Industrialisation, reconstruction and progress
1800 – Today
After 1800 the development of the villages within the municipality of Cuijk increasingly gained momentum. Prints from the 19th century show us a small but prosperous village on the banks of the Maas, with a medieval church tower protruding above the houses. Merely one century later this image had changed dramatically. Still a prosperous village on the banks of the Maas, the village showed two Neo-Gothic church spires, and had expanded in various directions. The parishes had also developed and Vianen had become a proper village. Besides geographical expansion, the region also developed itself strongly in infrastructure, industry, education and politics. You can find more information about these topics on the righthand side.
Ever since the Roman times Cuijk has been an important regional centre. This function was still present in the 19th century, when a lot of fairs and country days were held in Cuijk. On these days citizens from Cuijk and the surrounding villages could trade livestock, buy and sell goods and discuss regional business. These country days, and later livestock markets, were held until far into the twentieth century.
Mid nineteenth century Cuijk experienced a phase of industrialisation, similar to the rest of the world. Several industrial companies established themselves in Cuijk, like several tanneries, a coffee and tobacco mill, a brewery, an ice factory, a masonry and a woodworking business. Such a large influx of workspaces meant that the small village could expand significantly. The connection to the national rail network brought another strong impulse to the growing industry. The railway station opened in 1882, allowing the small factories to grow. The booming town became attractive to larger industries, like the dairy factory Lacto (later known as Nutricia) and the meat factory Homburg. Craftsmanship in the small villages around Cuijk also grew in the 19th and early 20th century, like the famous rose nurseries in Haps.
In this same period Cuijk also began paying more and more attention to the education of children. From the start of the 19th century people could send their children to a public or special (catholic or protestant) primary school. It took a while for the secondary education to develop. For more information about education and the battle of the special schools visit the links on the right-hand side.
Just like the rest of the Netherlands the First World War left Cuijk relatively untouched. How different was the Second World War, when Cuijk had to station German soldiers and its Jewish population was hit hard. Ever since the early modern times a Jewish population had been present in Cuijk, but after the war her numbers were decimated. As with other subjects you can find more information about the Second World War in Cuijk and the surrounding villages, the defence line at the Maas and the liberation in 1944, on the right-hand side.
After the devastations of the Second World War the Netherlands, and thus Cuijk, started rebuilding the country. Cuijk industrialised further, two additional industrial areas were designated together with a new harbour area. Improvements in the infrastructure and sewage played an important role in the rebuilding of the region. By the time Cuijk entered the sixties its future looked bright again. During this decade Cuijk expanded, not with industry but with residential areas, like the Valuwe in the north and Padbroek in the south. The villages of Haps and Vianen also managed to expand, partly due to the strong expansion in Cuijk. Jobs were plentiful and this attracted workers from neighbouring regions. The first immigrant workers arrived in Cuijk and settled in the new residential areas. Over the decades more workers came to Cuijk, leading to the multicultural and colourful nature of Cuijk as it is today.