The name Eindhoven derives from the contraction of the regional words eind (meaning last or end) and hove (or hoeve; a section of some 14 hectares of land). A big fire in 1554 destroyed 75% of the houses but by 1560 these had been rebuilt with the help of William I of Orange. During the Dutch Revolt, Eindhoven changed hands between the Dutch and the Spanish several times during which it was burned down by renegade Spanish soldiers, until finally in 1583 it was captured once more by Spanish troops and its city walls were demolished. Eindhoven did not become part of the Netherlands until 1629. During the French occupation, Eindhoven suffered again with many of its houses destroyed by the invading forces.
In 1891, brothers Gerard and Anton Philips founded the small light bulb factory that would grow into one of the largest electronics firms in the world. Philips' presence is probably the largest single contributing factor to the major growth of Eindhoven in the 20th century. Therefore Eindhoven is known as the City of Light, due to the company Philips originating there and because of the several projects involving lighting up buildings of the city. During Carnival, Eindhoven is rechristened Lampegat (Hamlet of Lamps, although for the ironic purposes of carnival the translation Hole in the ground with lamps is closer to the mark); this refers again to the important role of Philips in the Eindhoven community.
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