The TwentseWelle Museum is truly encyclopaedic. Het Grote Verhaal - "the huge narrative" - invites visitors to embark on a journey through time from the ice age to the present day. It is located in the town of Twente in the West of Holland, which once boasted a flourishing textile industry. One of the few remaining factories from this time now houses the museum. Spinning engines, looms and steam engines are linked with interactive presentations to show how industrialisation affected the lives of the people in Twente, and especially in Enschede. The museum brings back to life the regional weaving traditions and the rapid transformation of agricultural workers and homeworkers into factory hands. Extremely tall glass cases can be seen everywhere throughout the museum: the arrangement of exhibits related to natural and cultural history - from an ice age woolly rhinoceros via historic clothing all the way to a modern camping stool - offer a multifaceted view of the turbulent history in the region. This so-called "Open Depot" kaleidoscope is the hinge that pins down the industrial age as an important chapter in the development of Twente.

Het Rozendaal 11
7523 XG Enschede
+31 (0) 53 - 4807680


Two major fires have changed the face of Enschede, a town  on the border of Holland and Germany. Each of them caused huge destruction and forced the inhabitants to start again from scratch. The second largest textile manufacturing town in the world after Manchester grew from the ashes of the 1862 conflagration. Raw material was supplied by the Indonesian colonies, and English industrial architects designed the fire-resistant factory buildings. One hundred and sixty textile factories were built in the region around Twente between 1880 and 1914. The multi-storey redbrick buildings have given Twente and its neighbouring towns of Almelo, Hengelo and Enschede their uniquee appearance. After the Second World War the Dutch textile industry increasingly felt the pressure of international competition. More and more factories were forced to close and were demolished as a result. This fate also threatened the Rozendaal textile factory in the northern centre of Enschede. Plans were afoot to transform it into a modern museum when, on 13th May 2000, the town was once more the victim of a catastrophe. Explosions in a huge fireworks storage area led to a fire storm that burnt down the majority of buildings over an area of 40 hectares.

Forced to recreate once again the affected area, the inhabitants joined forces to build the new suburb of Roombeek. The Rozendaal factory was right in the middle; its remains were not demolished but retained to house the new TwentseWelle museum as a witness to architectural history. The museum is a combination of the historic factory rooms covered by a shed roof, and modern extensions integrated into the surrounding housing nearby. The museum houses three other museums that were formerly located in other places: a Museum of Natural History, a local museum and the old Jannink Museum that was once contained an old spinning mill. The outstanding exhibits include a monumental steam engine dating back to 1869 made by the Stork Engine Factory in Hengelo.

Recommended duration of visit: 1-2 Hours
Admission: Charge
Access for persons with disabilities: For details see website
Infrastructure for Children:

Tuesday to Sunday 10 h to 17 h
Access for pre-registered (School) groups 9 h
Closed on Mondays, except during national holidays.