Saturday, February 25, 2012

5 historical moments in Eindhoven

In this blog we will describe the most important moments in the history of Eindhoven. You can find the moments that were crucial for the development of Eindhoven, but also the moments in history that Eindhoven became world news.

1) The moment that the city Eindhoven becomes the city Eindhoven
Because of fires, bombardments, pillages and even hurricanes, not much is left from the original city nowadays. But we know for sure that the city Eindhoven became the city Eindhoven in 1232.
In this year, Duke Hendrik I of Brabant granted city right to the little agricultural settlement. He probably did this to improve the trade route from north to south (Den Haag - Liège) and from east to west (Antwerp - Germany).
Fortunately, a couple of monuments have survived from this period! For example the monastery Marianhage (1421).
This building used to be the castle of Jan van Schoonvorst the lord of Eindhoven and Woensel. The castle wasn’t good enough for him, so he built a new castle (this new castle didn’t survive the eighty years’ war).
Also the Genneper water mill (before 1249) has survived the history of Eindhoven. It is also famous because it has been painted by van Gogh!

2) The moment that a light bulb became a light city
And then there was a little light bulb… Eindhoven wouldn’t be the same if Gerard Philips didn’t open his first lamp factory in 1891. After the first difficult years, he decided to hire his younger brother Anton. With Anton’s arrival the business began to expand rapidly. Especially after the First World War there was a high demand for light bulbs. Philips needed people from all over the country. They had to live somewhere, but Eindhoven wasn’t big enough. No problem would Anton Philips probably have thought: we just build an entirely new quarter with everything our employees need for their living. So this was the beginning of for example Philipsdorp and Drents Dorp with i.a. a Philips school, a Philips library and of course a Philips Sport Vereniging (PSV). Philips also arranged high education for his employees and for their employees’ children! Nowadays Philips is one of the biggest multinational electronic companies. There aren’t many public places in Eindhoven that don't have their origins in Philips.

Not only Philips, but also DAF (a Dutch truck company) had initiated the development of the city. Eindhoven has developed into one of the leading cities in Europe in the field of high tech, knowledge and design. Therefore, many technical companies are settled in Eindhoven, but also the Technical University, the Fontys Hogescholen and the Design academy. So it isn’t that unpredictable that Eindhoven uses the slogan ‘leading in technology’.

3) The moment of freedom in Eindhoven
Eindhoven has suffered a lot in World War II. Between 1942 and 1943 there were three bombardements on Eindhoven. On september 18th 1944 the Allies liberated Eindhoven as one of the first cities in the Netherlands.
The square ’18 septemberplein’is named after this event.

4) The moment that a sport became a culture
Eindhoven is not only known world wide as the light city, but also as the home base of the soccer club Eindhoven. Founded in 1912 by Philips, PSV has become famous by winning the UEFA Cup (1978) and the European Cup (1988). PSV belongs to the Big Tree in the Netherlands (along with Ajax and Feyenoord). The club has won the national league 21 times, the national cup eight times and the Johan Cruijf Schaal also eight times. They are often nicknamed as Boeren in reference to their origins as a provincial city club.

5) The moments of fame of Eindhoven Airport
In terms of numbers of served passengers, Eindhoven Airport is the second largest airport in the Netherlands. In 1932, the airport was founded under the name Welschap. During World War II, it was extensively bombed. Many of these bombs were found years after the war during the construction of the new district Meerhoven. (I remember that once I had a day off from school, because one of these bombs had to be dismantled!)
Eindhoven Airport became world wide news, when the Hercules aircraft crashed here in 1996. This disaster took the lives of 34 passengers. This amount could have been less if the air control hadn’t failed in informing the Chief Fire officer about the number of passengers. The fire fighters assumed that only the crew was on board. Therefore, they started with extinguishing the fire instead of rescuing passengers.
Fortunately, Eindhoven airport was also positive in the news. For example when the Pope arrived at the airport in 1985. This was the first Pope, since the 11th century, who visited the Netherlands. But also hundreds of thousands spectators visited Eindhoven Airport, when the Netherlands national football team arrived, after becoming European Champions in 1988. This was one of the biggest events on Eindhoven Airport. 

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