Arnhem

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Arnhem (German: Arnheim) is the capital of the Dutch province of Gelderland. The city is in the eastern Netherlands 20 km from the German border, mostly on the north bank of the Lower Rhine. On 1/1/2009 the city had 145.571 inhabitants.

Chartered and fortified in 1233 by Otto II, count of Gelderland (Geldern), it joined the Hanseatic League in 1443. It came under the Republic of the United Netherlands in 1585. Seized and dismantled by the French in 1672, Arnhem was refortified in the 18th century only to fall again to the French in 1795, to be regained from France by the Prussian army in 1813 after Napoleon Bonaparte had been defeated.

Arnhem was occupied by the German Nazi troops on the morning of May 10, 1940 a few hours after their surprise attack of The Netherlands. Near the end of World War II Arnhem was the object of a heroic but unsuccessful attempt by British and Polish airborne troops to secure the road and railway bridges crossing the Rhine near Arnhem, supported by American airborne troops on the approach to the town. They landed on 17 September 1944 during Operation Market-Garden and part of them held out against the German forces until September 25 when about 2000 English troops escaped by crossing the Lower Rhine. A British war memorial, cemetery, and museum in the suburb of Oosterbeek commemorate the battle.

Arnhem is a tourist center. Notable landmarks include the (protestant) St. Eusebius church, built between 1452 and ca 1560, the 14th century (Roman Catholic) church of St. Walburgis, and the modern provincial government house connected to the 15th century Sabelspoort (Sables gate). The town has a municipal museum, and The Netherlands Open-Air Museum (1912), Hoge Veluwe National Park, Zuidelijke Veluwezoom National Park, and the State museum Kröller-Müller (one of the major modern art collections in The Netherlands) are nearby.