Ommen - History - Ommen in Modern Times

Ommen in Modern Times

On March 2, 1809 the municipal authorities prepared a welcome for the visit of Lodewijk Napoleon, king of the short-lived Kingdom of Holland. They were disappointed when they found out the king had already passed Ommen the day before. The three burgomasters quickly pursued the king and met with his party near Gramsbergen, still receiving a gift of 1000 Dutch guilders for the well-intended preparations for his visit.

When his brother Napoleon Bonaparte annexed the Kingdom of Holland into the French Empire in 1810, he had all local government radically reformed to become compatible with French structures. Ommen too was affected: the separate jurisdictions of Stad Ommen (composed of the city of Ommen and the Ommerschans) and Ambt Ommen (which comprised most of the rest of the current municipality, Avereest and Den Ham as well) were merged into one Mairie Ommen (though Den Ham became a separate municipality). This caused much controversy and discontent locally because the marke communities thus lost their ancient rights of self-governance. In 1818, shortly after Dutch independence, Mairie Ommen was once more decentralised into the municipalities Stad Ommen, Ambt Ommen and Avereest. To ensure good coordination, one burgomaster was appointed over both Stad and Ambt from 1851 onwards.

To safeguard the eastern borders of the newly established Kingdom of the Netherlands, plans were drawn by order of Baron Krayenhoff in 1819 to convert Ommen into a city with fortifications. However, these radical plans (Ontwerp ter bevestiging van Ommen 1819) were not carried out in the end, as the IJssel river to the west was considered a more natural line of defence.

Although renovated and expanded in 1758, the toll house next to the bridge (also called the bridge master's house) was torn down in 1827 to be replaced by a new city hall, designed by the architect J.P. Orentzburg. This new building, situated on the bank of the Vecht, housed all offices of the municipal authorities — including the city council, the court, the tax and toll office, the Gentlemen's Society and the home of the burgomaster. The court moved to a new building in 1882. The burgomaster and the Gentlemen's Society moved soon afterwards. The city hall was renovated and expanded in 1925 and again in 1955. The municipal authorities left the building in 1982. It has since been converted into a museum and a restaurant.

In 1923, the municipalities of Stad Ommen and Ambt Ommen were once again merged. The borders of the municipality have remained unchanged since, with the exception of the eastern part of Lemelerveld which came under the municipality of Dalfsen in 1997.

On the night of 6 February 1972, a Palestine terrorist organisation named Black September attempted to blow up a natural gas pipeline at a distribution hub near Ommen, but not all explosives were detonated. A blue bag filled with explosives was found after the explosion, next to a three meter wide crater. During the same night there were also attacks in Hamburg and the Dutch village of Ravenstein — and later that year, Black September also caused the Munich Massacre.

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