Geldrop is a small town in the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant, just a stone’s throw away from Eindhoven. I was born and raised there. Geldrop lies on the Eindhoven Canal and is bisected by the Kleine Dommel.
This is how this edition of our series of stories about swimming, diving, Noord-Brabant, water and much more with things to do with the Eindhoven Diving Cup starts. We are happy to take you along and all members of the organizing committee of the EDC provide a story about a topic that suits him or her. Although we cannot organize a tournament again this year, we can share with you the ins and outs of the Eindhoven Diving Cup, the people behind it, and their world.
Marca van der Sanden, our hospitality manager, kicks off with a story about her town Geldrop.
The exact age of Geldrop is unknown. Archaeological finds have been made that testify to prehistoric inhabitants.
Right in the center of the town is the castle with surrounding park. It is an English landscape garden with beautiful trees, including a very old and heavy giant sequoia.
The estate is located in the valley of the Dommel, 11 hectares in size and is freely accessible. Historical sources indicate that the castle already existed in 1340. In the 17th and 18th centuries the building was badly neglected. It was restored by the then owner around the end of the 19th century. The castle is now in the possession of the Geldrop Castle Foundation. In the castle you can admire an antiquity room and a wedding hall. Exhibitions and concerts are being organized regularly.
The textile industry has been the main source of income for Geldrop for centuries. It started out as a cottage industry. Then, at the end of the 17th century, production for the external market started. This was mainly done by manufacturers from Leiden who were attracted by the lower wages in Noord-Brabant. In the 19th century, after Tilburg, Geldrop evolved into the most important production center for woolen fabrics in the Netherlands.
In the Weaving Museum you can learn about this time in de history of Geldrop
The Weaving Museam is a museum of industrial weaving and spinning machines that were used in the local textile industry. It is located in a former textile factory. The various machines are being maintained and demonstrated by volunteers, mostly former weavers.
In addition to the fabrics industry, there are other important industries in Geldrop. DAF Trucks is partly located on Geldrop territory. The Geldrop company P.J. Zweegers en Zn, now known as Kuhn, is also located here. They yearly produce more than 5000 agricultural implements that are delivered all over the world.
In the middle of the center you can find another large factory, Koninklijke Peijnenburg BV. This renowned family business producing gingerbread started in 1883 from a bakery.
The Strabrechtse Heide is located near Geldrop. A vast nature reserve of approximately 1500 ha in the municipalities of Heeze-Leende, Someren and Geldrop-Mierlo. It consists of forest, moors and large fens. A beautiful cycling and walking area.
A number of well-known Dutch people are from Geldrop. The well-known writer A.F.Th. van der Heijden was born there. In his books he regularly mentions people, places and situations in Geldrop that are familiar to the people of Geldrop.
Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Dries van Agt was also born in Geldrop, just like Viktor Horsting, fashion designer of Viktor & Rolf.
Last but not least Pieter van den Hoogenband. He was not born in Geldrop but he was raised there.
Pieter is a Dutch swimmer. He is three-time Olympic champion, sixteen-time European champion and one-time world champion. Pieter is also the namesake of the swimming stadium where the Eindhoven Diving Cup takes place every year. We hope to see you there again in 2023!
Marca van der Sanden