Utrecht (province)

Utrecht (province)

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Utrecht (ˈytrɛxt) is the smallest province
Provinces of the Netherlands
A Dutch province represents the administrative layer in between the national government and the local municipalities, having the responsibility for matters of subnational or regional importance. The government of each province consists of three major parts: the Provinciale Staten which is the...

 of the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 in terms of area, and is located in the centre of the country. It is bordered by the Eemmeer
Eemmeer
The Eemmeer is a lake situated in the middle of the Netherlands between the provinces of Flevoland and Utrecht, Noord-Holland. It measures and contains one small island, the Dode Hond . The Eemmeer is one in a series of peripheral lakes used to geohydrologically detach the low-lying polders of...

 in the north, Gelderland
Gelderland
Gelderland is the largest province of the Netherlands, located in the central eastern part of the country. The capital city is Arnhem. The two other major cities, Nijmegen and Apeldoorn have more inhabitants. Other major regional centers in Gelderland are Ede, Doetinchem, Zutphen, Tiel, Wijchen,...

 in the east, the river Rhine in the south, South Holland
South Holland
South Holland is a province situated on the North Sea in the western part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is The Hague and its largest city is Rotterdam.South Holland is one of the most densely populated and industrialised areas in the world...

 in the west, and North Holland
North Holland
North Holland |West Frisian]]: Noard-Holland) is a province situated on the North Sea in the northwest part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is Haarlem and its largest city is Amsterdam.-Geography:...

 in the northwest. Utrecht makes up one region of the International Organization for Standardization
International Organization for Standardization
The International Organization for Standardization , widely known as ISO, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on February 23, 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial...

 world region code system, having the code ISO 3166-2:NL
ISO 3166-2:NL
ISO 3166-2:NL is the entry for the Netherlands in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.Currently for the Netherlands, ISO...

-UT. Important cities in the province are its capital (also called Utrecht
Utrecht (city)
Utrecht city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 312,634 on 1 Jan 2011.Utrecht's ancient city centre features...

), Amersfoort
Amersfoort
Amersfoort is a municipality and the second largest city of the province of Utrecht in central Netherlands. The city is growing quickly but has a well-preserved and protected medieval centre. Amersfoort is one of the largest railway junctions in the country, because of its location on two of the...

, Veenendaal, Houten
Houten
Houten is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. The expected population in 2015 will be 50,000. The municipality consists of the following towns:* Houten * 't Goy * Schalkwijk...

, Nieuwegein
Nieuwegein
Nieuwegein is a municipality and city in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is bordered on the north by the city of Utrecht, the provincial capital...

 and Zeist
Zeist
Zeist is a municipality and a town in the central Netherlands, located east of the city of Utrecht.-Population centres :*Austerlitz*Bosch en Duin*Den Dolder*Huis ter Heide*Zeist- The town of Zeist :...

.

History


In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, most of the area of the current province was ruled by bishops of the Bishopric of Utrecht. The bishopric was founded in 722 by Willibrord
Willibrord
__notoc__Willibrord was a Northumbrian missionary saint, known as the "Apostle to the Frisians" in the modern Netherlands...

. Many wars were fought between Utrecht and the neighbouring counties and duchies, Holland
County of Holland
The County of Holland was a county in the Holy Roman Empire and from 1482 part of the Habsburg Netherlands in what is now the Netherlands. It covered an area roughly corresponding to the current Dutch provinces of North-Holland and South-Holland, as well as the islands of Terschelling, Vlieland,...

, Guelders
Guelders
Guelders or Gueldres is the name of a historical county, later duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the Low Countries.-Geography:...

 and Brabant
Duchy of Brabant
The Duchy of Brabant was a historical region in the Low Countries. Its territory consisted essentially of the three modern-day Belgian provinces of Flemish Brabant, Walloon Brabant and Antwerp, the Brussels-Capital Region and most of the present-day Dutch province of North Brabant.The Flag of...

. In 1527, the bishop of Utrecht sold his worldly power over his territories to Emperor Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, who already owned most other Dutch provinces. However, the Habsburg rule did not last long, as Utrecht joined the revolt of the United Provinces against Charles's son Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 in 1579. In World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Utrecht was held by German forces until the general capitulation of the Germans in the Netherlands on May 5, 1945. It was occupied by Canadian Allied forces on May 7, 1945. The towns of Oudewater
Oudewater
Oudewater is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht.-Population centres :The municipality of Oudewater consists of the following cities, towns, villages and/or districts: Hekendorp, Oudewater, Papekop, Snelrewaard....

, Woerden
Woerden
Woerden is a municipality and a city in the central Netherlands. Due to its central location between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, and the fact that it has excellent rail and road connections to those cities, it is a popular town for commuters who work in those cities.-Population...

 and Vianen were transferred from the province of South Holland
South Holland
South Holland is a province situated on the North Sea in the western part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is The Hague and its largest city is Rotterdam.South Holland is one of the most densely populated and industrialised areas in the world...

 to Utrecht in 1970, 1989 and 2002 respectively.

In February 2011, Utrecht, together with the provinces of North Holland
North Holland
North Holland |West Frisian]]: Noard-Holland) is a province situated on the North Sea in the northwest part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is Haarlem and its largest city is Amsterdam.-Geography:...

 and Flevoland
Flevoland
Flevoland is a province of the Netherlands. Located in the centre of the country, at the location of the former Zuiderzee, the province was established on January 1, 1986; the twelfth province of the country, with Lelystad as its capital...

, showed a desire to investigate the feasibility of a merger between the three provinces. This has been positively received by the Dutch cabinet, for the desire to create one Randstad province
Randstad
Image:Randstad_with_scale.png|400px|thumb|right|Clickable schematic map of the Randstadcircle 528 380 26 Schipholrect 426 356 498 436 Haarlemmermeerrect 399 166 479 245 Velsencircle 250 716 32 Delftcircle 220 642 60 The Hague...

 has already been mentioned in the coalition agreement
Coalition agreement
In multiparty democracies, a coalition agreement is an agreement between the parties that form the cabinet. It codifies the most important goals and objectives of the cabinet. It is often written by the leaders of the parliamentary parties.-Examples:...

. The province of South Holland, part of the Randstad urban area, visioned to be part of the Randstad province, and very much supportive of the idea of a merger into one province, is not named. With or without South Holland, if created, the new province would be the largest in the Netherlands in both area and population
Ranked list of Dutch provinces
thumb|300px|Map of the Netherlands, with provinces and capital cities-Population, area and density, sortable on each field:-By population:-By area:...

.

Geography


In the east of Utrecht lies the Utrecht Hill Ridge
Utrecht Hill Ridge
Utrecht Hill Ridge is a ridge of low sandhills that stretches in a direction from southeast to northwest over the Dutch province of Utrecht and over a part of North Holland. The total length of the region is about 50 km. It covers an area of approximately 23.000 ha...

 (Dutch: Utrechtse Heuvelrug), a chain of hills left as lateral moraine by tongues of glacial ice after the Saline glaciation that preceded the last ice age
Ice age
An ice age or, more precisely, glacial age, is a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers...

. Because of the scarcity of nutrients in the fast-draining sandy soil, the greatest part of a landscape that was formerly heath
Heath (habitat)
A heath or heathland is a dwarf-shrub habitat found on mainly low quality acidic soils, characterised by open, low growing woody vegetation, often dominated by plants of the Ericaceae. There are some clear differences between heath and moorland...

 has been planted with pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

 plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

s. The south of the province is a river landscape. The west consists mostly of meadows. In the north are big lakes formed by the digging of peat
Peat
Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter or histosol. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world...

 from bogs formed after the last ice age.

Municipalities


The Province of Utrecht consists of 26 municipalities.
For a complete list, including former municipalities, see List of municipalities in Utrecht

  • Amersfoort
    Amersfoort
    Amersfoort is a municipality and the second largest city of the province of Utrecht in central Netherlands. The city is growing quickly but has a well-preserved and protected medieval centre. Amersfoort is one of the largest railway junctions in the country, because of its location on two of the...

  • Baarn
    Baarn
    Baarn is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht.-The municipality Baarn :The municipality of Baarn consists of the following towns: Baarn, Eembrugge, Lage Vuursche.- The town Baarn :...

  • Bunnik
    Bunnik
    Bunnik is a municipality and a village in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. The recorded history of the village dates back nearly 2000 years, when the Romans constructed a fort at Fectio with a harbour facing the river Rhine, which marked the border of the Roman Empire...

  • Bunschoten
  • De Bilt
    De Bilt
    De Bilt is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht.-Population centres :The municipality of De Bilt consists of the following cities, towns, villages and/or districts: Bilthoven, De Bilt, Groenekan, Hollandsche Rading, Maartensdijk, Westbroek...

  • De Ronde Venen
    De Ronde Venen
    De Ronde Venen is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht.-Population centres :The municipality of De Ronde Venen consists of the villages Amstelhoek, De Hoef, Mijdrecht, Vinkeveen, Waverveen, and Wilnis, and a number of hamlets, such as Aan de Zuwe and Achterbos...

  • Eemnes
    Eemnes
    Eemnes is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht.-The town of Eemnes :Eemnes formerly consisted of two villages, Eemnes-Binnen and Eemnes-Buiten...

  • Houten
    Houten
    Houten is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. The expected population in 2015 will be 50,000. The municipality consists of the following towns:* Houten * 't Goy * Schalkwijk...

  • IJsselstein
    IJsselstein
    IJsselstein is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. IJsselstein received city rights in 1331. IJsselstein owes its name to the river Hollandse IJssel which flows through the city....


  • Leusden
    Leusden
    Leusden is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. It is located about 3 kilometres southeast of Amersfoort....

  • Lopik
    Lopik
    Lopik is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht.In the Netherlands, 'Lopik' is often used as a reference to the broadcasting facilities located in the eastern part of the municipality and in neighbouring IJsselstein...

  • Montfoort
    Montfoort
    Montfoort is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. Montfoort received city rights in 1329.-Population centres :...

  • Nieuwegein
    Nieuwegein
    Nieuwegein is a municipality and city in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is bordered on the north by the city of Utrecht, the provincial capital...

  • Oudewater
    Oudewater
    Oudewater is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht.-Population centres :The municipality of Oudewater consists of the following cities, towns, villages and/or districts: Hekendorp, Oudewater, Papekop, Snelrewaard....

  • Renswoude
    Renswoude
    Renswoude is a municipality and a town in the central Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht.-External links:*...

  • Rhenen
    Rhenen
    Rhenen is a municipality and a city in the central Netherlands.The municipality also includes the villages of Achterberg, Remmerden, Elst and Laareind. The town lies at a geographically interesting location, namely on the southernmost part of the chain of hills known as the Utrecht Hill Ridge ,...

  • Soest
  • Stichtse Vecht
    Stichtse Vecht
    Stichtse Vecht is a municipality of the Netherlands and lies in the northwestern part of the province of Utrecht.The municipality has about 63,000 inhabitants and covers an area of about 107 km²...


  • Utrecht
    Utrecht (city)
    Utrecht city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 312,634 on 1 Jan 2011.Utrecht's ancient city centre features...

  • Utrechtse Heuvelrug
    Utrechtse Heuvelrug
    Utrechtse Heuvelrug is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. It was formed on 1 January 2006 by combining the former municipalities of Amerongen, Doorn, Driebergen-Rijsenburg, Leersum, and Maarn.-Name:...

  • Veenendaal
  • Vianen
  • Wijk bij Duurstede
    Wijk bij Duurstede
    - The city of Wijk bij Duurstede :The city is located on the Rhine. At Wijk bij Duurstede, the Kromme Rijn branches off, and the main branch is called Lek River downstream from Wijk bij Duurstede....

  • Woerden
    Woerden
    Woerden is a municipality and a city in the central Netherlands. Due to its central location between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, and the fact that it has excellent rail and road connections to those cities, it is a popular town for commuters who work in those cities.-Population...

  • Woudenberg
    Woudenberg
    Woudenberg is a municipality and a town in the central Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht.There are still forests in the western part of the municipality. The Pyramid of Austerlitz is located here.-The town Woudenberg :...

  • Zeist
    Zeist
    Zeist is a municipality and a town in the central Netherlands, located east of the city of Utrecht.-Population centres :*Austerlitz*Bosch en Duin*Den Dolder*Huis ter Heide*Zeist- The town of Zeist :...



External links