If you're not a complete art buff who only wants to see the originals, than this is the place to be in Den Bosch to learn more about the city's most famous son, Hieronymus Bosch.
Born as Jheronimus van Aken in the middle of the 15the century, Bosch lived all his life in or around Den Bosch. He belonged to a very conservative religious movement, which may have been a reason for the main sujet of his art, men's depravity and its consequence, i.e. hell. This is obvious in many of his paintings or triptychs - people who take life too easy and don't live a pious life end up being tortured and killed by the devils, half-human, half-animal creatures that seem to linger everywhere in his paintings.
Bosch was a master of detail. When you take a closer look at his paintings, you see so many curious creatures or scenes that you wonder whether he's been on a drug trip while painting. (Some people think he's been indeed.) I suppose he just had a lot of imagination and was probably believing everything he painted. In any case, his paintings, particularly the "Garden of Earthly Delights", are masterpieces.
The originals are scattered all over the world's most famous museums, but the Hieronymus Bosch Arts Centre has life-sized replicas of all of them. Even better: as they are not the originals, there are no security lines that you must not cross. You can see the paintings as the artist would have wanted it, from close by so that every cruel detail is visible. For 6 EUR, this is definitely worth the visit.
Heusden Fortress is a beautiful fortified town. Every weekend thousands of excursionists and boaters admiring the old fortress and the historic center. On the many cafes and cozy restaurants is usually buzzing. Every Sunday in Heusden Fortress Sun.shopping and on sunny days the streets are filled whatsoever. with shopping tourists. Most tourists stay in hotels in Heusden in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Drunen or Waalwijk. Heusden Fortress is not far from Den Bosch, De Efteling and Drunense Dunes. From Den Bosch departs every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday a boat to Heusden Fortress.
Ten years after Den Bosch was besieged and taken by Prince of Orange, Frederik Hendrik, 'De Citadel' was built so the city could be defended against future invaders. In the 60s and 70s the building was worn out and ready for demolishment. Restauration of the building took place.
Nowadays (since 1988) it's the home of provincial Archive for the Dutch province Noord-Brabant. For those who wish to look for their ancestors or for those who are looking for old photographs end 19th century/20th century it's worth visiting.
Open daily except mondaymorning.
If you are between trains and fancy a beer the bar just to the left as you leave the station is as good as any. On my visit it was busy with football fans (the day of the Netherlands v Brazil World Cup quarter-final) but wasn't as busy as the city centre bars.
Table service was non-existent but bar service was friendly enough, the beer reasonably cheap and a pleasant, football-fuelled, atmosphere prevailed.
I think this is called "Mell's Place" but the football bunting and other decorations had totally obscured the name.
The Jheronimus Bosch Art Center offers a complete overview of the art of this famous son of Den Bosch (c. 1450-1516) by means of photographic reproductions. Also tapestries and 3D objects after Bosch's paintings.
Tuesday-Friday 10am - 5 pm, Saturday & Sunday noon - 5 pm. Adults pay Euro 5, children up to 13 pay Euro 2.50 (2008)
"Bossche Broek" is a beautiful piece of nature just outside the old centre of Den Bosch. It mainly consists of grass land with sheep and birds and small channels in between.
Bossche Broek is only a few hunderd meters away from Sint Jans Cathedral. Therefore, it may be a bit busy sometimes (especially on sunny Sundays), but still the place is worth visiting. It offers beautiful views on the city walls and the monuments of the inner city.
There are a few easy hikes, suitable for everybody. As there is little vegetation and you can always see Sint Jans Cathedral, it is almost impossible to get lost. The longest trail is one that takes you to the city of Vught and back; it's about 8 km (2 hours). Ask the local tourist office for directions and/or a map.
Slowly the stream lost its importance and changed into an open sewer. In 1969 they decided to fill up the canals, but luckely they didn't complete their plans and there is something left of this beautiful stream through the city.
I know museums aren't everyone's cup of tea, and the provincial museum of Noord-Brabant surely isn't the Louvre, but it's worth a go if they have an interesting exhibition on. Example: Vincent van Gogh hailed from closeby, so the museum decided to throw a display of some of his works in his honour. Same for the many (pre)historic artifacts that have been dug up throughout the year. Pretty interesting stuff, surely? :-) In any case, you'll enjoy it, and even if you don't, there are enough bars nearby to make you forget all your sorrows very quickly!
The city hall of Den Bosch is located right on the Market (like in many other cities in The Netherlands). It is a very impressive construction with a 35 bells that ring every Wednesday between 10 and 11 am. If you're lucky you can get a free guided tour on Saturdays at 2:30pm. You can also enjoy a meal in a restaurant that is located in the gothic style cellar.
De Moriaan is the oldest brick house of Den Bosch. You won't miss it since it is located right on the market place and serves as a tourist information office. Siply look for a blue sign tha says VVV and you'll find De Moriaan.
As in every old town, the heart of 's-Hertogenbosch is the market-square, which has a triangular shape as usual for this region. Here we find the town hall, with its 17th century facade in Classical style, which actually hides three older buildings. Similar town halls where built in other places occupied by Holland as well, like Maastricht. In the basement is a bar.
Opposite the town hall is a statue of one of 's-Hertogenbosch's most famous sons, the medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch, whose surreal visions of hell still appeal to many people all over the world. Unfortunately none of his paintings are left in the city so you won't find a museum dedicated to him. Not yet, that is. There's going to be 'something' in the foreseeable future. Read on!
This is the Refugiehuis van het klooster Marienhage te Woensel. This name refers to the period from 1593 to 1629, when this house was a refuge house for the nuns of a convent in Woensel near Eindhoven who had fled the Orangist terror. The house however is older than that, with parts dating back to 1501. It was not uncommon for monasteries and convents to own such a refuge house within the safety of citywalls.
If you are coming from the train station make sure you walk to the city centre. It's a great walk and Den Bosch is very much worth it. First stop will have to be on your right, after about 200 metres after leaving the Station, at Bakery 'De Groot' for a real 'Bossche Bol' (see other tip!). If you survived that you can go in a straight line until you can go no further and then turn right and walk to the Central Market. From there you can take great pictures and you will see 'St. Jan's Cathedral protruding above the city centre.
This house originates from the 13th century and is the oldest brick house in Den Bosch. The house almost was demolished in the 50s. The building was restored in its original state and now houses the Tourist Information of Den Bosch (VVV-kantoor).
Den Bosch has seen a great increase in its number of bars and restaurants. The city always had a name for relaxed beer boozing, but that wouldn't do its new culinary status much justice!
The Uilenburg area (west from the Markt) and Korte Putstraat are the food hotspots. Bars are everywhere, mainly on and around the Markt and Parade.
Jeroen Boschplein 6, Den Bosch, 5211 ML, The Netherlands
Good for: Couples
If the restaurant/tearoom is anything to judge by, this should be an excellent hotel. No, I didn't...more
Pettelaarpark 90, Den Bosch, Noord-Brabant, 5216, The Netherlands
Good for: Couples