Naarden (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈnaːrdə(n)] ) is a city and former municipality in the Gooi region in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. It has been part of the new municipality of Gooise Meren since 2016.

Naarden was granted its city rights in 1300 (the only town in the Gooi with these rights) and later developed into a fortified garrison town with a textile industry.

In 1572, the city was sacked and burnt down, and only 60 people survived the Massacre of Naarden. The massacre was committed by Spanish soldiers against the townspeople of Naarden as part of a punitive expedition against Dutch rebels later known as the Spanish Fury. The destruction of the city galvanized the Dutch rebels, leading them to continue the Dutch War of Independence against Spain.[1]

Naarden is an example of a star fort, complete with fortified walls and a moat. The moat and walls have been restored on numerous occasions, most notably during the French era (1795-1814).[when?] After the Battle of Leipzig (1813), the Netherlands were liberated by an allied force of Dutch, Prussian and Russian armies. During this period, Naarden was besieged for months since the French commander didn't believe that Napoleon was captured. In May 1814, the French soldiers left the city in a retreat with honour (see Siege of Naarden (1813-1814).

John Amos Comenius, 17th century Moravian born Czech educator was buried in the city, and his mausoleum is open for visitors.

Despite its earlier importance, Naarden's population was surpassed by Hilversum in the 18th century and today it is smaller than its neighbour Bussum.

 Aerial photograph of Naarden, inter-war period

The city's distinctive shape made it a rallying point for Allied bombers returning to England after raids on Germany.[2]

Naarden was a separate municipality until 2015. On 1 January 2016, the municipality of Naarden merged with Muiden and Bussum to form the new municipality of Gooise Meren.

^ Arnade, Peter J. (2008). Beggars, Iconoclasts, and Civic Patriots: The Political Culture of the Dutch Revolt. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801474965. ^ "Five Dutch fortresses straight out of a fairy tale". I Amsterdam. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
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