Visit Holland - The Netherlands

Goes

Goes was founded in the 10th century on the edge of a river: de Korte Gos (the Short Gos). The village grew fast and in the early 12th century it had a market square and a church devoted to Maria.

In 1405 Goes received city rights, and in 1417 it was allowed to build walls around the city. The prosperity of the city was based upon the cloth industry and the production of salt. In the 16th century Goes declined. Its connection to the sea got bogged down and in 1544 a large fire destroyed a part of the city.

In Autumn 1572, during the course of the Eighty Years' War, Goes, in the Spanish Netherlands, was besieged by Dutch forces with the support of English troops. The siege was relieved in October 1572 by Spanish Tercios. In 1577 the Spanish soldiers who occupied Goes were driven out by Prince Maurits of Nassau. The prince built a defence wall around Goes, which is still partly present. In the centuries thereafter Goes did not play an important role, except as an agricultural centre. In 1868 a railway was constructed through it, but this did not lead to industrialisation. Agriculture remains the most important economic activity.

Although The Netherlands were neutral in the First World War, seven bombs hit Goes and Kloetinge, due to an error by a British airplane. A house in Magdalenastreet in Goes was destroyed and one person killed. Goes did not suffer extensive damage during the Second World War, but was under German occupation until 1944.

Goes did not experience much population growth until the 1970s and 1980s. Then, the city grew fast because of new districts like Goese Meer, Oostmolenpark, Overzuid and Ouverture being constructed. Goes is now the fourth economic centre in Zeeland.

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