Venray or Venraij (pronounced [ʋɛnˈraːi] (listen); Limburgish: Venroj) is a municipality and a city in Limburg, the Netherlands.

Venray city centre
Venray city centre
Flag of Venray
Coat of arms of Venray
Highlighted position of Venray in a municipal map of Limburg
Location in Limburg
Coordinates: 51°32′N 5°59′E / 51.533°N 5.983°E / 51.533; 5.983Coordinates: 51°32′N 5°59′E / 51.533°N 5.983°E / 51.533; 5.983
 • BodyMunicipal council
 • MayorHans Gilissen (PvdA)
 • Total165.00 km2 (63.71 sq mi)
 • Land163.27 km2 (63.04 sq mi)
 • Water1.73 km2 (0.67 sq mi)
Elevation25 m (82 ft)
 (January 2019)[4]
 • Total43,326
 • Density265/km2 (690/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Venrayenaar, Venrayer
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code0478
Church: de Onze Lieve Vrouw van Zeven Smarten of Paterskerk
Church: de Sint Petrus Bandenkerk

The municipality of Venray consists of 14 towns over an area of 165 km2 (64 sq mi), with 43,494 inhabitants as of July 2016.[4] About 30,000 of those inhabitants live in the city of Venray; the other 13,000 live in one of the 13 surrounding towns.[5]


Dutch topographic map of Venray (town), Dec. 2013
  • Dutch topographic map of Venray (town), Dec. 2013

Populated placesEdit

Mental HospitalsEdit

In 1905, the Sint Servatius mental hospital for men was built by the Brothers of Charity. The first patients arrived in 1907. In 1906, the Sint Anna mental hospital for women was built by the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary. The first patients arrived in 1909. In 1969, management of the mental hospitals was transferred to two separate foundations. Both mental hospitals have had a big impact on Venray from cultural, religious and employment perspectives that lasts up to today. Nowadays, both mental hospitals are managed by GGZ Noord- en Midden-Limburg.

Venray also hosts one of 12 mental hospitals in the Netherlands, De Rooyse Wissel, that house people assigned to mental treatment as a measure by the courts.

St. Peter in Chains ChurchEdit

The St. Peter ad Vincula church in Venray hosts one of the largest late medieval collections of wooden sculptures that survived the iconoclasm of the protestant reformation in the Netherlands. The church itself was originally built in the 15th century in the gothic style. It was rebuilt after extensive damage following the World War II Battle of Overloon.

World War IIEdit

German war cemetery

Towards the end of World War II there were a lot of battles in and around Venray, damaging large parts of the center of Venray. One of the more famous battles around Venray is the Battle of Overloon. One of the biggest tank battles between the Germans and Allies was fought in October 1944 in Overloon, resulting in hundreds of casualties on both sides. Venray was not liberated until 1945. Venray is also famous for its German War Cemetery, as it is the only German war cemetery in the Netherlands. 31,598 German soldiers are buried at this cemetery.


In recent decades Venray has made a transition from a manufacturing base to a third-party logistics base. As a consequence many warehouses have been built on industrial estates in recent years.

Small and medium enterprises and mental healthcare also continue to play an important role in the local economy. Venray also provides logistics through its Meuse river harbor in Wanssum and A73 motorway.


The western section of Venray, the villages Vredepeel and Ysselsteyn, was reclaimed from the Peel peat bogs in the early 20th century. Parts of the peat bogs remain and have been transferred to a national park. The western section of Venray is also straddled by part of the Peel-Raam Line, defensive works consisting of a canal and bunkers dating to the World War II period.

Venray, near Geijsteren, also has a forest and sand dune area, that is one of the few locations in the Netherlands that is home to common juniper.

Notable residentsEdit

Godefrid Henschen, 1680


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Samenstelling college" [Members of the board] (in Dutch). Gemeente Venray. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten 2020" [Key figures for neighbourhoods 2020]. StatLine (in Dutch). CBS. 24 July 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Postcodetool for 5801MB". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 1 January 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Welcome to Venray - Gemeente Venray". Archived from the original on 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2016-09-17.

External linksEdit