Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain
M60
Culemborg
1318

Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain

Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain
Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain
Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain
Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain
Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain
Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain

Culemborg was a prosperous trading settlement that received its city rights as early as 1318. It remained an independent domain outside of the Dutch Republic up until 1714 that gave refuge to criminals and debtors.

Asylum
Throughout much of the era of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces (1581 to 1795), Culemborg remained a free city with market and asylum rights and a place where people trying to evade courts and creditors in the Dutch Republic could seek refuge. The laws of the Dutch Republic did not apply here and in the 16th and 17th centuries, Culemborg developed a fairly dubious reputation for itself. In Amsterdam, the phrase ‘going to Cuylenborg’ became synonymous with declaring bankruptcy and running off to evade the consequences. However, this did not mean that Culemborg was a lawless wild west: local law still applied.

Elisabeth of Culemborg
The last descendent of the House of Culemborg was Elisabeth. A wealthy philanthropist, she left an indelible mark on the city. She was responsible for commissioning a new town hall and founded the Elisabeth Gasthuis, a home for elderly men and women. An orphanage was also built in 1560 with money from her estate. The castle where Lady Elisabeth lived was destroyed by French troops in 1672 only the castle gardens remain today. 

Jan van Riebeeck House
Regarded as Culemborg’s most famous son, Jan van Riebeeck was born on 21 April 1619. In 1652, Van Riebeeck founded Fort of Good Hope in Table Bay, the first European colony on South African soil (now Cape Town). He and 90 other colonisers established a replenishment station for the Dutch East India Company. There, ships travelling from the Dutch Republic to Batavia could stock up on fresh water and primarily fresh fruit and vegetables. Today, Jan van Riebeeck is still considered the founder of the Republic of South Africa. His birthplace in Culemborg has been renamed ‘Jan van Riebeeck House’.

Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain
Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain
Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain
Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain
Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain
Culemborg – The Culemborg Domain

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