Houten

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Houten (About this sound pronunciation ) is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. The expected population in 2015 will be 50,000. The municipality consists of the following towns:

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Houten (town)

The main town in the municipality is Houten, a commuter town about 9 km southeast of Utrecht. In 2007, the town had 45,610 inhabitants. The built-up area was 5.08 km² in area, and contained 11,486 residences.[1] The slightly larger statistical district of Houten had a population of about 39,100 in 2004.[2]

History of Houten

Remains of a Roman villa have been found in the old centre of Houten, made visible in a street pattern. There used to be a Roman villa on that spot. This building was discovered in the fifties. In the Dark Ages Houten took shape as a rural centre. The area of the municipality of Houten was divided in the so-called 'gerechten' (districts). The names of these districts are still in use: Schonauwen, Wulven, Waijen, Heemstede.

A lot of elements in present-day Houten are reminders of its history. Prominent in the old centre 'Het Oude Dorp' are the Roman Catholic Church (1884) and the Protestant Church (1563). The first accounts of this church date from the ninth century, the oldest parts of the church are probably from the eleventh century. Another prominent building is the restaurant/cafe 'De Engel', already mentioned in the 16th century as a tavern.[3]

Former access roads to the old centre are still recognisable by their names, such as the 'Odijkseweg' and 'Loerikseweg'. Houten had many orchards, but few have survived.

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