Binnendieze, Den Bosch
The Dieze is a modest stream that finishes its course just outside Den Bosch in the Maas river. Within the old city limits, many branches once formed a network of canals. A unique feature of Den Bosch is that the canals still exist, but lack of building space forced the old inhabitants to build their houses over the Binnendieze (as the canals are now called). You can now make a boat tour along the canals and this will lead you through many hidden (and atmospherically dark) corners of town!
Near the Vismarkt you'll find the statue of Zoete Lieve Gerritje - a character from a popular nursery rhyme who went to Den Bosch. Here you can access the boats and have a warm drink when you return!
From April until the end of october from 10.00-17.00 hrs you can book a trip on a small boat that will go on the stream the 'Binnendieze' ('Binnen' means inner) and will take you partly under the old historic centre of Den Bosch. The Dieze was used until the 70s of the last age as a sewage system, but don't be afraid, not anymore! It's a very special boat trip and very popular among tourists and locals! In the summer make sure you are there on time (meaning early!) because a lot of people want to make the boat trip! It takes about 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
Whenever you are in Den Bosch you have to do the boat tour over the Binnendieze. It is a sort of canal system under the ground. The canal goes via various tunnels all through Den Bosch under the houses. Take a look on my Binnendieze travelogues for more pictures.
From April until the end of October from 10.00-17.00 you can book a trip on a small boat that will go on the stream the 'Binnendieze' ('Binnen' means inner) and will take you partly under the old historic centre of Den Bosch. The Dieze was used until the 70s of the last age as a sewage system, but don't be afraid, not anymore! It's a very special boat trip and very popular among tourists and locals, I recommend you to book this boat trip on forehand!
The boat trip takes 45 minutes.
I add more pictures of the sail on the Binnendieze in my travelogue.
Den Bosch is circled by typical Dutch canals and the boat tours of the canals are operated in small boats powered by a small motor that take about 16 people. There is a choice of two trips - one takes 40 minutes and one takes over one hour - we chose the shorter journey and the cost was €6. Tickets are bought from a ticket office across the street from the departure point and when booking you give your name and the boatman calls out your name to ensure you are going on the correct boat.
The commentary on the boat from the boatman is totally in Dutch - I was given a single sheet in English to explain the basics of the journey. I do not think many non Dutch speaking people actually visit towns such as Den Bosch (such a pity) and there is probably little demand for other languages. The guide spoke for the whole tour and my Dutch friends told me he was very interesting but non Dutch speakers do miss out. The boat goes through tunnels under the town and through pretty canals and is worth doing for this alone. Perhaps a better descriptive sheet for other languages is needed. The website says in its English section the boatman will explain things through the journey but this is not so if you are not Dutch.
However do do this trip if you are in this lovely town.
What you have to do when you visit Den Bosch is making a canal ride through the binnendieze, those are canals in the city. The canals are very narrow.
It is a lovely way to discover 'S-Hertogenbosch.
You can find more information at the VVV that is the information service at the square.
This stream the 'Binnen Dieze' is much older than the city of Den Bosch, which is 800 years old.
Even before 1185 two rivers called the 'Dommel' and the 'Aa' formed a river delta. Right in the middle of this river delta the city of Den Bosch was founded. The city flourished and in the 14th century the city walls were changed. The streams became partly within the new city walls and this part of the stream is now called the 'Binnendieze'. The word 'binnen' in Dutch means 'inner' so translated in English it is called the 'Inner Dieze'.
The water doesn't look very clear, but it wasn't smelly. In fact it was great to sit along the banks of river for a while, enjoying a bit of the spring sunshine and give my tired feet a little rest.
It is also possible to make an excursion on the river. We didn't do that on this trip, but I did take a boat tour last time I visited. That was many years ago, but I remember it was real fun to do. It feels almost like a river rat going underneath the city. The guide tells you good stories about the history of the town, the buildings you go under and of course stories about the stream itself.
Take a boat-tour on the river Binnendieze that runs through much of the centre. You'll see the centre from a very different perspective. 's-Hertogenbosch is nicknamed the 'marsh dragon' (lit. Moerasdraak) for its position as a powerful city on the formerly swampy banks of the river Dieze, which made it hard to conquer for centuries. As space was limited inside the city-walls many buildings, including the town hall and St. Catharina's church, were built over the river, which was gradually tamed and renamed Binnendieze. The tour is made with small open boats.
Den Bosch with its canals, you can take boattrip in and around the city.
More pics at the travelogue.
More info about cruising Den Bosch:
Peaking underneath, to see where the stream is going. You can clearly see the arches going over it from several houses and bridges.
Next time I am going to take that boat trip again.... looking from a bridge to buildings that are built over the stream is fun, but going by boat underneath them is super!
There are many houses built over the stream. A large part of the stream is underneath the city and it isn't visable.