3 things you must know about Brunssum

What is the story behind Brunssum, that place you call home? The first in a series of must-knows, because Brunssum has more to offer than we can describe in just one article.

1. A brief history lesson

Have you recently moved to Brunssum? Then you are among a long line of people going back to the prehistoric era between 10.000 and 4.000 B.C. The heath and its surrounding swamps proved a perfect reason for settling in Brunssum, admittedly probably not the reason you moved here though. It was the Romans who discovered that Brunssum was more than its tactically useful natural surroundings and started to use the clay found in the town for industrial purposes. The ceramic industry initiated by these crafty Romans were Brunssums first steps into trade and industry. Moving on from ceramics to iron boosted the population of Brunssum immensely, Brunssum became an official municipality in 1796. 

Brunssum was considerably more quiet during the 19th century, as a small church village of around 1200 citizens. This all changed in the period of 1918 – 1966 when State mine Hendrik made Brunssum thrive as an industrial town once again. This is also when Brunssum first became the international town it is known to be today, people from all over the world now called Brunssum their place of work and home.

The flourishing era of mining the ‘black gold’ ended abruptly when the mines closed in 1966 and unemployment rose to an unprecedented high. A successful turnover from ‘black’ to ‘green’ turned Brunssum from an industrial town into a pleasant habitat for its now 30.000 inhabitants surrounded by nature in all kinds of forms.

With the arrival of the JFC international Headquarters (formerly AFCENT) in 1967 Brunssums international allure returned. 

2. We love Kingsday

Every April 27th the entire country turns Orange. Silly hats, rows and rows of flags in the streets and our national flag decorating the houses. Our national colors, orange and red-white-and blue, form the décor for the celebration of our King’s birthday. King Willem-Alexander and his family take turns visiting Dutch cities, and although we Brunssumers haven’t had that privilege yet, we go all out on this national holiday. 

Our town knows several committees, each with their own traditions. In the neighborhood Treebeek children decorate their bicycles and form a parade with two marching bands and loads of enthusiastic parents and friends who know all 15 verses of the national anthem by heart (okay, that might be an exaggeration, but the spirit is definitely there!). In the neighborhood Langeberg games, music and decorations also form the center of the festivities on this day. They have the bonus of being close to another festive gem returning every year: the Orange fair in the center of Brunssum. 

About 3 miles of stalls, food trucks and children selling their old toys on old blankets and showing off their musical talents. It is an event you cannot miss if you really want to call yourself a Brunssumer! (if your tickled imagination needs some visuals, check out an after movie of a previous Kingsday edition below!)

3. We are team players

Community life forms the heart of Brunssum. If you play a musical instrument or enjoy kicking around a football you are likely to be a member of one of our many musical or athletic societies. And the best news is: there are so many to choose from! In Treebeek alone there are two musical societies, a tennis court, a gym and a volleyball team, and that’s just the start of it. Moving over to the next neighborhood, you will find even more options that will make your community-minded heart beat faster. You can find a list of all societies here, if you need a quick link to a good ‘how to decide when there are so many good options’- guide, let us know.

Filmpje door: Upendi