In the former Government building, built in Gothic style (1882-1886), the Drents Museum is situated.
In the museum are permanent and temporary exhibitions of archaeology (artefacts of the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Roman Era, found in Drenthe), silver, textiles, art including Vincent Van Gogh.
Interesting is the story about peat, the moor corpses and the girl of Yde. You can also use an interactive geo-explorer with touch-screen, to go back in time.
In 2004 the museum exists 150 year. There wiil be an impressive temporary international exhibition "The mysterious Bog People'' (September 2004 till January 2005). See for more information www.bogpeople.org.
In the museum you can also find a nice shop and the ''Cafe Krul'' in Art Nouveau style for a drink and special dishes connected with the themes of the exhibitions.
Opening hours of the museum:
11 AM to 5 PM
5 euro for adults
For more information check the museum website.
The Kloosterstraat, meaning monastery street, is just south of the place of the former monastery. This street is by its name a remembrance of the origin of Assen, being the building of the monastery of ''Maria in Campis'' in 1258.
At the time the monastery still existed there were allready buildings at the southside of the Kloosterstraat, like the farmhouses of the monastery in the 17th century.
The present building, you see at the picture, is a former farmhouse, built in 1820 and restored in 1972.
At the corner of the Brink and Kloosterstraat is the ''Drostenhuis'' situated.
The Drostenhuis is built in 1774-1778 in the Louis XIV style at the place of the former house of the abbot of the monastery .
The Drostenhuis is the official residence of the Drost of the province Drenthe, the president of the provincial board. Later the same building stayed till 1940 the official residence of the following provincial governors, named the Governor of the King and later the Queens Commissionar.
Nowadays the Drostenhuis is part of the Drents Museum, like the most historical buildings at this side of the Brink.
At the Brink of Assen you can also find the Ontvangershuis (Tax Collectors House), now part of the Drents Museum. The Ontvangershuis is the oldest house in Assen. Only a wall survived the huge fire in 1676. This wall with Roman bricks, you can only see from the Brink side. The house is rebuilt in 1697.
The best view at the building you will have from the other side, from the Oostersingel. From here you can also see the garden designed in the Dutch style in the 17th century.
The Ontvagenrshuis was the house of the Collector General of Drenthe, but was also used as "Prinsenhof", the place where the Dutch Stadhouders (Stadtholders) stayed the night. So King Louis Napoleon slept here in1809, when he came over to give Assen the municipal rights.
In the centre of Assen you can find many historical buildings. Don't worry, I have not the intention to describe them all. Only some striking ones or with an interesting history or with personal memories.
This neoclassical house, Huize Tetrode is built in 1822 and bought by the family Tetrode in 1825.
Later in 1930 this house became part of the town hall. In the largest room are wonderful wall paintings of landscapes. This room is used as weddingroom. After the townhall moved to another place, the weddingroom is still in use. My brother and his wife are married here.
And in the building annex I got my first passport. So that was the start of my travelling abroad.
Just east of the Abdijkerk (abbey church) is situated the Rijksarchief, the Recordoffice of the Governmental Archives, built end 19th century in the Dutch Renaissance style.
You can't miss the entrance in the striking tower.
The tower and building look rather old, because they were built with the old bricks of the former monastery.
The cloister from the middle ages is still there.
Walking in the historical centre of Assen, it´s worth to look around for some details.
In the Kloosterstraat you can see the gardenwall belonging to the Drostenhuis (18th century).
Allthough the wall looks much older than the Drostenhuis, it´s built later in 1848. It looks older, because they used old bricks of the former prison.
In the wall you can find an old waterpump, placed in 1895 at the same place as a medieval well was situated.
So history in Assen is like a puzzle.
At the north side of the Kloosterstraat is the Drents Oorlogs & Verzetsmuseum in one of the old houses. You can easily miss it, so look out for this interesting sign beside the entrance door.
The Drents Oorlogs- & verzetsmuseum (War & Resistance museum) gives information about the Worldwar II and Resistance Movement in the North of the Netherlands.
In the museum you can also see an authentic place, where people went into hiding during the occupation.
Opening hours: tuesday & thursday 1-4 PM or call for an appointment.
Entrancefee: 2 euro
The centre of Assen has a green heart. Like all the traditional villages in the province Drenthe have a Brink (village green) with old oaks, Assen has its Brink.
Around the Brink you can find the many historical buildings like the former Abbey Church, the Ontvangershuis and the provincial governmental buildings. All these buildings are part of the Drents Museum now. also the former, but now removed monastery, founded in 1258, was situated east of the Brink.
I made my picture of the Brink in this direction, because so I crossed the Brink by bike every day in the first year after I left the primary school and went to a new school in Assen. The cycle path is not there anymore.
The history of Assen started in the 13th century, when the monastary ''Maria in Campis'' was founded. The monastery is gone, but the abdijkerk (Abbey Church) is still there. The present church is built in the 17th century, only one wall has still some remains of the 1258.
The church is used as municipality hall later, but is now part of the Drents Museum. The building has a romanesque porch at its north side.
At the Brink near the Tetrode house (former municipality hall) is the house where they took people in custody in former days, the "Huis van Bewaring''.
This building is built in 1842-1844 in the neoclassicist style in substitution for the tumbledown prison, built in 1609, at the Kloosterstraat.
Since 1992 the function of this building changed like of most buildings in its historical surroundings.
The former ''Huis van Bewaring'' is now part of the Court of Justice in the building annex.
North of the Brink of Assen the ''Paleis van Justitie'' or Court of justice is situated.
It is a majestic building in the neoclassicist style with yellow Ionian columns and a fronton.
In the fronton you can read in the Latin language '' sine justitia nulla libertas'' , meaning ''without justice no freedom''.
When I went to the grammarschool in Assen, I liked it to discover these Latin words on this building in Assen.
In the citycentre of Assen, just south-west of the Brink you can find the Gouverneurstuin, meaning the ''Garden of the Governor''.
In the past it was the vegetable garden of the monastery. Later this garden belonged to the Drostenhuis, the house of the Queen's Commisionar (provincial governor).
When I was a kid, this park was the ''Verkeerstuin" (Traffic Park). Now this Traffic Park for kids is moved to the TT-circuit. During my Primaryschool I passed the practical part of my traffic exam here in the Gouverneurstuin.
In the 80s the Gouverneurstuin in re-arranged as a city park. The pond in the park is a remnant of an old brooklet ''de Weiersloop''.
The Gouverneurstuin, originallly the garden of the provincial governor, is since the 80s a city park.
It's a nice park for a small walk. Most of the times I walked in this park, I see young and old people visiting the park. The old trees are impressive and the many colourful flowerbeds are lovely.
During the summer months there are interesting art-exhibitions in the open-air.
There is also an old tiny summer-house, just near one of the entrances to the park, coming from the Torenlaan.
This building was originally a waitingroom for trainpassengers. In that time it was situated opposite the railwaystation at the Overcingelllaan, not far from the Overcingel estate.
The buitenplaats (estate) Overcingel is built in 1777-1778 for the Tax Collector, J van Lier. The historical building in Louis XIV style, was one of the first buildings, outside the moats or cingels of Assen. The estate is a cultural heritage site.
The buitenplaats (estate) includes 5 hectare garden, park and forest, designed in 1823. The green area is now a nature reserve.
The estate includes, except the mainbuilding, also a chinese summerhouse, a gardeners house, a barn, a witches ball at a wrought iron standard and a sun-dial.
Nowadays the Overcingel Estate is still the property of the same family van Lier. It is possible to visit the grounds on request.
As a kid, I could enter a part of the estate every saturday, because the building of scouting was just near the gardeners house. Sometimes we were even allowed to walk in the park and forest.