Dutch Town Has Street Names Inspired by Lord of the Rings

Geldrop is a small town in the southern part of The Netherlands, with a population of 28,000. Not much information on this place is available online, but it seems like a perfectly ordinary Dutch town. But there is something special about it (apart from the fact that ‘Geldrop’ sounds like some kind of candy).

The names of all the streets in one of the neighborhoods of Geldrop are actually taken out of J.R.R Tolkien’s epic trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. We have absolutely no idea why, or whose genius idea it was, but it’s one of the few places in the world with such bizarre street names. I’d understand if it were just one or two streets, but the entire neighborhood consists of Lord of the Rings references.

At the heart of the city is Laan von Tolkien (Tolkien Avenue). Then the streets branch out into names of hobbits, elves, dwarves and even a few ents (the talking trees). If you want to see for yourself, go to Google Maps and search for Geldrop. Or, you could just follow this link.

Geldrop-LOTR

I wonder if all the citizens of Geldrop are fans of the trilogy. Or maybe it was just a whacky committee in charge of naming the streets? Either way, the naming system is pretty well-planned. The street names occur in clusters of characters that are related to each other.

Geldrop-LOTR2

Photo: Manuel Pangaruy Jr.

For example, up north lie the Gondorian streets – Boromir, Faramir, Aragon, Denethor, and Palantir. The dwarf section lies westward and includes Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Balin, Dwalin, Dori, Ori, Fili and Kili. A little bit to the South are Gimli, Pippin and Peregrin. Towards the East, you can find two popular characters – Gandalf and Samwise – and the Rohan section with Eowyn, Eomer and Theoden. Up North are the Numenor folk – Elros, Amandil, Silmarien, Elendil and Valandil.

Geldrop-LOTR3

Photo: Manuel Pangaruy Jr.

It’s surprising that one of the most important Lord of the Rings characters, Bilbo Baggins, doesn’t have a single street to his name. Maybe they don’t like him for stealing the ring from Gollum, who is also not on the map by the way. In fact, there aren’t any streets named after evil characters, except for Saruman. Guess what the local school is called? De Hobbit!

Geldrop-LOTR4

Photo: Manuel Pangaruy Jr.

I wish someone from Geldrop would write more about their unique naming system. I would really like to know the story of how they convinced local authorities to go through with it.

Photos: Manuel Pangaruy Jr.


   

Feedback (2 Comments)

  • Steph Posted on January 27, 2014

    Haha, what a great article! I live in Geldrop and from what I know is that in the mid ’90s, Geldrop decided to renovate the district area. Someone noticed the streets formed a ‘ring’-like pattern. Since a lot of new street names were needed, they picked character names from the LOTR novels. Well…not just names, fortunately, they also considered people needed a proper postal address which was easy to pronounce, or at least not sound totally gibberish. All street names in Geldrop carry a certain theme by district, and this is definitely the funniest one.

  • Wouter Posted on January 27, 2014

    If you are wondering where the name Geldrop came from I can enlighten you.
    Geldrop is probably an aggregation of Gelre (Guelders) and dorp (village). Somehow a metathesis of the ‘r’ occurred. The village was part of the historical Duchy of Guelders and the lords of Geldrop had a castle built in the 14 century. This castle was last renovated in 1977. Worth a visit, not far from the cathedral in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.