Vianen

Member of the Dutch National Network

Geographical area

The municipality of Vianen currently has almost 20,000 inhabitants and consists of 4 centres:

  • Everdingen
  • Hagestein
  • Vianen
  • Zijderveld

The surprisingly beautiful municipality of Vianen lies on the banks of the River Lek. At least this is for a large part true. The exception being Zijderveld, which is also the municipality’s oldest village, where the first signs of habitation go back some 3,500 years. 

The municipality of Vianen is conveniently situated amidst a river landscape in the Netherlands’so-called Green Heart, between the Randstad and the south of the country, surrounded by roads and waterways. Its central location and good accessability by water and road make the municipality attractive both a handy business base and a tranquil spot to make your home.

History

Vianen was built as a fortress, as can be seen in the street layout, the city walls, and the Hofpoort and Lekpoort city gates. Strolling about Vianen you constantly come across references to its rich history, such as the magnificent mausoleum in Vianen’s Grote Kerk (main church).

In the Hagen neighbourhood is a street named after William van Duivenvoorde, the city architect of Vianen, who in 1336 secured city status for the fortress.

The name of Brederode has an important place not only in our national history, but also that of Vianen. The gentlemen of Brederode transformed Vianen into a flourishing city, that was also an independent state and refuge for 'foreigners with money’.

Vianen has over 180 national-listed monuments, making it the city with the second most such listed buildings in the province of Utrecht. From farms to churches, residential homes to a fortress, there is a huge variety of listed buildings to be found in Vianen. A rich cultural history that helps form our sense of identity.

Visitors to Vianen, a town that both cherishes its history and is poised for the future, are often taken aback by our beautiful historic centre and the many local attractions.

Nature

Vianen enjoys a beautiful and varied landscape. Along the river, the dynamic, natural landscape of the floodplains, with its Scottish highlanders and traditional local cattle. Beside the higher lying banks, fields of grain and fruit orchards. While in the low-lying peat meadowy landscape, mudbanks and open fields populated by meadow birds and dairy cattle. 

Vital to the landscape alongside the roads (with the exception of the dykes) is the presence of a largely unbroken ascending planting structure. In the wet pasture areas this can also include willows, favourable for meadow birds, who prefer as open a landscape as possible.

The economy of Vianen

The strategic location of Vianen makes it a favourable location for businesses. The A2 Knowledge Axis and the ongoing development of the Utrecht area as the fastest growing economic region offer a great starting position. The commercial enterprises are mainly focussed on business services, trade and logistics. The size of the agriculture sector is modest and the retailers are locally oriented. For recreationists and tourists the attraction of Vianen lies with the historic and scenic quality of the municipality. And also an growing number of retailers who provide in growing local (food-) products. 

Water

In more ways than one, water (the River Lek, the Merwede Canal, the lakes in Vianen and Hagestein) is invaluable to the municipality of Vianen. It is partly thanks to its lying along waterways that Vianen has always been a popular base for a variety of business sectors. And being situated on the water has a magnetic effect for other activities: boating, cycling, tourism, leisure, catering and campsites. Most of which are connected in some way or other with the water. Also culturally and historically,  there are a number of important sites to be found on or near the water, such as the historic town of Vianen itself, the dam in Hagestein (in 2015 designated a national monument) and Fort Everdingen.

Projects already implemented

In Everdingen, one of the villages of Vianen, a unique project has started in 2014. Citizens of Everdingen opened a small shop for the village of 1200 inhabitants. Working in this shop are volunteers and disabled people. Since 2016 they also were able to realize their own kitchen garden. in this way they were also able to sell fresh foods en vegetables in the village.

Representatives of Cittaslow:

W.G. (Wim) Groeneweg, Major of Vianen, w.groeneweg@vianen.nl

S.P. (Piet) Daalhof, civil servant, p.daalhof@vianen.nl