Number of inhabitants (1 Jan 2003): 9.767; area: 40,17 km². Settlements:
Oudewater (seat), Hekendorp, Papekop, Snelrewaard.
Oudewater was founded in the 10th century. It was internationally known
because of its "Heksenwaag", Witches weighinghouse. Emperor Charles
V granted Oudewater the privilege to weigh women, who were prosecuted for
witchcraft, in the Netherlands and abroad, and to give them a "Certificaet
van Weginghe", confirming that they had been weighed in Oudewater and
were not too light, and thus were no witches.
Flagdescription: Stripes of white - red - white, proportioned 1:8:1,
the first two stripes share waves with at least four bends, and the second
and third share waves with at least five bends; at two thirds of flaglength
a white square placed on one point high 3/5 of flagheight, on which a red
Adopted by the municipal council on 24 May 1973.
The four-leaf symbolizes the original four city-quarters: the Gommiger-,
Wijdstrater-, Leeuweringer-, and Kapeller- Vierendeel, being representative
of the community. The wavy stripes represent the Hollandsche IJssel river
and the name Oudewater (=old water). The four-leaf was already on the oldest
known Oudewater Coat of Arms (c. 13th century), and is generally considered as unique.
Source: the Oudewater municipal