Enschede (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɛnsxəˌdeː] (listen), also known as Eanske [ˈɛːnskə] in the local dialect of Twents, is a municipality and city in the eastern Netherlands in the province of Overijssel and in the Twente region. The municipality of Enschede consisted of the city of Enschede until 1935, when the rural municipality of Lonneker, which surrounded the city, was annexed after the rapid industrial expansion of Enschede which began in the 1860s and involved the building of railways and the digging of the Twentekanaal.

Images, from top down, left to right: Skyline of Enschede,
the Rijksmuseum Twenthe, the White House mansion,
Synagogue of Enschede, Grolsch Veste stadium of FC Twente,
St. James Church, historic city centre of Enschede


Coat of arms
Location in Overijssel
Coordinates: 52°13′N 6°54′E
  BodyMunicipal council
  MayorOnno van Veldhuizen (D66)
  Municipality142.72 km2 (55.10 sq mi)
  Land141.00 km2 (54.44 sq mi)
  Water1.72 km2 (0.66 sq mi)
Elevation42 m (138 ft)
 (Municipality, August 2017; Urban and Metro, May 2014)[4][5]
  Density1,118/km2 (2,900/sq mi)
626,586 [6]
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code053


Enschede lies in the eastern part of Overijssel and is the easternmost city of more than 140,000 inhabitants in the Netherlands. The city lies a few kilometres from Germany, which borders the municipality. A few small rivers flow through or surround the city, such as the Roombeek and Glanerbeek.

Enschede contains five official city districts ("Stadsdelen"). Note that they also include surrounding villages in the municipality:

  • Stadsdeel Centrum (Binnenstad, Boddenkamp, De Bothoven, 't Getfert, Hogeland Noord, Horstlanden-Veldkamp, Laares, Lasonder-'t Zeggelt)
  • Stadsdeel Noord (for example: Lonneker, Deppenbroek, Bolhaar, Mekkelholt, Roombeek, Twekkelerveld)
  • Stadsdeel Oost (for example: Wooldrik, Velve-Lindenhof, De Eschmarke, ’t Ribbelt, Stokhorst, Dolphia, ’t Hogeland and Glanerbrug)
  • Stadsdeel Zuid (Wesselerbrink, Helmerhoek and Stroinkslanden)
  • Stadsdeel West (Boswinkel, Ruwenbos, Pathmos, Stadsveld, Bruggert, ’t Zwering, ’t Havengebied, De Marssteden, Boekelo, Usselo and Twekkelo)


Like most of the Netherlands, Enschede features an oceanic climate (Cfb in the Köppen classification), however, winters tend to be less mild than the rest of the Netherlands due to its inland location. Although the former military airport is derelict and plans to revive the place were canceled in 2012, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute still maintains a weather station there.

Climate data for Twenthe (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.5
Average high °C (°F) 4.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.3
Average low °C (°F) −0.5
Record low °C (°F) −21.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 71.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 52.8 82.6 114.0 169.9 202.1 184.6 202.4 184.4 137.4 112.3 58.9 46.0 1,547.3
Source: KNMI [7]



The early history of Enschede is largely unknown, but a settlement existed around the Old Marketplace in early medieval times. The name of this settlement is mentioned as Anescede or Enscede meaning either "near the border" (with Bentheim) or "near the Es" and sported a church, a marketplace and a fortified aristocratic house.[8]

Enschede was granted city rights around 1300 which were confirmed in 1325 by Bishop Jan III van Diest and henceforth was allowed to protect itself with a wall. Because a stone wall was too expensive (since stone had to be imported), Enschede had a system of ditches, palisades and hedges instead, which is still reflected in the street-names Noorderhagen and Zuiderhagen (North Hedge and South Hedge, respectively). The city plan of this era is still recognisable in the street-pattern. The city was spared destruction in 1597 at its capture during the Eighty Years' War when after a short siege, the Spanish garrison surrendered the city and the defences were razed.

Because the medieval city was largely built of wood and stone houses were the exception, fire was a constant risk and a series of fires in 1517, 1750 and again on 7 May 1862 earned the people from Enschede the nickname Brandstichters (arsonists).


The last fire coincided with the start of the growth of the city into a large production center of textiles, originally as a cottage industry, but since the start of the 19th century on an industrial scale, especially the manufacture of bombazijn (a mixture of cotton and linen) proved a successful export. One such factory to have produced textiles in the late 19th century is the Hardick & Seckel Factory.

The industrialisation stimulated a large increase in population, which by 1894 had reached an estimated 18,267:[9] nineteenth-century urban growth was at first rather chaotic. The names of the slums (like De Krim and Sebastopol) are still notorious, although they have long since been torn down. In 1907 the laissez faire mentality was dropped and Enschede was the first city in the Netherlands to draw up an official expansion-plan, incorporating the surrounding municipality of Lonneker.

World War II

During the Second World War Enschede was one of the first Dutch cities to be captured by German troops, being the city closest to Germany. Resistance members helped many of the Jews from Enschede to hide on farms in the vicinity. Out of approximately 1300 Jews in Enschede, 500 were saved (38.5%), compared to less than 20% in the rest of the Netherlands. This higher survival rate is attributed to three members of the Jewish Council of Enschede, Sig Menko, Gerard Sanders and Isidoor Van Dam who took the initiative, against the advice of the Jewish Council of Amsterdam, of urging their community to go into hiding and not to answer the call-up of the Germans for "labour in the East".

Enschede was bombed on several occasions, most notably on October 10, 1943 and February 22, 1944. During the first raid the nearby airport (then Fliegerhorst Twente) was a target of opportunity for the VIII Bomber Command during a raid on rail- and waterways in Münster.[10][11] 141 people died and many houses were damaged. The latter mission named Enschede as a target of opportunity during Big Week after bombers had been recalled due to adverse weather.[12]

The end of the industrial age

In the 1970s the textile production in Enschede came to a halt, due to fierce competition from mainly the Far East. This had a profound effect on the populace. Enschede became one of the poorest municipalities in the Netherlands and went bankrupt. Large areas of industrial wasteland came to mark the city. With the support of the national government, this property was acquired and rebuilt. The city center was rendered a car-free zone.

In 1961 it was announced a third technical university would be founded, placed on an estate on the western border of Enschede. This green campus called Drienerlo was donated by the city of Enschede. Building was complete in 1964, when the first and only full-facility university of the Netherlands was realised.

On 13 May 2000, a fireworks storage depot in Enschede exploded, destroying part of the neighborhood of Roombeek and killing 23 people, including 4 firemen. In 2001 a referendum confirmed the proposal of the city council to expand the built-up area into the Usseler Es, an area of historic cultural significance and of geological importance, as it was here that the Usselo horizon was discovered. The renovations at Roombeek were finished in the year 2012. The place where the factory used to be is now a monument.


The largest religion in Enschede is Christianity with 34.9% of the population being Christian.

Religions in Enschede (2013)[13]

  No affiliation (58.9%)
  Roman Catholic (17.1%)
  Other Christian denominations (6.1%)
  Islam (5.0%)
  Hinduism (0.8%)
  Buddhism (0.3%)
  Judaism (0.1%)


The city is a former centre of textile production. When this industry left the area for cheaper production centers in South-East Asia, Enschede became one of the poorest municipalities in the Netherlands. More educated and wealthy citizens have historically migrated to the Randstad region; decades of renovation work in the city center have been carried out with the goal of making Enschede more attractive to this group.

Modern shopping centers and department stores that until recently were only found in much larger cities have been opened. Enschede is host to many yearly festivals and the Old Market Square is often the venue for events, live music and other activities on the weekend.

The proximity to Germany has, historically, been another major factor in the city's economic activity, ranging from the smuggling of coffee and tobacco in the 19th and 20th century, to large numbers of Germans, who visit the city's shops and weekly markets. Therefore, many natives of Enschede speak German more or less fluently.

The city is co-operating with the nearby municipalities of Almelo, Borne and Hengelo as Netwerkstad Twente. A draft law plan to merge Enschede with Hengelo and Almelo was defeated in parliament under the influence of opposition from the other towns.

Grolsch beer is brewed in Enschede, and the tyre manufacturer Apollo Vredestein B.V. head office and a factory is in the city. It is one of the most important employers of the region.

Research, education and health care

The Universiteit Twente (University of Twente), a university with mostly technical studies, is located in Enschede. It is one of the four technical universities in the Netherlands (besides Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and the Wageningen University and Research Centre). The Universiteit Twente is also the only large-campus university in the Netherlands.

The university has courses in pure technical studies such as Applied Physics, Applied Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Informatics/Computer Science and Industrial Engineering and also offers study programmes in Communication, Psychology, Economic Sciences, International Business Administration, Public Administration, Applied Medicine and Biomedical Technology; the latter attract a broader public. Since 2006, the programmes of European Studies, Advanced Technology, Creative Technology and ATLAS University College have been added to the university's offerings.

Enschede is also home to one of the three campuses of Saxion University of Applied Sciences (Saxion Hogeschool Enschede), a polytechnical school offering internationally recognized Bachelor's degrees and Master's degrees in a wide range of fields, including engineering, economics, social work, investigations and health care.[14] The other campuses are located in Deventer and Apeldoorn.

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente, with former name International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences, (known by its abbreviation ITC) runs MSc, Master's, Diploma and PhD courses in Geo-Information Science for developing countries. Students from all over the world attend the ITC. Enschede also has an academy of arts and design combined with a conservatory named ArtEZ.

The Medisch Spectrum Twente (MST) hospital is one of the largest top-clinical hospitals of the Netherlands and features important tertiary care departments, fulfilling a supraregional role. It includes a level I trauma center as well. The hospital is strongly involved in higher medical education, with up to 300 medical students following their internships in the hospital at any given time, closely working together with the University of Twente's Technical Medicine program training a new type of technically specialized doctors.


Enschede is a terminus station of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) railway lines from the west. Trains operate to Hengelo, Almelo, Zwolle, Deventer, Apeldoorn, Amersfoort, Hilversum, Amsterdam, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague.

To the east there is a line to Gronau, Germany, which has two more stations in the Netherlands: Enschede De Eschmarke and Glanerbrug. The latter two have low ridership. The line is served by DB Regionalbahn Westfalen (part of the German Deutsche Bahn), to Münster and to Dortmund, each on an hourly interval and alternating half-hours in the service to Gronau.

There is no track connection between the two systems. The through line had been retained for eventual NATO use during the Cold War even after through passenger service was ended (September 1981), although it was in serious disrepair in later years. With the renewal of service to Germany (May 2001) the track was severed; there is a gap of about 30 centimeters between them.[15]

There is also Enschede Kennispark railway station, near the football stadium.

Enschede is situated at the south-east terminus of the Twentekanaal. There is also a network of bus lines connecting nearly every part of the city with the centre. Enschede also has bus connections to nearby towns and cities, like Hengelo, Oldenzaal and south towards Haaksbergen, Neede and Eibergen. The city lines are operated by Syntus, under the Twents-branche. The interlocal lines are exploited by Syntus and Arriva.

Previously, Enschede had a combined regional civil airport, Enschede Airport, and Airbase Twenthe of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The latter was closed in 2007; the former was closed in 2008.


There are several museums in Enschede, among them the Rijksmuseum Twenthe for art. A museum of natural history and a museum dedicated to the history of the textiles industry, both closed in January 2007, have merged, and have reopened in April 2008 in new premises on a new location under the name TwentseWelle (Source/Well of Twente). The new location is situated in Roombeek, where a fireworks disaster took place in 2000. The new museum is located partly in a renovated old textile factory, in reference to Enschede's textile history, and partly in an adjourning new building, designed by the Amsterdam-based firm SeARCH (project architect: Bjarne Mastenbroek). Besides museums there are also several art spaces, the most prominent being Villa de Bank and TETEM. The latter focuses on art and technology, and aims to be accessible for a wide public.[16] Enschede is also home of The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra.

In December 2012, the Serious Request action from national radio station 3FM took place in Enschede, which collected more than 12.2 million euros (almost 16.2 million US dollars).


Enschede's association football club is FC Twente. Twente were the 2010 Eredivisie champions but were relegated to the second tier league, the Eerste Divisie, after the 2017-18 season.

The oldest marathon of the Netherlands, and the second oldest of Europe, is the Enschede Marathon. The student rowing club D.R.V. Euros has produced several national champions and one Olympic Champion. DOS-WK played until 2006 in the highest competition of korfball, the 'Korfbal League'.

Enschede (Old Church to University) is the final stage of the Batavierenrace, a footrace relay beginning in Nijmegen, contested mostly by university student teams and claimed to be the largest relay races in the world, with 8000 participants. Enschede built the second indoor speed skating arena in the country, IJsbaan Twente.

Twin towns

Notable people born in Enschede

See also People from Enschede


  1. "Peter den Oudsten" (in Dutch). Gemeente Enschede. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  2. "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  3. "Postcodetool for 7511HC". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  4. "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  5. "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  6. Regionale Kerncijfers Nederland, CBS (1 januari 2012)
  7. "Twenthe, long-term averages, time period 1981–2010 (in Dutch)" (PDF). Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  8. enschede-stad.nl Archived 2015-02-14 at the Wayback Machine
  9. The Century Cyclopaedia of Names, coordinated by Benjamin E Smith and published by the De Vinne Press, New York 1894 (Page 363)
  10. USAAF Chronology
  11. American Air Museum in Britain, mission 114
  12. American Air Museum in Britain, 8th Air Force 230 BIG WEEK - DAY 3
  13. "Kerkelijkheid en kerkbezoek, 2010/2013". Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek.
  14. "Saxion University of Applied Sciences (english site)". Saxion.edu. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  15. Archived June 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  16. "Tetem - Uit in Enschede (in Dutch)". Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  17. IMDb Database retrieved 29 August 2019


  • Alfred Hagemann/Elmar Hoff (Hg.): Insel der Träume. Musik in Gronau und Enschede (1895–2005), Klartext-Verlag, Essen 2006.
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