Rhenen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈreːnə(n)] ) is a municipality and a city in the central Netherlands. The municipality also includes the villages of Achterberg, Remmerden, Elst and Laareind. The town lies at a geographically interesting location, namely on the southernmost part of the chain of hills known as the Utrecht Hill Ridge (Utrechtse Heuvelrug), where this meets the river Rhine. Because of this Rhenen has a unique character with quite some elevation through town.

The Cunera Church in Rhenen
The Cunera Church in Rhenen
Flag of Rhenen
Coat of arms of Rhenen
Highlighted position of Rhenen in a municipal map of Utrecht
Location in Utrecht
Coordinates: 51°58′N 5°34′E / 51.967°N 5.567°E / 51.967; 5.567
 • BodyMunicipal council
 • MayorHans van der Pas (PvdA)
 • Municipality43.76 km2 (16.90 sq mi)
 • Land42.08 km2 (16.25 sq mi)
 • Water1.68 km2 (0.65 sq mi)
Elevation43 m (141 ft)
 (January 2021)[4]
 • Municipality20,203
 • Density480/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code0317, 0318
Dutch Topographic map of Rhenen, June 2015

Directly to the east of the built-up area lies the Grebbeberg, a hill with a top elevation of about 50 metres (160 ft).



Before 1900


Rhenen received city rights probably between 1256 and 1258.[5][6] In 1346, the bishop of Utrecht ordered the construction of a defensive wall around the city, which was important because it lay near the border with Guelders. Although for some time the town collected toll from ships on the Rhine, it has never had a harbour. The three city gates were demolished in 1840. Small fragments of the wall remain.

The town is also famous for the Cunera Church, parts of which date back to the 15th century. Containing the relics of Saint Cunera, it attracted many pilgrims. Legend has it that Cunera was buried on a nearby hill now called the Cuneraheuvel. The church's tower was built between 1492 and 1531.

Between 1630 and 1631, the Koningshuis palace was constructed at Rhenen for the ousted Frederick V. It was demolished in 1812.

World War II


Part of the center of Rhenen, which was located near the defensive Grebbelinie (Grebbe line), was destroyed during the German attack on the Netherlands in May 1940. Part of the reconstruction took place during the war. In 1945, the town was damaged again during the liberation of the country from German occupation.

Many or all of the Dutch soldiers who were killed by the Germans near Rhenen lie buried at the Erebegraafplaats (Cemetery of Honor), located along the Grebbeweg (N 225) near the top of the Grebbeberg. Across the road is an important war monument with a poem by J.C. Bloem.

In 2008 Rhenen celebrated its 750th anniversary.

Main sights

A white lion at Ouwehands Dierenpark



Politics and administration[7]


Municipal Council


The Municipal council (Netherlands) of Rhenen consists of 19 members sinds March 2022

Municipal Council seats
Party 1994 1998 2002 2006 2010 2014 2018 2022
SGP 3 3 4 3 3 4 3 5
VVD 4 3 3 3 3 2 3 3
Rhenens Belang - - - 1 2 2 2 3
Progr. Rhenen/ Groenlinks 1 2 2 4 3 3 3 3
D66 2 1 1 - - 1 2 2
ChristenUnie - 1 - - 1 2 2 1
CDA 4 4 4 3 3 2 1 1
PvdA 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
Total 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 19

Municipal Executive


The Municipal Executive of Rhenen in for the council term of 2022-2026 consists of:

  • Corry van Rhee-Oud Ammerveld (PvdA), Acting mayor of Rhenen
  • Gert van Laar (SGP), Alderman for the physical domain
  • Dick Poortinga (Rhenens Belang), Alderman for welfare and sports, economy and recreation & tourism
  • Hans Boerkamp (D66), Alderman for Finance, mobility, education and youth
  • Bert Fintelman (CDA), Alderman for rural/agricultural areas, sustainability and nature.

Hans van der Pas (PvdA) left his position as mayor March 7, 2024[8]

Notable people

Giedo van der Garde, 2013


  1. ^ "Wat is en doet het college van B en W?" (in Dutch). Gemeente Rhenen. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten 2020" [Key figures for neighbourhoods 2020]. StatLine (in Dutch). CBS. 24 July 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Postcodetool for 3911MG". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 1 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2022.
  5. ^ Kolman C., et al. (1996). Monumenten in Nederland: Utrecht. Zwolle: Waanders Uitgevers. ISBN 90-400-9757-7.
  6. ^ Ph. J. van Dael, 'Over het Rhenense stadsrecht en het Rhenense (burger)zegel', in Oud Rhenen, 2002 no. 2, p. 5-38.
  7. ^ "Website van de gemeente Rhenen". Gemeente Rhenen (in Dutch). 2024-02-26. Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  8. ^ Utrecht, provincie (2023-12-22). "Burgemeester Hans van der Pas verlaat Rhenen". www.provincie-utrecht.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 2024-05-20.

  Media related to Rhenen at Wikimedia Commons

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