meerhoven.
The municipality of Eindhoven experienced explosive growth in the first half and the middle of the twentieth century. In 1920, the city – a small Kempen town at the beginning of the century – annexed five surrounding municipalities, which suddenly increased the municipality enormously, especially in terms of surface area (from 75 to 6300 ha, or 84 times as large), but also in terms of surface area. population (from 6,500 to 46,000, or seven times as large). On January 1, 1940, Eindhoven already had 113,126 inhabitants. As a result, it has already reached a high position in the ranking of the largest municipalities in the Netherlands. In the next 75 years, this population doubled. The growth of the Philips group was decisive for this development, from light bulb factory to multinational and global player in the field of electronics.
The municipality welcomed its 225,000th resident on November 24, 2015. The city is still growing: the number of inhabitants of the municipality is expected to increase to 248,000 by 2040. The municipality is part of the Eindhoven Metropolitan Area (MRE) and the BrabantStad urban network. The agglomeration of Eindhoven (not to be confused with the metropolitan region), consisting of the municipalities of Eindhoven, Veldhoven, Best, Nuenen and Geldrop-Mierlo, among others, has almost 420,000 inhabitants on an area of approximately 540 km². About 750,000 people live in the MRE.
The second part of the word can refer to Hof (fenced piece of land, garden, earth) or Hoeve (homestead). The origins of the two words are different, but later they roughly coincided in their usage and took on the meaning we know today: a building with surrounding grounds for the purpose of exploitation. The origin of the first part of the word is much less clear. Presumably, Eind meant the boundary between the cultivated land of a settlement and the wasteland outside it. The place name can therefore be interpreted as 'the court or farm on the border between cultivated land and uncultivated land'.
The city of Eindhoven originated in a swamp delta of five rivers: the Dommel, the Gender, the Laak, the Tongelreep and the Rungraaf. In 1232 it received city rights and market rights from Duke Hendrik I of Brabant. Eindhoven must be seen as a founded (and not gradually grown) settlement within the urban policy of Hendrik I. Villa Ravensdonck is now located on the site of the old castle from the 15th century, close to the Augustinian monastery Mariënhage. In 1583, after the Siege of Eindhoven, the ramparts were demolished again. Within the ramparts was the medieval Saint Catherine's Church, which was demolished in 1860 and replaced by the current neo-Gothic church. The current church from 1867 was designed by Pierre Cuypers and is notable for a choir to the west. Between 2004 and 2006, the choir of the medieval St. Catherine's Church with the remains buried in and around it was excavated under the direction of Eindhoven city archaeologist Nico Arts.
As a result of industrial development, the Eindhoven factories attracted more and more employees around 1900. These included the textile factories of Elias, De Haes, de Bara (derived from Baekers and Raymakers), tobacco processors (Mignot & De Block, Henri van Abbe and Lurmans), steam leather factory Gebroeders Keunen, the Royal match factories Mennen & Keunen, cigar box maker Brüning and (especially from 1891) the Philips incandescent lamp factory. The city benefited economically from the factories and manufacturers. Afterwards, next to Philips, DAF became the largest and internationally most famous industrial company in Eindhoven