Gelderland (Dutch pronunciation:
[ˈɣɛldərˌlɑnt] ( listen), also
Guelders in English) is
a province of the Netherlands, located in the central eastern part of
the country. With a land area of nearly 5,000 km2, it is the
largest province of the
Netherlands and shares borders with six other
provinces and Germany.
The capital is Arnhem. However, both
Apeldoorn are larger
Nijmegen being the largest with nearly 170,000 inhabitants.
Other major regional centres in
Gelderland are Ede, Doetinchem,
Zutphen, Tiel, Wageningen, Zevenaar,
Winterswijk and Harderwijk.
Gelderland had a population of just over two million in 2015.
2.2 Abolished municipalities
3 Cultural references
5 External links
Historically, the province dates from states of the Holy Roman Empire
and takes its name from the nearby German city of Geldern. According
to the Wichard saga, the city was named by the Lords of Pont who
fought and killed a dragon in 878 AD. They named the town they founded
after the death rattle of the dragon: "Gelre!"
The County of
Guelders arose out of the Frankish pagus
Hamaland in the
11th century around castles near
Roermond and Geldern. The counts of
Gelre acquired the
Veluwe regions and, through marriage,
the County of Zutphen. Thus the counts of
Guelders laid the foundation
for a territorial power that, through control of the Rhine, Waal,
IJssel rivers, was to play an important role in the later
Middle Ages. The geographical position of their territory dictated the
external policy of the counts during the following centuries; they
were committed to the interests of the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire and to
expansion south and west.
Further enlarged by the acquisition of the imperial city of Nijmegen
in the 13th century, the countship was raised to a duchy in 1339 by
the Holy Roman Emperor, Louis IV. After 1379, the duchy was ruled from
Jülich and by the counts of Egmond and Cleves. The duchy resisted
Burgundian domination, but
William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg
William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg was
forced to cede it to Charles V in 1543, after which it formed part of
the Burgundian-Habsburg hereditary lands.
The duchy revolted with the rest of the
Netherlands against Philip II
of Spain and joined the
Union of Utrecht
Union of Utrecht (1579). After the deposition
of Philip II, its sovereignty was vested in the States of Gelderland,
and the princes of Orange were stadtholders. In 1672, the province was
temporarily occupied by Louis XIV and, in 1713, the southeastern part
including the ducal capital of
Geldern fell to Prussia. Part of the
Batavian Republic (1795–1806), of Louis Bonaparte’s Kingdom of
Holland (1806–10), and of the French Empire (1810–13), Gelderland
became a province of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands in 1815.
During the Second World War, it saw heavy fighting between Allied
Paratroopers, British XXX Corps and the German II SS Panzer Corps, at
the Battle of Arnhem.
Gelderland can roughly be divided into four geographical regions: the
Veluwe in the north, the Rivierenland including the
Betuwe in the
Achterhoek (literally meaning the "back corner") or
Graafschap (which originally means earldom or county) in the east and
the city-region of
Nijmegen in the centre-south.
Clickable map of Gelderland
In 2015, the 54 municipalities in
Gelderland were divided into four
West Maas en Waal
Berg en Dal
Veluwezoom National Park
Landscape near Putten
View of Dodewaard
These municipalities were merged with neighbouring ones:
Angerlo was merged into Zevenaar
Dinxperlo was merged into Aalten
Gorssel was merged into Lochem
Hoevelaken was merged into Nijkerk
Lichtenvoorde was merged into
Oost Gelre in 2006)
Warnsveld was merged into Zutphen
Wehl was merged into Doetinchem
Millingen aan de Rijn
Millingen aan de Rijn and
Ubbergen were merged into
Berg en Dal in 2016)
These municipalities were merged and given a new name:
Ruurlo have become Berkelland
Hengelo, Hummelo en Keppel, Steenderen,
Zelhem have become
Didam has become Montferland
Gendringen and Wisch have become Oude IJsselstreek
In the 2001 movie A Knight's Tale, the protagonist, William Thatcher
(played by Heath Ledger) pretends to be a knight known as "Ulrich von
Lichtenstein from Gelderland".
^ "Regionale kerncijfers Nederland" (in Dutch). CBS. Retrieved 30 May
^ Geldersche volksalmanak Volumes 21-22; Nijhoff & son; 1855
^ a b "Gelderland". Britannica.com. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gelderland.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Gelderland.
Municipalities of Gelderland
Berg en Dal
West Maas en Waal
Provinces of the Netherlands
Coats of arms
ISNI: 0000 0004 0624 4858