Municipality of South Holland

Population: 118,000

Specialities: bitterballen (dumplings), hutspot (mashed potatoes and carrots), kibbeling (fish fritters), oliebollen (fritters), pepernoten and kruidnoten (biscuits), spekkoek (a kind of mille-feuille), stroopwafel (waffles).

Personalities: Jacob van Geel, Aelbert Cuyp, Gerrit Malleyn, Abraham van Strij, Johannes Christiaan Schotel, Ary Scheffer (painters), Lucinda Brand (cyclist).

Culture: the town was named "liveliest town in the Netherlands" in 2003. Dordt in Stoom (festival dedicated to steam vehicles, boats, trains, cars, etc.). Kunstrondje Dordt (arts and crafts festival), Dordt Monumenteel (heritage), largest Christmas market in the Netherlands, Wantijfestival (music), World Jazz Days (jazz), Boulevard of Dance, Big Rivers Festival (theatre, music, etc.), Cello Festival. Dordrecht Festivals

Sport: FC Dordrecht (Football, D2)

Economy: Dordrecht's economy is based primarily on shipbuilding, the timber industry, and the steel industry. The largest company is Dupont de Nemours Netherlands, which employs 900 people. Two business parks are under development, one dedicated to health (flanked by a new sports complex) and the other to apprenticeships.

Websites and social networks:


Dordrecht is the birthplace of Lucinda Brand, two-times national road champion in 2013 and 2015 and cyclo-cross world champion in 2021. The rider from the Lidl-Trek team, 52nd of the last Tour Femmes, also won the Grand Prix de Plouay in 2014 and has won the Tour of Norway in 2016, the Tour of Thuringia in 2021 and the Tour of Switzerland in 2022. She is considered one of the best descenders in the women's peloton. Among the men, we should mention Evert Dolman, winner of the Tour of Flanders in 1971 after having been world amateur champion in 1966. Suffering from a brain disease, he died in 1993 after many years in hospital in Dordrecht. He took part in the Tour de France four times.


  • Grote Kerk

Built: between 1285 and 1470.

Style: Brabant Gothic.

History: little is known about the early history of the church. A chapel is mentioned as early as 1122, but the date of construction is unknown. In 1986, excavations revealed the structure of the Romanesque church. In 1367, the church, then named Notre-Dame, became a collegiate church. Destroyed by fire in 1457, it was rebuilt in the Brabant Gothic style. Ravaged and desecrated by Protestants in 1572, it became a Protestant temple and remains so today.

Characteristics: The Grote Kerk (Great Church) is an imposing building in the Brabantine Gothic style and the most important place of worship in Dordrecht. It was built between 1284 and 1470, although there have been more recent additions. It became a Protestant church in 1572 and continues to worship under the aegis of the Protestant Church of the Netherlands. Its 65-metre-high bell tower houses a carillon of 67 bells, one of which weighs almost 10 tonnes and is the heaviest bell in the Netherlands.

Listed as: national monument (Rijksmonument).

  • Groothoofdspoort

Founded: 1318

Built: 1618

Style: Dutch Renaissance.

History and characteristics: this is a former town gate originally built in the 14th century, and rebuilt in 1618 to its current appearance. It was built in brick and sandstone and features rich sculpted decoration. The tower, replacing the original roof, was built in 1692.

Listed as: national monument.

  • Museum of Dordrecht

Founded: 1842

History: founded by five art lovers from Dordrecht in 1842, the museum was first housed in the newly built butter exchange before moving into the former insane asylum in 1904. The museum was completely renovated between 2007 and 2010.

Characteristics: founded in 1842, it is one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands. Its collection covers more than six centuries of Dutch painting, from the masters of the Golden Age to contemporary artists. The collection is the starting point for a changing programme of exhibitions and activities.

Special features: in 2015, the museum compensated the relatives of the owner of a work stolen during the Second World War. After investigation, it emerged that the painting Shepherdess with Child in a Landscape by Jacob Cuyp, acquired by the museum in 2002, had been sold by the German occupiers during the Second World War.

  • Town Hall

Built: 1842

Style: Renaissance and neo-classical.

History: the town hall was built in the 14th century as a cloth market, rebuilt in the Renaissance style in 1544 and redecorated in the classical style from 1635 to 1643 to imitate Amsterdam's town hall, built at the same time. A wooden tower was added in 1835.

Characteristics: the right wing of the building, which extends out over the port of Voorstraathaven, retains its 14th-century arches. The vaulted basement dates from the same period. The clocks in the building date from the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

Special features: the current building is mainly used for events and receptions. The municipal offices were moved in 1975.


  • Poffertjes

Resembling small, fluffy pancakes, poffertjes are made from yeast and buckwheat flour. Light and spongy in texture, they are served with powdered sugar (icing sugar) and butter, sometimes with maple syrup, advocaat or other toppings. The first mention of the word poffertjes as a sweet was found in a description of an Amsterdam fair in 1734. The recipe is given in the cookery manual De volmaakte Hollandsche keuken-meid (The Perfect Dutch Cook) published in 1746. In Dordrecht, the pastry shop Visser's specialises in poffertjes.

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