Coat of arms Donderstad
Historical facts
Alternate name(s) Pabella
Founded 1260
Patron Saint St. Ines
Parish Mariaberg
Population 58,500
Mayor Marten Van Dort (FLP)
Postal codes 7500-7700

Donderstad ("The City of Thunder" in Dutch) is a large town on Central Island and is the capital of Mariaberg Parish. Founded in the 13th century by the Aragonese, it has a very rich history due to the immigration of Spanish and Dutch over the years.


Under Aragonese rule, the small town was known as Pabella. The name of Donderstad originates during the War of Independence in 1427. In the first instance of cannons being used in Brunant, the Venetians fired upon the town. The locals, seeing flashes and hearing loud noises believed it was thunder and the name quickly stuck. Pabella continued to be used officially until the 17th century and today refers to the neighborhood in the old town.



Old Donderstad

Donderstad street

Narrow streets

Donderstad was founded around 1260-64 as a small farming and fishing village. It was a successful place, where subsistence was selling fish in the market and growing fruit. Pabella fell under the control of the Venetians in 1380s. In the 1410s and 1420s, many Dutch settlers came to the town. During the War of Independence in 1427-28, the Venetians began building a fortress atop a hill overlooking the town to deter Brunanter attacks. But, it was the townspeople and some of the garrison which revolted and by July the castle lay in rebel hands. The Venetians sent soldiers to retake Donderstad, but the Brunanters fought back. This was one of the earliest uses of cannons in Brunant (by both sides); citizens thought it was thunder and this later gave the town its name.

Throughout the 15th century the threat of a Venetian invasion led the town to continue work on the fortress; master builder Maximilian Sechter was put in charge for many years, and the castle was completed around 1480.

During the Brunanter Civil War (1663), Donderstad was made the provisional royalist capital after the fall of Grijzestad and was the site where Maria Amalia was crowned queen.

In 1756, Donderstad was besieged by the French for almost a month, but the castle held out and some much-needed reinforcements releived the siege that year. Donderstad was rebuilt in the coming years, but during Carrington's Invasion Donderstad was the site of a key battle where King Pieter I was defeated.

Donderstad suffered some damage during the German Invasion in 1941, particularly around the Municipal Plaza. Beginning in the 1960s, the local administration began to work on the restoration of monuments, and in the 1990s many of the old houses were fixed up, as the stone was crumbing and the shingles on the roofs were often missing.

In 1966 Donderstad became host to the first Donderstad Festival, an originally folk and now pop and rock festival which is the Brunanter equivalent to Woodstock or Glastonbury.

Presently Donderstad is split into three neighborhoods. The old center (upper town) is known as Pabella, the area close to the sea is known as Donderstad Nieuw and the more modern suburb to the north is Tormes.


Streets night donderstad

A street at night

Old Donderstad (Pabella) is located on a hill facing the Mediterranean Sea. The old town is overlooked by the old castle and its guns. The old town is characterized by its narrow, steep and crooked streets, which makes it mostly inaccessible for cars. The new town, built from the 18th century onward is located on lower ground near the beach. Tormes is located to the north of the old town and is characterized by modern apartments and wider streets.


Donderstad enjoys a sunny Mediterranean climate, typical of the Mediterranean, with mild wet winters and hot dry summers. For the months of June to September, the average temperature is about 22 °C, dropping below 10 °C in just two months of the year (January and February).


Donderstad Government
Party Seats
6 / 19
4 / 19
4 / 19
3 / 19
1 / 19
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Much of the local economy is based on agriculture. In the surrounding area olives and olive oil are the main crops. Industry is also present in the surrounding area, and tourism is becoming more important.

Donderstad has also an important port for shipping regional goods and crops to other islands and countries. The port has been around since the 1930s and is located a few miles from the town. F Laboratories is based in the outsides of Donderstad.

Culture and tourismEdit


Marsala Street sign

Donderstad's culture is similar to most of Brunant's, but the locals do enjoy their own holidays and traditions. The Johannesfeest (St. Johns) is important here and the locals organize a lunch out on the Market place, where all sorts of Brunanter food and wine are served. Bonfires are often lit on the beach the night before, and one can expect to see some drunks out on the 24th June. At Christmastime, the old church and many houses are decorated, and a large Christmas tree (and recently fake snow) are placed in the plaza.

Sports are also important in Donderstad, with FC Donderar the town's most important team; Venetian F.C. and Football Club Pabella are also present in the city. In the 1930s, Dondestad hosted the famous Grand Prix race.


The old town of Donderstad is one of the oldest inhabited places in Brunant, and one of the oldest in the south. It draws many tourists, especially from abroad to visit the old town. Some of the most famous sites include:

  • The Old Church: Donderstad's Oude Kerk is one of the oldest churches in Brunant, dating to the 14th century.
  • Donderstad Market Square: The old market square in the town, which has been a center for commerce and a gathering point for locals for over 500 years.
  • Keizer House: a house used by the resistance in the 1940s that is now a museum dedicated to remembering those during that period.
  • Donderstad Castle: the old 15th century fortress overlooking the town and harbor.

Donderstad's beach is also famous with the tourists, as it is one of the most quiet and prisine beaches in the country. It is located to the southwest of the town.


See the page Map colors for an explanation of what each color means.

Venice Hotel
1 Venice Street
3 Venice Street
5 Venice Street
7 Venice Street
9 Venice Street
11 Venice Street
Aragona College
13 Venice Street
Venice Street
ALDI Brunant
2 Venice Street
4 Venice Street
6 Venice Street
Adriana Rand
8 Venice Street
SD Bank
10 Venice Street
12 Venice Street
14 Venice Street
Marianne Bridal
West Gate 1
City Museum
West Gate 2
Market Square FOR SALE
East Gate 2
1 Marsala Street
Marsala Apartments
Happyface School

3 Marsala Street
5 Marsala Street
7 Marsala Street
HK Museum
9 Marsala Street
11 Marsala Street
13 Marsala Street
Marsala Street
Thunder Korfball
2 Marsala Street
4 Marsala Street
Town Hall
6 Marsala Street
8 Marsala Street
Keizer House Museum
10 Marsala Street
Atenis Donderstad
12 Marsala Street
Benicar Primary School
2 Belfort Street
4 Belfort Street
Oude Kerk
6 Belfort Street
Municipal Plaza Donderstad Library
8 Belfort Street
10 Belfort Street
Unie Spaarbank
12 Belfort Street
Belfort Street - B4
Fire Service
Firefighting insignia
1 Belfort Street
Hrmite logo
3 Belfort Street
5 Belfort Street
7 Belfort Street
9 Belfort Street
New Town Souvenirs
11 Belfort Street
Sint-Ines Hospital
13 Belfort Street
Pabella Street
Mediterranean Sea
  • *1 - West Gate
  • *2 - East Gate

Famous DonderstadersEdit

Twin citiesEdit

Settlements in Brunant
Adams: Cities, towns and villages: AdamstownMiddleton
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Brunant: Cities, towns and villages: BrunantstadMartensdorpSwantown
Localities: Silvana
Cape Cross Cities, towns and villages: BrezondeCape CrossKoningstad
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Carrington: Cities, towns and villages: CarringtonNiesburg
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Central: Cities, towns and villages: Boguestown
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Chester: Cities, towns and villages: ChesterGrijzestad
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Helmond: Cities, towns and villages: Nieuw HelmondRoodstad
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Mariaberg: Cities, towns and villages: Donderstad
Localities: BussotCabornaDe WegHuisrealMariabergPortelaRavanerRouresSint-LaurensVenetieZouter
Roseland: Cities, towns and villages: Rosetown
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Sint-Anders: Cities, towns and villages: Charles TownGrunbeckSint-Anders
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Sint-Willemstad: Cities, towns and villages: Sint-Willemstad
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