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Gouda (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɣʌudaː]) is a city and municipality in the west of the Netherlands, between Rotterdam and Utrecht, in the province of South Holland. Gouda has a population of 72,338 and is famous for its Gouda cheese, stroopwafels, many grachten, smoking pipes, and its 15th-century city hall. Its array of historic churches and other buildings makes it a very popular day trip destination.

In the Middle Ages, a settlement was founded at the location of the current city by the Van der Goude family, who built a fortified castle alongside the banks of the Gouwe River, from which the family and the city took its name. The area, originally marshland, developed over the course of two centuries. By 1225, a canal was linked to the Gouwe and its estuary was transformed into a harbour. City rights were granted in 1272.

Source: wikipedia

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