Orientation & Geography

Europe, Netherlands, North Holland

Naarden is a municipality and a town in the Gooi region in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands. Naarden is an example of a star fort, complete with fortified walls and a moat. The walls and the moat have been restored and are in a very good state. Naarden was granted its city rights in 1300 (the only town in Het Gooi to have been done so) and later developed into a fortressed garrison town with a textile industry. Naarden is the home of the Netherlands Fortress Museum (Nederlands Vestingmuseum). Every year Naarden hosts the national photograph festival and, on Good Friday, a performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion in the local church, which is called the Great Church or St. Vitus Church. Despite its earlier importance, Naarden population size was surpassed by Hilversum in the 18th century and today is smaller than its neighbour Bussum. Naarden is well known as the city where Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius) was buried and where visitors can see his grave in the mausoleum devoted to him. Its distinctive shape made it a rally point for Allied bombers returning to England after raids on Germany.