Partner city from: 1992
Number of inhabitants: over 140 thousands
Distance from Hradec Králové: approximately 919 km
Arnhem is the capital of the Gelderland province in eastern Netherlands and lies on the river Rhine. It was founded in the year 1233 and there live more than 140 000 inhabitants at present. It became a twin city of Hradec Králové in 1992. It gained the title “the greenest city of Netherlands” for the year 2008. The city centre was also awarded a price “the best city centre in Netherlands” for the years 2007 and 2009. The special jury evaluated highly especially the great variety of the city. Arnhem is a city of many faces, the historical face of the city is linked with many possibilities of cultural life, sporting activities, shopping and enjoying a good cup of coffee in cozy cafés or pubs.
Arnhem was from of old a crossroad of trade channels and later became thanks to business also a member of the Hanseatic towns. However it became world known at the end of the World War II. due to the Market Garden operation. The goal of this operation was to secure the Arnhem bridge and to hold it until the arrival of the British troops who would use it to get to Germany. However the allies underestimated the number of German troops and even though they were defending the bridge for 3 days, they could not hold their position in the end. From the total amount of 100 000 soldiers who got down with the 1st air parachute division only 2163 survived. There were also big losses among the inhabitants of Netherlands. After this failure the advancement of the allies, who were liberating Europe stopped for a while. The town itself was severely damaged by the war in 1945 there were only 150 habitable houses.
At present Arnhem plays an important role not only as a regional centre. Courts, regional government of the Gelderland province or many institutions of higher education have their seat in Arnhem. Industry as well has an important role, especially a tin melting factory. It was built in 1929 and ore from Surinam is being manufactured there. At present more or less 1/5 of the world production of tin is made in this factory.
In the past there was a very intensive cooperation between Hradec Králové and Arnhem especially in the area of economic development. Among others there was a common project with the goal to improve socio-economical background in Hradec Králové. This project was supported by the Dutch association VNG that deals with the support of small and middle size business in the town and improving ability to use the European structural funds.