At 1826 King Willem de first decide to change the castle into a Military Academie.
Unfortunatly during the rebuilding 1826 - 1828 a lot of the original renaissance castle are destroyed.
Two of the four towers, a wooden bridge, the original stairs and because of the second floor the roof tiles and the dormers are gone.
About a thousand cadets are educated here, among them 25% are women.
Willem Merkx used to be the mayor of Breda between 1967 and 1983. The garden that was named after him is hiding behing many houses, right in the city center. From the middle of the Grote Markt turn to the Veemarktstraat then turn left to Annastraat where you'll find the nice garden. In case you get tired of the busy and sometimes noisy city you know were escape to. Wiilem Merkx Garden is actually what the Dutch call "hofje" - a little garden in a back of a house. They can be found in many cities in the Netherlands. So far, this is the only one I have found in Breda.
As usual, while visiting please be quiet, people live there.
This is the best kept secret of Breda. Cafe Sam Sam offers free internet service. All you have to do is to order a drink and you're free to check your VT mail. Usually you'll be limited to use the Internet for only 10 minutes, but if there's no line of course you can stay longer. I wouldn't recommend you to go there to have beers with friends, 'cause usually the place is packed with students.
So often my son walks along the gates of the Royale Military Academie and everytime we have to stop because he want to have a look at the fighter jet that is standing on the property of the KMA, and today it was his BIG day, he was allowed to touch the fighter jet, of course he wanted a picture of that!
Often missed as Breda is not exactly on the Festival List, but the local Breda Barst gig features lots of young and new talent. Good fun while you're there! Also, the annual Jazz Festival in May is great fun: the whole weekend Breda is bursting with jazz music and what better excuse to savour a beer over this oocasion in one of the city's many bars?
Mastbos is a forest located between Breda, Effen, and Ulvenhout. It has many routes for walking, biking, and even horse riding. Some of these routes are 35 kilometres long (the round walk). If you plan to see it all I suggest you to rent a bike.
Benches places all around the forest so you can relax if tired of walking. It is also a perfect place for picnicks. Many routes are dogs friendly so you can definitely bring your pats with you. The cafes in the Mastbos allow dogs as well.
If you decide to walk in the forest, getting there is easy. Take the bus 130 and it will bring you to the woods.
Breda has strong ties with Poland, even though this may not be well known in Poland itself. In 1944 the Polish armoured division liberated the city and many Polish soldiers after the war settled in Breda (where many of them had met a girl, a catholic one of course!) as they could not return to their country, thanks to misters Churchill and Roosevelt who thought it a nice gesture to give the country to their good friend Joseph Stalin, who was always looking for exciting new places to commit his massacres. How ironic, to think that Great Britain claimed to have entered the war because Poland's freedom was in danger and then gave it away to another thug at the end of that war. The Polish veterans are still angry about this betrayal, and who can blame them?
Polish names are not unusual in Breda, where several generations have been brought up since. A small museum has been dedicated to this part of Breda's history, the General Mazcek museum. In addition a graveyard, one or two chapels and a tank (a German one, presented to the city by the Poles after the war) remind of Breda's Polish history.
Not everybody's happy with the tank, apparently it's not "politically correct", and it has been the subject of vandalism by fanatics for decades now. A museum's probably a better place for it but Polish veterans don't agree. At the moment it's at a different location where it's being restored so you can't see it.
In Dutch we have a pleasant name for the prison "huis van bewaring" which would be something like "House of keeping" if one translates it literally into English. The prison in Breda (and I am not referring this time to the famous round building is actually a monumental house. Only the bars in front of all windows and some texts over the doorways show it's purpose.
Overshaded by the splendour of the Our Dear Ladies church and the cosyness of the Market, the old courthouse on the "Malieveld" is almost forgotten. The large door on top of the two sided staircase shows the purpose of the house, as over it stand a graceful statue of "Justitia".
Many don;t notice, but without them a town would miss something for sure. Statues are found on squares and in parks, but also in the strangest places. In the picture I found this one in the square in front of the "Huis van Bewaring" (= prison) and I was wondering what it actually represented and when I finally desided that it was either a passionate "attack" or bluntly said a "rape" I immediately started wondering if placing it there was such a good idea. (-: The statue anyway is quite wonderful.
Looking through the gates that surround a part of the KMA (Military Academy) or Castle of Breda, one notices a group of white tiny figures "playing" in the grass. A closer look will show you that the have helmets on and obviously represent soldiers or so. Now, what's the purpose of them within the walls of a academy for officers? Maybe they play with them like with tin soldiers? (-:
Look up ... look up ... there's so much special features that you can find on the tops of the houses. Facades, weaponshields and even statues ... if not just a typical Dutch stair, clock or frame. In the picture the facade of the "Vleeshuis" (Meathal) that housed the butcher's guild Saint Joris. The image shows clearly how Joris (George) is killing the dragon (or snake) with his lans.
The park of Breda is a wonderful natural oasis of peace and tranquility. On sunny days children are playing on the fields and students are laying down with their books to study. Walking through the park that is just a few minutes walking from the booming shoppingstreets, can be a very welcome thing to do.
Breda is so small, that there are not really many off the beaten path places. If you bother to come to this beautiful city, you'd better see it all it has to offer. In the picture you can see this lighthouse(?) that you can find in the small but beautiful Valkenberg Park, where also a visit to the begijnhof is worth while. You can also take some interesting excursions from Breda. For example, you can take a boat ride in the National Park De Biesbosch and enjoy the many little islands, swamps and the water life.
Take a walk from the center down to the Ginnekenstraat. Here you can find shops and stores that distinguish themselves from most of the chain stored which you can find in any city. Aside from the shopping, the Ginneken quarter is very cute looking area and it has it's own nightlife sports apart from those in the city center. You might want to try the bar 'Oncle Jean'.
Dr. Batenburglaan 74, Breda, Noord-Brabant, 4837 BR, The Netherlands
Good for: Couples
Although listed on VT as Tulip Inn Keyser, the hotel's name is actually Golden Tulip Keiser Breda. I...more
Teteringsedijk 196, Breda, Noord-Brabant, 4817 ML, The Netherlands
Good for: Business