After living in NL for almost 2 years when I hear something about Brabant I think about the news I’ve read about the region – there’s almost daily an article about the marijuana fields and drug trafficking happening in the area. But another thing that comes to my mind is the fact that we’ve visited other 2 cities in the region, Bergen op Zoom and Eindhoven, which I liked both. And now, after visiting Den Bosch or ‘s Hertogenbosch, I truly consider that the area is only notorious only because how the articles are written.
And getting to know the city better: as you exit the main station the large streets, similar with the ones from Maastricht but smaller, will guide you to the city center, which is similar to Bruges due to the hidden canals under old buildings and tiny bridges. 2016 is the year of Hieronymus Bosch so the entire city is decorated with signs for special routes, his paintings on the walls and statues all over. On the first bridge volunteers await tourists to help them with information and this is how we’ve learned about top attractions. Taking the route we’ve encountered from place to place reproductions from Bosch’s paintings, some of them hard to understand or digest. The route is taking you on old paved narrow streets, where you cannot stop wondering how this beauty was conceived, how on that time people had the absolute imagination.
Even if Hieronymus was from Aachen, he changed his name while living in NL and maybe, because of this, we haven’t seen something related with him during our trip there. We didn’t had the chance to learn about him, but the trip to Den Bosch was the perfect occasion to do so. And if in a normal museum you will stay in front of the painting, analyzing each character, in Den Bosch you can view a virtual reality movie in which you will travel through his most known painting – The Garden of Earthly Delights. The feeling of being there is so close to reality, that there’s no wonder that you will be scared being in hell, surrounded by dark and strange creatures. 500 years ago a human mind perceived a full world with good and bad, with ordinary and extraordinary, with elements combined in such a unique way that for sure will make you raise many questions.
I am so sorry that I always postponed my trip this year! During winter time the canals are closed and I missed a nice trip under the painted bridges with scenes from paintings. Another thing we’ve missed is the exposition of the paintings brought from Madrid especially for this event. But, at least, we managed to see the projection of the paintings on the buildings in the big market, in the city center. Many people were gathered in front of the house were Bosch used to live until he got married.
Other things to do in the city:
Noord-Brabant museum: I’ve found it a little bit boring, because there weren’t many interactive applications. But if you want to learn about the history of the region this is place to be. Also you can enjoy Van Gogh paintings and other exhibitions. Until 8/01/2017 a exhibition of Claire Morgan is taking place, based on art work with stuffed animals – which can be disturbing for some people. I liked most the works with flies, amazing and detailed production.
St. John’s Cathedral: I personally don’t like majestic churches, but the cathedral is something not to be missed while visiting Den Bosch. The entrance is free of charge and during summer days you can climb the tower to have a view over the city.
Het Bossche Broek: As nature is one of my favorite things, seeing the sunset over this large park was one of the best things to do in the city. Close to the city center, the park offers trails in a beautiful plain site.
Market square: As in each city of NL the city center has a market square, surrounded by old and beautiful buildings. In the market the town hall and the oldest brick house from Den Bosch can be observed. At each building entrance terraces are open for clients to eat, drink or simply to enjoy the charm of the city.
For sure we will be back, during spring or summer, to climb the tower of the church, to have a walk in the park and to enjoy the boat ride under the hidden bridges. But until then, let’s enjoy the Christmas spirit which is already installed around the country!