Oldest city of the Netherlands

Nijmegen is the oldest city of the Netherlands. Right at the start of our era Nijmegen was founded by the Romans as an important base because of its strategic location. Around 100 AD the Romans had put an entire city called Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum on the map and Nijmegen was granted city and market rights by Emperor Trajan.

Not just the Romans have left their mark on the city. Nijmegen was also the northernmost residence of Emperor Charlemagne and a flourishing imperial city. Unfortunately Nijmegen did not survive the Second World War intact. On 22 February 1914 a large part of the inner city was destroyed by allied bombings. When you’re standing on the Grote Markt you can see a clear difference in the type of buildings when you’re either facing the Waaggebouw or when you turn your back to it.

© Jurjen Drenth

Historical city walk

The city Nijmegen is exciting, interesting and with a turbulent history. You can find evidence of past times everywhere, both in old buildings and in the city architecture. An English-language guidebook is available for both cities including a historical city walk past the most significant highlights.

The guide to Nijmegen is available from:

Tourist Information (VVV)
 Keizer Karelplein 32H, Nijmegen

St Stephens’s Church

The late Gothic St Stephens’s Church is in the heart of the charming historical centre of Nijmegen. As soon as you enter the church you will be struck by the striking interplay of lines in the architecture and the extraordinary light that enters through the stained glass windows. At the centre of the church you will find the impressive tomb of Catherine of Bourbon, built in 1512. The showpiece is the famous König organ which is frequently to be heard.

Read more