Fun things to do in Provincie Noord-Brabant

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    Goede Herder Kerk
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Provincie Noord-Brabant

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    Willemstad - fortress on the waterfront

    by vtveen Written Nov 29, 2014

    William of Orange gave his name to the town of Willemstad. Yet the town does not owe its existence to him but to the marquis of Bergen op Zoom, Jan IV of Glymes. He ordered that some salt marshes should be drained and surrounded by dykes. That’s were the village of Ruygenhil came into being in 1565.
    In 1582 the Province of Brabant gave the village to Prince William of Orange in compensation for what he had spent and lost in the “cause of freedom”. After his dead in 1584 his son Prince Maurits named the town Willemstad (William’s Town), as we call it in Dutch.

    Willemstad is one of the most beautiful fortresses of the Netherlands, which easily could be visited on your own just strolling around.

    We made a city walk on a beautiful day in April and enjoyed it very much, seeing all these historical buildings and having a (lunch) stop on the terrace of the ‘Wapen of Willemstad’, with views of one of the harbours. I just mention some of the sights we passed:
    - Mauritshuis: dating back to 1623 and built as a countryseat for Prince Maurits in a typical Dutch Renaissance style; nowadays it houses the Tourist Information Center and a small museum.
    - Domed Church, next to the Mauritshuis in the heart of Willemstad, erected with support of Prince Maurits. This octagonal designed church (1607) was the first Protestant church in the Netherlands.
    During our visit closed, but we were lucky that a care keeper opened the door for us. Within a moat the building is surrounded by a graveyard.
    - Guardhouse at the Watergate: in the side wall are a couple of plaques indicating the extreme high water levels during some flooding.
    - Arsenal: one of the nicest buildings in Willemstad next to the Guardhouse where weapons were stored.
    - Orange Mill (d’Orangemolen): a round brick tower flour mill, built in 1734 and owned by the Princes of Orange. It can not be visited, because it is nowadays a ‘normal’ house.

    After having seen all these gems (and much more) you could walk back to the starting point along the ramparts and bastions with views of the water and the old city.

    Willemstad - Binnenhaven Willemstad - Mauritshuis Mauritshuis - Domed Church Mauritshuis - 'water level plaques' Mauritshuis - Oranjemolen,seen from the ramparts
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    Woudrichem, authentic fortress with a ‘blemish'

    by vtveen Written Nov 29, 2014

    Woudrichem is one of the official eleven Dutch fortress towns and its name ‘Walrichsheim' was already found in the year of 866. It became known as Woudrichem as from 1290, and could already be considered a town at that time, having a sheriff, aldermen and a council. It became city rights in 1356.

    Nowadays Woudrichem – the original fortress – is a quaint little town with cobble stoned roads and lots of historical houses and buildings, still surrounded by the medieval ramparts. It was just a pleasure to walk around along the beautiful old houses and over the ramparts with great views of the Waal and Maas rivers with ships coming and going.
    Woudrichem has a flour mill “Nooit Gedagt”, standing on the ramparts and still operating. This mill was built in the nineties of the last century and replaced the original mill from 1662, which was destroyed during World War II. Another important ‘landmark’ is the “Martinuskerk” – dating back to the 15th century - with its remarkable tower, called “Mustard Pot” by the locals.

    During our walk we found by far the most beautiful and impressive houses along the “Hoogstraat”; among them the old town hall (nowadays a restaurant).

    Walking through the only remaining city gate – Gevangenpoort – we reached the river. To the left is the historic harbour of Woudrichem only intended for historical ships and a National Monument. We saw some old “zalmschouwen”, which were used in the old days by the inhabitants of Woudrichem to catch salmon in the rivers. `Due to its fishing history the town has also an interesting “Visserijmuseum” (Fishery Museum).

    The only ‘blemish’ in Woudrichem were the cars, which were parked everywhere and spoiled on many places the authentic medieval atmosphere. Such a pity !!

    Woudrichem has a small information centre, look for openinghours on the website.

    Woudrichem - entrance through the ramparts Woudrichem - houses along the Woudrichem - mill Woudrichem - historical harbour Woudrichem - Hoogstraat, spoiled by cars
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    Oploo – water and windmill

    by vtveen Written Nov 29, 2014

    Oploo is one of the few villages with both a water- and windmill. These both mills are standing very close to each other with only a distance of 56 metres (which is supposed to be the shortest in Europe).

    The watermill, named ‘D’n Ollliemeulen’ is the oldest and was already used in the 18th century; first for milling oil and later it became a flourmill. The people of Oploo decided to build also a windmill, because there wasn’t always water enough in the stream of the ‘Vloet’.
    The windmill is called ‘De Korenbloem’ and is a wooden mill; a kind of mills typical for this part of the Netherlands.

    Oploo is a small village in the province of Noord-Brabant and part of the municipality of Sint Anthonis. Once you arrive in Oploo it is impossible to miss the windmill, because its sails, with a height of more than 26 metres, rise above the houses.

    Information
    Both mills can be visited on Saturday morning from 9.00 – 12.00 am or by appointment with the miller Jan van Riet (0485 – 383551).

    For more info (Dutch) and pics of the mills:
    D’n Olliemeulen: http://www.molendatabase.nl/nederland/molen.php?nummer=573
    De Korenbloem: http://www.molendatabase.nl/nederland/molen.php?nummer=574

    Oploo - water and windmill Oploo: watermill D'n Olliemeulen Oploo: watermill D'n Olliemeulen Oploo: windmill seen from the watermill Oploo: windmill De Korenbloem
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    Lierop – Koepelkerk: impressive dome-church

    by vtveen Written Nov 29, 2014

    On a bike trip in the province of Noord-Brabant we were approaching the little village of Lierop and couldn’t miss the building of the local church with an impressive dome towering above the houses and shops. Coming closer it turned out to be the Church of the Holy Name Jesus (Heilige Naam Jezus Kerk).

    This neo-romanesque Catholic Church was designed by architect Carl Weber, who designed more than 20 churches in the Netherlands. This one was his smallest and last, which was built between 1890 and 1892. The church shows lots of Neo-gothic elements and is dominated by an impressive dome with a height of more than 50 metres.

    As we entered the 'Koepelkerk' we really were completely surprised by the beauty of its interior; it has such a warm red colour - we were told every brick has been painted - a fantastic painted Stations of the Cross, a wonderful choir with stained glass windows and still its original pews. The whole church is decorated with images of saints.
    Sitting on one of the pews and looking around and into the impressive dome it is almost unbelievable people could built such an impressive and massive building more than hundred years ago.

    Information
    The church is open for visitors from early May till mid September on Wednesday and Saturday from 1.30 - 5.00 pm. During opening hours volunteers are present for explanation.

    Lierop: Koepelkerk Koepelkerk - interior Koepelkerk - interior Koepelkerk - interior Koepelkerk - rear view
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    Heusden - lively and lovely fortress

    by vtveen Written Apr 2, 2013

    Heusden, along the river Maas is dates back to the 13th century when it started with the construction of the fortification to replace the castle that was destroyed by the Duke of Brabant in 1202. This fortification was quickly expanded with water works and a donjon (castle). Heusden received city rights in 1318.
    During the first years of the Eighty Years War (1568-1648), Heusden was occupied by the Spanish. In 1577, however the people of Heusden chose to ally with William, Prince of Orange. William decided to consolidate the town's strategic position near the river Maas and ordered fortification works to be constructed. This started in 1579 with the digging of moats and the construction of bastions, walls, and ravelins and was completed in 1597.
    By early 19th century the fortifications were fallen into disrepair and dismantled. However in 1968 extensive restoration works started and fortifications were carefully rebuilt.
    Nowadays Heusden draws over 350 thousand tourists every year who visit the historic town centre and walk the walls that once made it a formidable stronghold.

    We started our city walk of Heusden after buying a leaflet (Dutch, German and English) from the Tourist Office, which houses in the New Town Hall. The old one was completely destroyed in November 1944 during a massacre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heusden).

    During our walk - we opted for the city walk – along the cobble stoned streets we did get a good impression of the city and its fortifications, passing a lot of quaint historical houses - among them the oldest building of the city dating from the city from 1521, farm- and warehouses, a former nunnery, a couple of churches with the impressive ‘Catharijne Church’. Unfortunately it was closed (as often with Dutch churches), so we couldn’t take a look inside.
    It was great to walk on the walls of the fortifications, seeing antique cannons and a very old lock to the city moat. The former castle is almost completely gone (in 1680 a terrible thunderstorm hit the city and lightning struck the donjon, which contained 60.000 pounds of gunpowder).

    The ‘Vismarkt’ is the heart of the city and is lined by beautiful houses, nowadays cafes and restaurants with terraces. One side of the square is dominated by two completely different buildings: the ‘Visbank’ and the ‘Commiezenhuis’. Behind these buildings lies the small harbour with its draw bridge and one of the wind mills in Heusden.

    The ‘Gouveneurshuis’, the house of the former governor of the city and nowadays a museum, was closed and we just could get a glimpse of the landscaped garden through a hole in the door (very limited opening hours: http://www.gouverneurshuis.nl).

    Our walk took about 1½ hours and we enjoyed it very much, seeing so many beautiful sites and reading a lot of interesting information. Afterwards we did some shopping - most of the shops and numerous art galleries are open all Sundays - and had a cappuccino with ‘grandmother’s apple pie’ at ‘Bakkertje Deeg’, a very nostalgic bakery.

    Visiting on Easter Monday there were quite a lot of tourists around, but it wasn’t crowded; I would call it lively and lovely !!

    Heusden - cannon on the fortifications Heusden - Catharijne Church Heusden - Vismarkt Heusden - historical lock Heusden - draw bridge and wind mill
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    Museum de Peel

    by catnl Updated Jun 9, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    for a virtual tour about nature and other interesting info about De Peel have a look at the url below:-)

    De Peel is an area on the border of the provinces Limburg and North Brabant. The original peat moor was extracted by local inhabitants, but also exploited by large companies that sold the peat as fuel. The local inhabitants have also formed the area by keeping livestock (sheep), collecting firewood and sods of turf. In this way, a large heather and swamp area came into existence, with large bell-heather and ling heather fields, alternating with pools and pits originating from human digging activities.

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    Beekse Bergen Camping and surroundings

    by catnl Updated Jun 9, 2008

    When you stay at Beekse bergen you can go to 6 themeparks for free

    There is a special playground for special and ofcourse Safaripark Beekse Bergen
    and
    De Efteling, a fairy tale atraction park
    if more questions you can ask me

    have a great time:-)

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    Willemstad

    by tompt Written Dec 12, 2004

    Willemstad is an old city where the citywalls are still visible.

    Willem's Stad (Willems city), is one of the fortress cities of Willem of Orange. He built the fortress around the village Ruigenhil in 1583 to stop the Spanish. His son Maurits finished the job.

    In 1603 Willemstad was formed like a sevenpoint star. The seven bastions are named after the seven provinciën (In that time we only had 7 provinces).

    Willemstad is located at the Volkerak and the Hollandsch Diep (two waterways) and is very populair with watersportfans. In summer there are boattrips availlable. Just outside of Willemstad are the Volkeraksluizen. One of the biggest locks in european rivers.

    In 1926 the wartask of Willemstad officially ended. But the city was the site of war once again:
    30 may 1940 the Rhenus 127 hit a mine. On board of this ship were Belgian soldiers they were transported to Germany as prisoners of war. Over 200 of them died. A monument can be found on the riverbank.

    Willemstad

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    Woudrichem

    by OlafS Written Dec 7, 2004

    A charming little fortified town that originally belonged to Holland but became part of the province of Noord-Brabant in 1813. The town doesn't look like Brabant at all, and is much more similar to places like Heusden and Willemstad, both of which used to be in Holland too.
    The eyecatcher of the town is this church, but there's a lot more to see.

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    Hilvarenbeek

    by OlafS Updated Jun 1, 2004

    This is probably one of the nicest villages of this province. It's also one of the most interesting for tourists. Besides this wonderful St. Petrus' church there's a working windmill, a liqueur museum and a brewery museum with working brewery. Add to that a choice of restaurants and bars, the many Summer activities, the nearby forests and safari park 'De Beekse Bergen' and you can imagine why this place attracts so many visitors. Best time to visit is perhaps the last weekend of May, when there's a free open-air musicfestival, with performances by famous as well as unknown bands and artists.

    Hilvarenbeek: church St. Petrus' Banden

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    Dongen

    by OlafS Updated Jan 27, 2004

    You'd think that The Netherlands is a rich country that takes good care of its heritage, wouldn't you? This picture might change your mind. This is the protestant church of Dongen. Officially the protestants should have left this church some 200 years ago and given it back to the catholics. But they refused, and after a while the government, who considered catholics as inferior creatures anyway, gave up on the idea. As there were only a handful of protestants in the village the church was much too big for them, and so they only used the transept and choir. The tower was state property, so that was safe too, but the nave fell into decay. It's an intriguing site, and I sincerely hope plans to fully restore the church will not be executed. I think it would be much nicer if the current state could be preserved. We have lots of well-preserved churches (thankfully, don't get me wrong!) but very few ruins. It's also a striking reminder of a period in our history when religious intolerance was the norm. The church only needs a plaque that explains why it's in such a state.

    Oh, the catholics built another church elsewhere in town. It's an impressive dome-church that's well worth a look too, and its size gives reason to believe that the old church would not have survived altogether in catholic hands as for them it would have been far too small. The rest of Dongen isn't very impressive, but there are a few nice spots. A former tannery, of a type typical for this region, is now a museum of local history. It's located near the old church.

    Dongen: reformed church ruin
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    Helmond

    by OlafS Updated Dec 16, 2003

    Is it irony? Or sarcasm? Anyway, first let me point out that Helmond translates to 'hell mouth'. Funny, eh? Of course that's not the actual meaning of the name. Actually Helmond must be one of the ugliest cities of this province, but it's also one of only a few with a real castle in its centre. Which is one advantage it has over Eindhoven. This castle was built starting in ca. 1400. With its square ground-plan and its four corner towers it is probably the archetypal medieval castle. Today it serves as a museum. Shame about the highway that practically runs next to it and which divides the centre in two. Without it Helmond would be a much nicer place.

    Helmond: castle
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    Oudenbosch

    by OlafS Updated Nov 28, 2003

    The Vatican of the north! Not one, but TWO copies of the St. Peter's church in Rome. A seminary, monasteries, convents. If there's one place that evidences catholic megalomania of the 19th century, this is it. Today's Oudenbosch is not a very picturesque place, there are too many modern buildings, but it has a few impressive sights. I made a seperate page about this place with more info.

    Oudenbosch: the basilica
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    St. Michielsgestel

    by OlafS Updated Nov 28, 2003

    St. Michielsgestel has a few nice old buildings, but the most interesting is probably this tower, which is all that remains of the medieval St. Michael's church. This tower dates from the 15th century and is in Campine Gothic style. The church itself was demolished in 1836.

    St. Michielsgestel: the old tower
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    Waalre

    by OlafS Updated Nov 28, 2003

    Waalre has a peculiar old church. When in 1925 a new church was built the old one quickly fell into decay.
    In 1940 the building finally was restored. During the work people discovered that the church wasn't the Gothic building they thought it was. The remains of a Romanesque nave were discovered and it was partly reconstructed in its old form. The higher originally Gothic western trave and the tower were preserved as they were while some 19th-century additions were demolished, resulting in this strange and rather artificial combination. The church was restored to a state in which it never had been before. Today it is used as a chapel to commemorate the fallen soldiers from this province.

    Waalre: the old church
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Provincie Noord-Brabant Hotels

  • Het Scheepshuys

    Teteringsedijk 196, Breda, Noord-Brabant, 4817 ML, The Netherlands

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Sofitel Cocagne Eindhoven

    Very nice rooms with very friendly staff. Walking distance to the train station and centre of town....

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  • Stadshotel Jeroen Bosch

    Jeroen Boschplein 6, Den Bosch, 5211 ML, The Netherlands

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

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