Breda, a strong town and fortress of the Netherlands, province of North Brabant, at the junction of the rivers Mark and Aa, 24 m. W. S. W. of Bois-le-Duc; pop. in 1868, 15,265. A canal connects the town with the Maas. Woollen goods, carpets, and tapestry are manufactured here; there are also tanneries and breweries. The town is noted for its military and naval academy. The principal Protestant church contains many interesting monuments and works of art. During the wars of the reformation, of the Spanish occupation 'of the Netherlands, and the later wars between the Dutch, Spaniards, and French, it was a constant object of contention. It was taken by surprise in 1581, and was recaptured by a skilful stratagem in 1590 by Maurice of Nassau. In 1624-'5 it endured a siege of ten months by Spinola, and again one of four by Henry of Orange, its resistance in neither instance being successful. During the French war of the revolution it was taken by Dumou-riez in 1793, but liberated in consequence of his losing the battle of Neerwinden; in 1794 it was besieged by Pichegru, and held out until the whole of Holland surrendered; and lastly in 1813, when on the approach of the Russian vanguard the French garrison sallied against Benkendorff, the townspeople rose and shut the gates on the defenders, and finally surrendered it to the allies for Holland. The famous declaration of Breda, made by Charles II. to parliament previous to his restoration, May 1, 1660, promised a general amnesty, liberty of conscience, a settlement of forfeited estates, and liquidation of arrears to the army.

The peace of Breda, between Holland, England, France, and Denmark, was concluded July 31, 1607.