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The municipality of Breda consists of the following population centres: Bavel, Breda, De Rith, Effen, Eikberg, Hoeveneind, Kerkeind, Lies, Prinsenbeek, Roosberg, Strikberg, Teteringen, Ulvenhout.
- The rest of this article deals with the city of Breda alone.
The city of Breda
Breda was a fortified city of strategic significance in North Brabant. Many events transpired in the city.
In the 11th century Breda was a direct fief of the Holy Roman Emperor, its earliest known lord being Henry of Brunesheim (1080 - 1125). In 1327 Breda was sold by Adelheid of Gaveren to John III, Duke of Brabant. In 1350 the fief was resold to John II of Wassenaar (d. 1377). In 1403 the heiress of his line, Johanna of Polanen (1392 - 1445), married Engelbert I of Nassau (1370 - 1442). Henceforth it remained in the house of Nassau, passing ultimately to William I of Orange (1533 - 1584), the first stadtholder of the Netherlands. Thus the baron of Breda was also count of Nassau, Germany; Prince of Orange and stadtholders of the Dutch Republic (from 1572-1650, 1672-1702, 1747-1795). Breda remained part of the barony Breda until it was extinguished by French revolutionary forces in 1795
The city of Breda obtained a municipal charter in 1252. It was fortified in 1534 by Count Henry III of Nassau and remained an impregnable stronghold of the line of fortresses along the Meuse. Breda was captured by surprise by the Spaniards in 1581, but in 1590 it fell again into the hands of Maurice of Nassau, 68 picked men contriving to get into the town concealed under the turf in a peat-boat. The Spaniards Hole still marks the spot where the peat-boat lay. The surrender of Breda in 1625, after a ten months siege, to the Spaniards under Spinola was memorialized by Diego Velasquez. In 1637 Breda was recaptured by Frederick Henry of Orange after a four months siege, and in 1648 it was finally ceded to Holland by the Treaty of Westphalia.
The toppled Stuart dynasty of King Charles II of England resided in Breda during his exile in the ongoing Cromwellian Commonwealth and Protectorate. Based mostly on suggestions by Parliamentarian General George Monck, Charles II's Declaration of Breda (1660) made known the conditions of his acceptance of the crown of England which he was to accept/resume later in the same year.
Breda was the site of one of the first panopticon prison establishments.
During the World War II the city was under German occupation. It was liberated following a successful outflanking manouevre planned and performed by forces of 1st Polish Armoured Division of gen. Maczek on October 29, 1944.
The city has the following suburban neighbourhoods: Princenhage (former village), Ginneken (former village), de Haagse Beemden, de IJpelaar, Heusdenhout, Belcrum, and de Hoge Vucht.
Economic activities are mainly industrial. Breda traditionally was, and still is, a center of the candy industry. Breda also has a sugar factory, supplying the candy industry, and a brewery (Oranjeboom) which is one of the biggest breweries in the Netherlands. Interbrew, the owner of the brewery decided in 2002 to close down the brewery in 2004.
Breda has a city center with beautiful old buildings and singels (moats). The shops and a shopping mall are located here. The city is also home to a museum devoted to General Stanisław Maczek and the Polish 1st Armoured Division.
Breda has train stations Breda and Breda-Prinsenbeek, providing connections with Zuid-Holland (Dordrecht - Rotterdam - Den Haag) and Tilburg - Eindhoven/Den Bosch, and from station Breda also to Roosendaal with connection to Vlissingen.
The Dutch Royal Military Academy, Koninklijke Militaire Academie , is located here.
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