Alphen aan den Rijn (Alphen upon Rhine or Alphen on the Rhine) is in he centre of the so-called ‘Green Heart of Holland’, some 30 minutes from Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam and 20 minutes from the International Airport ‘Schiphol’.
The town is situated on the banks of the river Oude Rijn (Old Rhine). This is not the Rhine as you may imagine it: wide and majestic, fast flowing, like in Germany. Today, it’s just a small branch of the Rhine delta, starting in Utrecht.
In the Roman era the Old Rhine was part of the northern border of the Roman Empire. Alphen started as one of the fortresses along its banks.
The municipality, also containing some small towns around Alphen, now has a population of about 100,000.