Skyline of Zoeterwoude


Coat of arms
Highlighted position of Zoeterwoude in a municipal map of South Holland
Location in South Holland
Coordinates: 52°8′N 4°30′E / 52.133°N 4.500°E / 52.133; 4.500Coordinates: 52°8′N 4°30′E / 52.133°N 4.500°E / 52.133; 4.500
Country Netherlands
Province South Holland
  Body Municipal council
  Mayor Liesbeth Bloemen (CDA)
  Total 21.96 km2 (8.48 sq mi)
  Land 21.26 km2 (8.21 sq mi)
  Water 0.70 km2 (0.27 sq mi)
Elevation[3] 2 m (−7 ft)
Population (May 2014)[4]
  Total 8,088
  Density 380/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postcode 2380–2382
Area code 071
Website www.zoeterwoude.nl

Zoeterwoude ([ˌzutərˈʋʌudə]) is a municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers 21.96 km2 (8.48 sq mi) of which 0.70 km2 (0.27 sq mi) is water. It had a population of 8,088 in 2014.

The municipality of Zoeterwoude consists of Zoeterwoude-Dorp, Zoeterwoude-Rijndijk, Gelderswoude, Weipoort, Westeinde, and Zuidbuurt. The main brewery of Heineken International is located there.


Dutch topographic map of Zoeterwoude, Sept. 2014. Click to enlarge.


The name Zoeterwoude is first mentioned in a document from 1205, which references a certain "Florentius van Sotrewold". It is uncertain if this is a reference to the village. The first confirmed existence is from 1276 when Dirk van Santhorst received the "Soetrewold" fiefdom from Floris V, Count of Holland.

Its municipal boundaries were set circa 1300. At that time it was one of the largest municipalities in the Netherlands, but later much land was annexed by surrounding cities, notably Leiden. In 1450, the first bridge between Leiderdorp and Zoeterwoude was built. In 1574, Zoeterwoude was burnt to the ground and its polders inundated by Leideners in order to increase the range of the city's cannons. Almost no inhabitants remained in Zoeterwoude.

Around 1650, Zoeterwoude had been almost rebuilt and 50 years later it was prospering. After 1800, Leiden started a long series of annexations, reducing the land area of Zoeterwoude.

In 1960, the A4 motorway was built and since 1966 it has been the municipal boundary between Leiden and Zoeterwoude.

Notable people born in Zoeterwoude


  1. "Collegeleden" [Members of the board] (in Dutch). Gemeente Zoeterwoude. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  2. "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  3. "Postcodetool for 2381ET". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  4. "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
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