The streets in this Dutch neighbourhood are named after Lord of the Rings!
No, this is not a hoax. This is actually true. One neighbourhood in the town of Geldrop, close to Eindhoven, has named all its streets after J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings characters. This is, of course, not news, since the streets have held the names since the early 90s, but it is still pretty awesome.
Lord of the Rings neighbourhood
In the Genoenhuis neighbourhood in Geldrop, almost 90 streets are named after characters from Lord of the Rings. Nowhere else in the world has this many streets bearing the names of Tolkien’s fantasy figures. The streets haven’t been named higgledy-piggledy, either: the elves are with the elves and the dwarves with the dwarves.
In the north of the neighbourhood, you’ll find Gondorian streets with names like Aragon, Denethor and Palantir, and to the south, you’ll find Pippin, Peregrin and Gimli. In the centre, you can see Gandalf and Samwise. The dwarf section is in the west and includes the character names: Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Balin, Dwalin, Dori, Ori, Fili and Kili. You won’t find any streets named after “evil” characters, apart from one called Saruman. There's even a pre-school called De Hobbit!
Fun fact: according to the animal health centre in Geldrop, back in March, there were 16 pets in the town with the name Frodo and two called Gimli. It seems as though the area has inspired peoples’ choice of pet names ?.
So why name the neighbourhood after Lord of the Rings?
Well, if you look up why, you’ll most likely get the response that no one knows. But, of course, there has to be a reason why the town decided to go with names from Tolkien’s beloved series. And indeed there is.
When the neighbourhood designer’s motivations were explained to the Street Name Committee, they had 14 days to come up with an idea for the street names. At first, they wanted to name as many streets as possible after deserving council alumni. However, they quickly realised that they didn’t have enough names to create a coherent proposal, according to the head of the Street Name Committee at the time, Nick van Broekhoven.
When the Committee met again, some members couldn’t think of a better idea than to simply open up an encyclopaedia and pick 90 random birds or fruits. The committee didn’t really want to do that, so Van Broekhoven decided to bring his own proposal to the table - to use names from Lord of the Rings.
This proposal had more than enough names for all the streets, was coherent and had a cultural element. At course, there was some resistance and from one of the documents from 1990 it seems as though not everyone on the town council was happy, but in the end the names got the go ahead - obviously.
Have you been to Geldrop?
So there you have it. The reason why Geldrop has a whole neighbourhood with LOTR names. Have you visited? Any LOTR fans planning on making a trip? Let us know in the comments below.