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Heusden (About this sound pronunciation ) is a municipality and a city in the South of the Netherlands. It is located between the cities Waalwijk and 's-Hertogenbosch.


Population centres

Doeveren, Drunen, Elshout, Giersbergen, Haarsteeg, Hedikhuizen, Heesbeen, Herpt, Heusden, Nieuwkuijk, Oudheusden and Vlijmen. The municipality was formed in 1997 with the fusion between the municipalities of Heusden, Drunen, and Vlijmen.


Heusden was a municipality in itself, incorporating the communities of Herpt, Heesbeen, Hedikhuizen, Doeveren, and Oudheusden. In 1997 Heusden was incorporated together with the municipalities of Vlijmen and Drunen to form a new municipality, for which the name of Heusden was chosen.


The settlement of Heusden, bordering on the river Meuse (Maas), as we know it today dates back to the 13th century, and started with the construction of a fortification to replace the castle that was destroyed by the Duke of Brabant in 1202. This fortification was quickly expanded with water works and a donjon (castle keep). The city of Heusden received city rights in 1318. The castle of Heusden was the property of successive dukes of Brabant, in 1357 it went over to the counts of Holland. With the construction of ramparts and moats the castle became located within the city's fortifications, and the castle lost its function as a stronghold. The donjon was now used as a munition depot. A disaster marked the end of the castle of Heusden and caused the economic demise of the city; on 24 July 1680 a terrible thunderstorm hit Heusden, and lightning struck the donjon. Sixty thousand pounds of gunpowder and other ammunition exploded, and destroyed the castle. It took the people of Heusden seven weeks to clear the rubble and debris. The castle was never fully rebuilt. However, the original outlines of the main features were restored in 1987.

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