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Municipality of Gorinchem
Flagge der Gemeinde Gorinchem
Wappen der Gemeinde Gorinchem
Coat of arms
Province Zuid-Holland Zuid-Holland
Mayor Reinie Melissant-Briene (CDA)
Seat of the municipality Gorinchem
– Land
– Water
21.93 km2
18.87 km2
3.06 km2
CBS Code 0512
Inhabitants 37.416 (Jan. 1, 2021[1])
Population density 1706 inhabitants/km2
Coordinates 51° 50′ N, 4° 58′ ECoordinates 51° 50′ N, 4° 58′ O
Important traffic route A15E31 A27E311 N830
Area code 0183
Postal codes 4201–4208, 4213
Website Homepage of Gorinchem

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Gorinchem (Audio-Datei / Hörbeispiel sync and corrections by n17t01?/i) [

ˈɣɔɾkʏm], often spelled after the pronunciation Gorkum or Gorcum, is a town and municipality in the Dutch province of South Holland and had 37,416 inhabitants on 1 January 2021, according to CBS data. The total area of the municipality is 21.93 km².

Situation and economy

The city is located in the extreme southeast of the province on the Merwede River and at the southern end of the Merwede Canal. The Rotterdam-Tiel-Arnheim/Nijmegen and Utrecht-Breda motorways intersect at Gorinchem. Gorinchem has a small railway station on the local railway Dordrecht – Geldermalsen. The town has a large industrial area(Avelingen) with an inland harbour, where a shipyard, machine and other metal-working factories and wholesalers are located. The agriculture and horticulture in the area (cattle, apples) is also important.

Cesare Fracassini (1838-1868): Execution of the Martyrs of Gorkum, Rome, Vatican


Gorinchem was already a farming and fishing village around the year 1000. It was first documented in 1224. Otto van Arkel granted the already walled village town charter in 1382. After the Van Arkel family died out, Gorinchem became part of Holland in 1417, which favoured the town’s trade.

In 1566 the town became Protestant. In 1572, during the Eighty Years’ War, Gorcum fell to the rebellious Dutch, resulting in a massacre: Nineteen Catholic clergymen, because they refused to convert to the new doctrine, were taken away by the Geuses and later hanged. These victims of the intolerance of that time are called – nowadays also by many Protestants – the Martyrs of Gorkum. They were beatified by Pope Clement X on 24 November 1675. On 29 June 1867 they were canonised by Pope Pius IX. The most famous among them is Theodor van der Eem. The relics of the martyrs of Gorkum are venerated in the Church of Saint Nicholas in Brussels. Their day of commemoration is 9 July.

In 1609 the new town fortification was completed.

The 18th century was an era of economic decline for Gorinchem

During the winter campaign of 1813/1814, French troops entrenched themselves in Gorinchem against the advancing Prussian and Russian troops. In order to have a clear field of fire, the French general Antoine-Guillaume Rampon had all the buildings around the town demolished or burned down. On 22 January 1814 the siege of the town by the Allies began, and on 5 February the French surrendered. Parts of Gorinchem were destroyed by the fighting.

From about 1880, when the railway was built and new land and waterways were created, a second period of prosperity began.

Gorinchemse Tijd

The meridian that was authoritative (5° east longitude) since 17 March 1937 for Amsterdam time (AZ), in use in the Netherlands from 1909 to 1940, passed exactly through Gorinchem. Therefore one spoke also of the Gorinchemse Tijd (Gorinchemer time).[2]

Places of interest

The fortifications with the Dalem city gate can be counted among the sights. They were restored in 2001. The former town hall (built in 1860) houses the town museum. Gorinchem still has some old houses.

There is a marina on the Linge River, which also flows through the municipality.

A cycling tour via Arkel and the Linge dike to Leerdam or via Meerkerk to Ameide (municipality of Zederik), is recommended especially in early summer because of the picturesque landscape.


Allocation of seats in the municipal council

Local elections 2018[3]
Gains and losses
compared to 2014
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The March 21, 2018 local elections resulted in the following distribution of seats:

Party Seats[4]
2006 2010 2014 2018
Citysbelang 2 1 3 5
Democraten Gorinchem – — – — – — 4
VVD 3 5 3 3
PvdA 8 6 5 3
ChristenUnie/SGP 2 2 3 2
CDA 3 3 2 2
SP 4 2 3 2
D66 0 2 2 2
GroenLinks 1 2 2 1
Gorcum Actief – — – — 2 1
Jezus Leeft – — – — 0 0
Total 23 23 25 25


Since 28 August 2017, Reinie Melissant-Briene (CDA) is the acting mayor of the municipality.[5] Her collegium includes the aldermen Dick van Zanten (Stadsbelang), Eelke Kraaijeveld (PvdA), Joost van der Geest (CDA), Ro van Doesburg (Democraten Gorinchem) and the municipal secretary Simon de Leeuw.[6]


  • BelgiumBelgien Sint-Niklaas in Flanders, Belgium
  • ItalyItalien Lucca in Tuscany, Italy

Sons and daughters of the city

  • Henry of Gorkum (c. 1378-1431), Thomist and professor of theology
  • Thomas Erpenius (1584-1624), theologian and orientalist
  • Boudewijn Cats (1601-1663), Roman Catholic bishop
  • Cornelis Saftleven (1607-1681), painter
  • Jan Meerhout (before 1630-1677), painter
  • Jan van der Heyden (1637-1712), painter and inventor
  • Ida Gerhardt (1905-1997), poet, classical scholar and translator
  • Jan van Mersbergen (* 1971), writer and editor
  • Marco van Hoogdalem (* 1972), former football player
  • Fabio Jakobsen (* 1996), cyclist, born in Heukulem
  • Frenkie de Jong (* 1997), football player

Web links

Commons: Gorinchem– Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual references

  1. Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand. In: StatLine. Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, 10 March 2021 (Dutch).
  2. Eenheid van tijd in Nederland, accessed 19 April 2017 (Dutch).
  3. Result of the local elections 2014 2018@1@2Template:Dead Link/ no longer available, search web archives ) Info: Thelink was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice., retrieved 31 May 2018 (Dutch)
  4. Distribution of seats in the municipal council 2006 2010 2014 2018@1@2Template:Dead Link/ no longer available, search web archives ) Info: Thelink was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice., retrieved 31 May 2018 (Dutch)
  5. Installatie nieuwe burgemeester Gorinchem uitgesteld.In: RTV Rijnmond. 23 June 2017, retrieved 31 May 2018 (Dutch).
  6. Burgemeester en wethouders(Memento of Originals august 10, 2016 on the Internet Archive) Info:The archive linkwas inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this notice.@1@2Template:Webachiv/IABot/ Gemeente Gorinchem, retrieved 31 May 2018 (Dutch)