Almelo is a city in Overijssel, Netherlands. It has 72.000 inhabitants, being the smallest of the three 'Big Cities of Twente': Almelo, Hengelo and Enschede. Part of the municipality of Almelo are the towns of Aadorp, Bornebroek and Mariaparochie.
It is in the Dark Ages that Almelo came to be. On the crossing of a road with a creak called Aa a small settlement appeared. From 1236 on there have been records of a place called Huis Almelo (House Almelo), which still in existence today. Documents show that this settlement had city rights as early as 1420, but due to lacking a city wall Almelo had never been of militairy importance. Huis Almelo is in the possession of the family Van Rechteren Limpurg. This family has had many different rights within the city of Almelo, including judging of civil and criminal matters. Though the family is not as powerful nowadays, they still play an active part in the restoration of historical buildings in the city center, and maintain the forest and buildings in their possession.
With the Industrial Revolution, things changed in Almelo. The textile industy became very important, resulting in a group of citizens becoming wealthy. These people were responsible for the building of many of the mansions and villas from that timeframe. The florishing industry also contributed to the construction of the railroad and the Overijssel Canal.
In the 1960s it became increasingly hard to compete with foreign textile producers. For a while, government allowed for immigration from (mostly) Turkey for cheap labour, but this couldn't stop the import of cheap fabrics from other countries. This resulted in many bankrupt companies and a complete collapse of textile manufacturing in Almelo, causing massive unemployment. Many of the factories were demolished, but a few still remain, testifying to the once booming industry.
Interesting to know is that in 1944 a robbery of a bank at the Wierdensestraat took place by eigth members of the Dutch resistance. They stole a total of 46,1 million guilder (approximately 21 million Euro (without inflation correction)), the largest sum of money stolen by a robbery in Dutch history.
Apart from Dutch, quite a few people in Almelo speak Tweants (Twents), a dialect of Low Saxon origin. Approximently 62% of the people in the region speak Tweants on a daily basis. Though it is not recognised as an official language like Frysian, it is regarded as a regional language and as such enjoys certain protections by national government.
Almelo has two train stations: Almelo (the station closest to the city center and with connection to many bus lines) and Almelo De Riet (serving a residential area). Trains serving the station of Almelo are
- Hengelo and Enschede. Local train on this route also serves Almelo De Riet.
- Zwolle. This is a local train service. The new railroad between Nijverdal and Raalte on this route has only opened very recently (April 1, 2013), so construction on route might still occasionally occur, closing down the route.
- Mariënberg. Usually leaves from platform 3, which can't be seen when entering the platforms from the main stairs. Walk down the platform to find it hiding behind the station buildings.
- Schiphol, The Hague and Rotterdam. The train to the west travels twice per hour, one going to Schiphol and one to The Hague/Rotterdam. Be careful when traveling in the lather direction: the train might not have all the coaches when it arrives at the central station. In Deventer (next stop) another train coach is usually added to the front of the train. If you are not sure if you are seated in the part of the train heading to The Hague or Rotterdam, feel free to ask train personal or a fellow traveller. The train parts go different ways from Utrecht Central Station on, so if you sat in the wrong part, there are usually a few minutes in Utrecht to quickly hop outside and march to the correct part.
The international train to and from Hannover and Berlin runs via Almelo station. Though this is an internation line, travellers are not required to get a reservation and can freely use the train with their normal ticket without paying an extra fee. It calls at all the regular Intercity stops. Most times the train will also have a special coach for bicycles, so are you traveling with one it is advised to listen to the announcements on the station on which coach to enter.
Huize Almelo. Almelo's most famous building, around which the city grew. Huize Almelo is still occupied by the family ... and as such is not open for visitors. However, the location is surrounded by much greenery and side buildings, making a stroll around the premessis worth while seeing. edit
- Stadsmuseum Almelo, Korte Prinsenstraat 2, 7607 JB, Almelo, ☎ 31-546-816071 ([email protected]), . Tuesday till Saturday: 13.00-17.00, Sunday&Monday: Closed. The Stadsmuseum (City Museum) has a variety of items telling the tale of the city of Almelo, with a focus on the 1880-1960 era. You can view paintings and photos, as well as tools and toys. Follow the signs "Stadsmuseum" to find the location. Accessable for wheelchairs. Free admission. edit
- Het Wevershuisje, Kerkengang 5, 7607 BR, Almelo, ☎ 31-546-852701 ([email protected], fax: 31-546-458057), . Tuesday till Saturday: 12.00-17.00, Sunday&Monday: Closed. Located in Almelo city center near the Grote Kerk (Grand Church), this small cottage dating back to early 1600's is packed with character. It has a permanent collection of objects concerning textile and weaving, an industry closely knit into Almelo's history. There are regularly demostrations of old the old crafts (check the site's 'Agenda' to plan). If desired, staff can provide you with a free tour. Free Admission. edit
- Bolletje Winkel en Koffieschenkerij anno 1867, Grotestraat Zuid 182, 7607 CZ, Almelo, ☎ 31-546-815911. Monday: Closed, Tuesday till Friday: 10.00-17.30, Saturday 10.00-17.00. Almelo based company Bolletje is Holland's most famous producer of breakfast products and biscuits. Located in the small building where the company was born, it features a small café and a shop with all possible (seasonal) products from the producer. Additionally, the store hosts a small museum about the history of Dutch bakeries. The whole experience will truly bring you back to the charms of baking as it was done in grandmother's time. edit
- Grote Kerk, Kerkplein 15, 7607 BT, . The oldest piece of building in the city, the Grote Kerk (Grant Church) his choir was build in 1493. The ship can be dated back to 1738. On saturdays between 15.00 and 16.00 there are guides present to answer your questions. Free admission. edit
- Sint-Georgiusbasiliek, Boddenstraat 78. edit
- Proefronde van Almelo, ([email protected]), . A yearly cycling tour in the city center. Professional teams (both male and female) compete to win this contest that has had its first run in 1983. Many people take to the streets to see local heroes and international acclaimed atheletes and the city's café are stocked with young and old enjoying a drink. Be aware that most of the city center is shut down to form the route, so sightseeing might be problematic during the tour days. edit
- Almelose Havendagen, ☎ 31-6-23742371 ([email protected]), . First organised in 2003, this annual event takes places in and surrounding the city harbour. The event celebrates maritine vehicles, drawing more than 50.000 people in the 4 days it takes place. Loads of historical ships can be viewed, but modern boats are also gaining more exposure. Additionally, there are plenty of other activities for young and old, music and foodstands selling snacks and fish. edit
- Almelose Ruiterdagen. description edit
- Beachvolleybal Tournament. One weekend at the end of summer, Almelo's squares are transformed into beaches and teams compete for the championship. Organised by the local volleyball club, everyone who can gather a team (and signs up on the club's page) can enter the tournament. Join in and cheer on the teams made up of the local bars employees and high school classes. edit
- Straattheater. description edit
- Theaterhotel. description edit
- Hof88, Elisabethhof 4, 7607 ZD, Almelo, ☎ 31-546-850264 ([email protected]), . Monday till Friday: 12.00-17.00. Hof88 is a small and quirky theater, providing theater, dance, cabaret and concerts. It does not serve the large 'Broadway' shows, but rather unique productions and local artists. edit
Theaterhotel Almelo, Schouwburgplein 1, 7607 AE, ☎ +31-546-803000 ([email protected]), . Located in the city center, this hotel is best known for also hosting a theater showing cabaret, plays, dance and music. The hotel also has facilities to host conferences. Guests can choose between three different restaurants to dine. €65-€145. edit
Preston Palace, Laan van Iserlohn 1, 7607 PT, ☎ +31-546-542121 ([email protected]), . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 11:00. An all-in hotel, complete with sauna, indoor carnaval, mini-golf and pool tables. Preston Palace hosts several restaurants, bars and coffe corners, providing for varied culinairy tastes. It also has a tropical indoor pool, where you can swim under a starry sky one minute and relax in the sauna the next. €79-€139. edit
Hotel and B&B Huis van Bewaring, Marktstraat 7, 7607HC, ☎ +31 - 546 - 852206 ([email protected]), . Interesting hotel and B&B, located in an old prison building. The atmosphere of the correctional facility has been combined with hotel comfort and romantic design, making for a unique place to spend the night. €65-€149. edit
Bed and Breakfast
De Opkamer, Ootmarsumsestraat 61, 7607 AZ, ☎ +31-6-38794938 ([email protected]). Located in a townhouse appointed as monument in the city center, and ajunctent to a natural area. There are two- and three person rooms. All rooms have TV and WiFi and there is free parking. €45-€70. edit
Aly ter Avest, Bruglaan 31, 7611 BK, Aadorp, ☎ +31-6-41877843 ([email protected]). €23 and up. edit
De Kolde Graven, Leemhuisweg 8, 7665 TA, Albergen, ☎ +31-546-823209 ([email protected]). On the border between Almelo and Albergen, this B&B lays in the direct area of the Gravenallee, home to Huize Almelo and its landeries. Available parking for both car and bicycle. edit