FIRST TO BE LIBERATED
Brielle was liberated from the Spanish and from then on, could call itself Libertatis primitiae (the first to be liberated). The Spanish commander-in-chief, Alba, lost 'his Brielle'.
It was an important moment in the course of the Eighty Years' War and it meant that Brielle was the first free town in the Netherlands. That historic fact is celebrated by its residents every year on the 1st of April and visitors are very welcome.
The streets in the town centre are covered with straw and the fishing nets and laundry are dried in the streets. The inhabitants walk around in 16th-century clothing, fishers peddle their fresh fish and washerwomen do the laundry at the water's edge. The 1 April Association performs the play 'For the key to the town'.
After that, the party really gets going in Brielle's taverns, where Spaniards, Sea Beggars and residents of the town dance with each other as though nothing had happened.