Enschede, The Netherlands

Living in or visiting Enschede? Information and useful links for students, locals and tourists.

Information about Enschede

Enschede, known as Eanske in the Twents dialect, and is a city in the eastern province of Overijssel and in the Twente region. The municipality has 100.000 inhabitants and lies only a few kilometres from the German border.

History of Enschede

People have been living around Enschede’s Old Marketplace from early medieval times, when it called Anescede or Enscede meaning either "near the border" or "near the Es".

The medieval city was largely built of wood, so fire was a constant risk and a series of fires in 1517, 1750 and 1862 earned the people from Enschede the nickname brandstichters (arsonists).

During World War II, Enschede was one of the first Dutch cities to be captured by German troops. Resistance members helped many of the city’s Jewish citizens to hide on farms in the area. Out of approximately 1.300 Jews in Enschede, 500 were saved (38 per cent), compared to less than 20 per cent in the rest of the Netherlands.

Enschde city
Photo by Flickr user FaceMePLS

Sites & Activities in Enschede

After suffering from an economic depression due to the loss of the city’s textile industry to cheaper factories in Asia, Enschede remade itself. The city centre is a car-free zone and the Old Market Square often hosts live music and other events at the weekends in front of the city’s oldest building, the 13th century Grote Kerk.

It also has a vibrant art scene, with a large number of galleries. Enschede’s rich history is captured in The Rijksmuseum Twenthe with its wide and varied collection of art and applied art from the Middle Ages up to the present day.

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