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The name Enschede means ‘at the border’, probably because of the city’s proximity to that of Germany.
Enschede originated as a simple settlement next to a nobiliary stronghold. In 1325 it got City Rights, meaning that the city was allowed to reinforce its current stronghold. The only remnant from this era is ‘De Grote Kerk’ at the ‘Oude Markt’; the city burnt down twice after the Middle Ages, due to residential areas being constructed from flammable materials.
In the nineteenth century, industrialization commenced. The textile tycoon family Van Heek played an important role in this development, the result being that today many locations in Enschede have been named after Van Heek. Many textile works from the period have been demolished, but the buildings that remain have been transformed into residential apartments.
Enschede’s proximity to the German border results in many German tourists visiting the city’s shops, taverns and also its market, which recently garnered the accolade of best market in the Netherlands, attracting visitors from all over the region.
The city is enlivened by its students from the local university who crowd the streets during events and at weekends.