Nijmegen has some reputation for being a city of radical leftists, and people preferring an alternative lifestyle, whatever that may be.
Well, all is relative of course (except 'all' naturally), but there seems to be a grain of truth in that. Nijmegen has known some of the fiercest 'krakersrellen' outside Amsterdam, and, reputedly was a very fashionable town during the eighties. The problem is, it has got something of a 'never change a winning formula' attitude about that, even though it is clearly not so winning anymore.
For anyone interested in living social history the town is a must :).
Places to watch:
moderate: the Gonzo
less moderate: de Bijstand
Radical: De Onderbroek, Extrapool
With a large resemblance to the cityweapon of Arnhem, Nijmegen too has a double headed eagle in it's city weapon. A perfect example of the shield can be found on the main entrance of the new cityhall.
Nijmegen holds the third place in largest "Kermis" (fun fair - carnival) within The Netherlands. Each October one can get thrilling rides in various machines, bumpercars, big wheels and many many gambling-machines and candy wagons.
This famous legend is also one of the oldest works in Dutch literature. The story in short: Mariken was living with her uncle as her parents were dead. When doing groceries in Nijmegen she is - falsely - accused of very bad things by her aunt and then gets tricked by the devil himself into leading the life of which she has been accused of. She moves with him to Antwerp, where they do everything God has forbidden. Later Mariken feels remorse and asks to go to Nijmegen again. She misses her uncle, the town ... everything. In Nijmegen she witnesses Catholic plays and finally recognises her dwelling. The devil hurts her very bad, but Mariken recovers and decides to ask forgiveness. However, no priest, munk or bishop dares to grant this for so much evil and so she travels to the Pope. She gets visited by an angel in her dream and he tells her about heavy steel rings she has to wear until the wear off. She does so, joins a convent and on a Sundaymorning, the rings fall off and she is freed of her sins.
Third week of July, Nijmegen goes bananas at the yearly 'Vierdaagse feesten'. From Tuesdays to Fridays the town holds a million-population among which 40.000 marching members that walk the streneous four-days-march of Nijmegen. Every day they hike 50 kilometres as if it is not nothing, but the guys and girls that do it get the best support imaginable. The week in which the march is done has an enormous amount of activities. Live music, fireworkshows, ballooning, freemarkets etc. etc. These International Summerfestival is indeed international as you will find many countries represented in the 4x50 km.march. If you can go in this week to Nijmegen, you're in for a party that you'll never forget.
When visiting Nijmegen you absolutely must: Read about Mariken van Nijmegen.
The story of Marieke van Nijmegen belongs to Dutch medieval literature. It deals with a girl who walked away from home. She met Moenen, who later turned out to be the devil. After living with him for some years, she regretted her decision and made a pilgrimmage to Rome.
Most people in The Netherlands, so in Nijmegen too, speak English. If you'd like to know anything, just ask. The tourist office is situated not far from the station: Keizer Karelplein 2, 6511 NC Nijmegen. Tel 0900-1122344 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In Nijmegen one can find various buildings build in the "Nederrijn" Gothic style. A substyle in architecture that is found along the rivers Rhine (Northern part), Waal and IJssel.
Every October the a two week fair is hold in the city centre, This year it was the first time my sister Mariel went with me!
There is a big market in the centre of Nijmegen on every Monday and Saturday.
The market is located on the market square, called Grote markt.
Courses in belly dancing at the University of Nijmegen ...
(Gelderlander April 11, 2002 ; picture Bert Beelen)