's-Hertogenbosch, literally "The Duke's Forest")—translated in French as Bois-le-Duc, in German as Herzogenbusch, in Spanish as Bolduque, in Italian as Boscoducale and in Latin Silva Ducis—is a municipality in the Netherlands, and also the capital of the province of North Brabant. It is located in the southern Netherlands, some 80 km south of Amsterdam (map).
The Dutch colloquially seldom say 's-Hertogenbosch but rather Den Bosch , which is traditional Dutch for "The Forest".
Bokhoven, Crevecoeur, Deuteren (former village), Dieskant, Empel, Engelen, Gewande, 's-Hertogenbosch, Hintham, Kruisstraat, Maliskamp, Meerwijk, Orthen (former village), Oud-Empel and Rosmalen.
The city's official name is a contraction of the Dutch des Hertogen bosch—"the Duke's forest". The duke in question was Henry I, Duke of Brabant, whose family had owned a large estate at nearby Orthen for at least four centuries. He founded a new town located on some forested dunes in the middle of a marsh. At age 26, he granted 's-Hertogenbosch city rights and the corresponding trade privileges in 1185. This is, however, the traditional date given by later chroniclers; the first mention in contemporaneous sources is 1196. The original charter has been lost. His reason for founding the city was to protect his own interests against encroachment from Gelre and Holland; from its first days, he conceived of the city as a fortress. It was destroyed in 1203 in a joint expedition of Gelre and Holland, but was soon rebuilt. Some remnants of the original city walls may still be seen. In the late 15th century, a much larger wall was erected to protect the greatly expanded settled area. Artificial waterways were dug to serve as a city moat, through which the rivers Dommel and Aa were diverted.