Bodegraven ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a town and
former municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of
South Holland. The former municipality covers an area of
38.50 km2 (14.86 sq mi) of which 1.02 km2
(0.39 sq mi) is water.
The former municipality of
Bodegraven also includes the communities
Meije, and Nieuwerbrug.
On January 1, 2011
Bodegraven merged with
5 Notable people
6 External links
Bodegraven is centrally located in the Green Heart of the Randstad,
roughly equally distant (about 30 km) from Amsterdam, Rotterdam,
The Hague, and Utrecht. It is surrounded by the municipalities
(clockwise, starting in the north): Nieuwkoop, Woerden, Reeuwijk
(former municipality), Boskoop, and Alphen aan den Rijn.
The town is situated on both shores of the Oude Rijn, in which a set
of locks are in the middle of town. The oldest part of town is the
Reformed St. Gallus Church, on the north side of the river.
Bodegraven was already inhabited in the Roman Era. It was situated at
the Roman Empire's northern border, the Limes Germanicus. As such,
many army camps, ports, and roads were built by the Romans. Many
settlements originated on the road along the Limes, including
Not much is known about
Bodegraven after that. According to folklore,
a lost map from 809 made reference to a fiefdom "Bodelo". There is
certainty however that circa 1050 a small settlement had formed,
probably near the current Dorpskerk (Village Church). After two
centuries of dispute between the bishop of Utrecht and the Counts of
Bodegraven eventually became part of Holland.
In the late Middle Ages, large tracts of land around
prepared for cultivation by digging division ditches (kavelsloten)
perpendicular to the rivers (such as Oude Rijn, Meije, and Oude
Bodegrave) between land parcels and then ditches cross-wise some 1,250
meters (4,100 feet) from and parallel to the rivers (achtersloten).
This created the distinctive grid pattern of field divisions. Circa
1350, a lock was built at Bodegraven.
In 1672 when war was declared between the
Dutch Republic and England,
France, Münster, and Cologne,
Bodegraven was just behind the Water
Defense Line. The Water Line was inundated and formed a barrier to the
advancing French troops. But during the winter the French could
advance over the frozen polders to Meije and Zwammerdam. Before
Alphen aan den Rijn
Alphen aan den Rijn they could be repelled by the Dutch. Thaw
had set in so the only retreat route was along the dike of the Oude
Rijn. The French therefore came through
Bodegraven and destroyed it.
Afterwards, the fort Wierickerschans was built just east of the town.
Street scene in Bodegraven.
Bodegraven prospered. But in that year fire broke out in a
bakery which subsequently burnt a large part of the town. In all a 100
homes had burnt down and 130 families were homeless. A national
collection was held and the town quickly recovered.
In the 20th century,
Bodegraven expanded: the southside between the
Oude Rijn and the railway was built up circa 1900, the northside
between the World Wars, and since the 1950s the area between the
railway and the A12 Motorway has been built up.
Bodegraven is known as a centre for the cheese trade, controlled by
the powerful Goebel family, though the number of cheese warehouses has
decreased and, the Tuesday Cheese Market is no longer held since 2001.
There still is a cheese museum and a cheese monument in front of the
It was also known for its shampoo because of the Andrélon Factory,
founded in the 1940s by barber André de Jong. In 2005 the factory
closed and was demolished.
Bodegraven has a strategic location in the middle of the Green Heart,
resulting in a relative high number of industries located here.
There is a pictuesque historic windmill located in the town, which
dates from the late seventeenth century and is now known as "De
Arkduif" (the 'ark-dove' of the biblical
Noah's Ark story). This
currently houses a small brewery called Brouwerij De Molen.
The A12 Motorway, running next to Bodegraven, connects
The Hague via
Utrecht and Arnhem to the German border. The State Highway N11
connects the A12 with the A4 Motorway at Leiden.
Railway Station: Bodegraven. There is a train between Leiden and
Utrecht stopping in Bodegraven, twice in the hour.
There is only one bus (Line 178) in Bodegraven, connecting it with
Reeuwijk and Gouda. A local bus (Line 724) drives between the
communities Bodegraven, Zwammerdam, De Meije, Zegveld, Woerden,
Nieuwerbrug, and back to Bodegraven. A second local bus (Line 722)
Alphen aan den Rijn
Alphen aan den Rijn and
Bodegraven via Zwammerdam. A steam
tram formerly ran between
Bodegraven and Gouda. Between 1892 and 1917
it used horses instead of steam locomotives.
See also: Category:People from Bodegraven
Wyco de Vries - Water polo player (1996 Summer Olympics)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bodegraven.
Short history of Bodegraven, in Dutch