Gouda - City of Netherlands
Gouda is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. Gouda, which was granted city rights in 1272, is famous for its Gouda cheese, smoking pipes and its 15th century city hall.
NETHERLANDS National Animal : Lion
The town takes its name from the Van der Goude family, who built a fortified castle alongside the banks of the Gouwe River, from which the family took its name. The area, originally marshland, developed over the course of two centuries. By 1225, a canal was linked to the Gouwe and its estuary was transformed into a harbour. Gouda's array of historic churches and other buildings makes it a very popular day trip destination.
Around the year 1000, the area where Gouda now is located was swampy and covered with a peat forest, crossed by small creeks such as the Gouwe. Along the shores of this stream near the current market and city hall, peat harvesting began in the 11th and 12th centuries. In 1139, the name Gouda is first mentioned in a statement from the Bishop of Utrecht.
Starting in 1830, demolition of the city walls began. The last city gate was torn down in 1854. Only from the second half of the 19th century onward, Gouda started to profit from an improved economic condition. New companies, such as Stearine Kaarsenfabriek and Machinale Garenspinnerij, acted as the impetus to its economy. In 1855, the railway Gouda-Utrecht began to operate. In the beginning of the 20th century, large scale development began, extending the city beyond its moats. First the new neighbourhoods Korte Akkeren, Kort Haarlem and Kadebuurt were built, followed by Oosterwei, Bloemendaal, and Goverwelle after World War II.
From 1940 on, backfilling of the city moats and canals began: the Nieuwe Haven, Raam, Naaierstraat, and Achter de Vismarkt. But because of protests from city dwellers and revised policies of city planners, Gouda did not continue backfilling moats and canals, now considered historically valuable. In 1944, the railway station was damaged during an Allied bombardment, killing 8 and wounding 10 persons. This bombardment was intended to destroy the railroad connecting The Hague and Rotterdam to Utrecht. Since 1977, the weekly pig market, the largest in the Netherlands, is no longer held in the city.
NETHERLANDS National Flower : Tulip Tulipa