| Fred de Graaf (a.i.) (VVD)|
| University of Twente, ITC Enschede|
Enschede ( ), also known as Eanske in the local dialect of Twents, is a municipality and a city in the eastern Netherlands in the province of Overijssel and in the Twente region. The municipality of Enschede consisted of the city of Enschede until 1935, when the rural municipality of Lonneker, which surrounded the city, was annexed after the rapid industrial expansion of Enschede which began in the 1860s and involved the building of railways and the digging of the Twentekanaal.
Enschede lies in the eastern part of Overijssel and is the easternmost city of more than 100,000 inhabitants in the Netherlands. The city lies a few kilometres from Germany, which borders the municipality. In the west, Hengelo is the first important place and at the eastern side, Gronau plays that role. More than a few small rivers flow through or surround the city, such as the Roombeek and Glanerbeek.
Enschede contains five official city districts ("Stadsdelen"). Note that they also include surrounding villages in the municipality:Stadsdeel Centrum (Binnenstad (Enschede)|Binnenstad, Boddenkamp, De Bothoven, t Getfert, Hogeland Noord, Horstlanden-Veldkamp, Laares, Lasonder-t Zeggelt)
Stadsdeel Noord (for example: Lonneker, Deppenbroek, Bolhaar, Mekkelholt, Roombeek, Twekkelerveld)
Stadsdeel Oost (for example: Wooldrik, Velve-Lindenhof, De Eschmarke, ’t Ribbelt, Stokhorst, Dolphia, ’t Hogeland and Glanerbrug)
Stadsdeel Zuid (Wesselerbrink, Helmerhoek and Stroinkslanden)
Stadsdeel West (Boswinkel, Ruwenbos, Pathmos, Stadsveld, Bruggert, ’t Zwering, ’t Havengebied, De Marssteden, Boekelo, Usselo and Twekkelo)
The early history of Enschede is largely unknown, but a settlement existed around the Old Marketplace in early medieval times. The name of this settlement is mentioned as Anescede or Enscede meaning either "near the border" (with Bentheim) or "near the Es" and sported a church, a marketplace and a fortified aristocratic house.
Enschede was granted city rights around 1300 which were confirmed in 1325 by Bishop Jan III van Diest and henceforth was allowed to protect itself with a wall. Because a stone wall was too expensive (since stone had to be imported), Enschede had a system of ditches, palisades and hedges instead, which is still reflected in the street-names Noorderhagen and Zuiderhagen (North Hedge and South Hedge, respectively). The city plan of this era is still recognisable in the street-pattern. The city was spared destruction in 1597 at its capture during the Eighty Years War when after a short siege, the Spanish garrison surrendered the city and the defences were razed.
Because the medieval city was largely built of wood and stone houses were the exception, fire was a constant risk and a series of fires in 1517, 1750 and again on 7 May 1862 earned the people from Enschede the nickname Brandstichters (arsonists).
The city is a former centre of textile production. When this industry left the area for cheaper production centers in South-East Asia, Enschede became one of the poorest municipalities in the Netherlands. The biggest challenge of the city is to prevent higher educated (wealthy) citizens from moving to the west (Randstad). Decades of renovation work in the city center have been carried out with the goal of making Enschede more attractive to this group.
There are several museums in Enschede, among them the Rijksmuseum Twenthe for art. A museum of natural history and a museum dedicated to the history of the textiles industry, both closed in January 2007, have merged, and have reopened in April 2008 in new premises on a new location under the name TwentseWelle (Source/Well of Twente). The new location is situated in Roombeek, where a fireworks disaster took place in 2000. The new museum is located partly in a renovated old textile factory, in reference to Enschedes textile history, and partly in an adjourning new building, designed by the Amsterdam-based firm SeARCH (project architect: Bjarne Mastenbroek). Enschede is also home of The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra.
In December 2012, the Serious Request action from national radio station 3FM took place in Enschede, which collected more than 12.2 million euros (almost 16.2 million US dollars).