Living in or visiting Breda? Information and useful links for students, locals and tourists.
Information about Breda
Breda is city in North Brabant. The name comes from "brede Aa" (wide Aa), meaning the confluence of the Mark and Aa rivers.
Breda was initially a direct fief of the Holy Roman Emperor, not gaining a municipal charger until 1252. In 1327, it was sold to the Duke of Brabant and eventually ended up in the possession of the House of Nassau, passing to William I of Orange, who made it an official residence.
This presence of the House of Orange-Nassau attracted other nobles, who built many large homes, including the first renaissance-style palace north of the Alps. In 1534 a fire destroyed 90 percent of the city, with only 150 buildings remaining out of nearly 1300.
Sites & Activities in Breda
Breda’s historical role as a fortress can be seen in many of the buildings, including the Castle of Breda, which houses the Royal Military Academy, and the Kloosterkazerne, an infantry barracks established in a former monastery in 1814. In 1993 the military left and Breda’s popular Chassé theatre is now on the site.
There is also a rich religious architectural tradition in Breda, with churches from the late medieval period through to 19th century neo-Gothic buildings and 20th century churches in styles such as the Delft School, the Bossche School and modernism.