Zundert is the birthplace and childhood home of the famous painter Vincent van Gogh. He was born on 30 March 1853 in a little house on Zundert's main street, "Markt 29". The former house is gone as it was too dilapidated to preserve, but a plaque at this location still commemorates his birth. In May 2007 the renovation of the house at Markt 29, and the neighbouring house, started. After the renovation, the Vincent van Gogh house was opened in August 2008.
People can still visit the Dutch Reformed church built in 1806 in which the father of Vincent, Theodorus van Gogh, started preaching in 1849. In the graveyard is the grave of Vincent's one year older brother, who died soon in infancy - also called Vincent van Gogh. Vincent did not paint when he lived in Zundert, but drew some sketches. In letters to his Brother Theo, Vincent recalls Zundert, and its surroundings a few times when writing about childhood, serenity and learning about life. Because he died in the French town of Auvers-sur-Oise, on 29 July 1890, a special relation between these two places exists. This can, for example, be noticed by the existence of a slightly hidden Auvers-sur-Oise Street, ending at the Van Gogh Square.
Zundert lies about 10 metres above Dutch sea level (NAP), and is located 15 km south-west of the city of Breda, and 35 km north-east of Antwerp, Belgium. Zundert is surrounded by the municipalities Etten-Leur and Breda on the north, Hoogstraten (Belgium) on the east, Wuustwezel (Belgium) on the south, Kalmthout (Belgium) on the southwest, and Essen (Belgium) and Rucphen on the west.
Zundert is one of the most agricultural municipalities of the Netherlands. 10% of all nursery production of the Netherlands occurs around Zundert. Production of strawberries and young field grown trees and hedging plants is very important in the area.
The origin of the town of Zundert is like that of many others, very unclear. The name is first encountered in a certificate dating from 1157, in which the Bishop of Liege, confirms a donation from the place "Sunderda". This Sunderda actually relates to the current settlement of Klein-Zundert (literally translated as Small-Zundert), which was one of the first settlements in the area. The monks there, besides their religious labour, were also involved in the clearing of the, in that time, still rough territory, which was filled with swamps, peats and heathland fields. The monks also helped improve agricultural methods.
Zundert is still surrounded by a rural environment with beautiful nature areas, one of them is the "Buissche Heide", a magnificent heathland area with unique walking possibilities. The Kalmthoutse Heide, across the border with Belgium, is also in the vicinity
Van Gogh Bicycle and Walking route
There are several activities relating to Vincent van Gogh, Like the 3 km walking route coloured with poems.
You can go to Tourist information Zundert about participating in these activities, which is in the Vincent van Gogh's house, opposite the town hall.
A surprising presentation keeps alive the memories of Vincent van Gogh's youth in the very place where he was born. After visiting the exhibitions you can enjoy a meal in the garden where Vincent played as a young boy.
The ‘Maria Toevlucht’ (=Maria Refuge) monastery has been founded in 1900 as a refuge for the French monks who were threatened with expulsion from France.
Indeed, the monks from the trappist monastery Monts des Kats (Mount of the Cats) initially founded the abbey Koningshoeven in Tilburg (in 1881) and from there this one.
In 1938, the priory of Zundert was elevated to an abbey.
Unfortunately not every trappist abbey are producing beer; this one is simply living from ecological farming.
Every year, on the first Sunday in September, there's a giant flower parade in Zundert.
People of this small town in the Netherlands live with the parade the year round.
Every neighbourhood in Zundert has its own float which means that there are 17 floats. Right after the parade the designers already draw plans for the next year's parade. In April they start setting up large tents to build the cars. The bulbs go into the ground and can start to grow.
Exactly two days before the parade the dahlias are picked and delivered and hundreds of men and women can finally start to decorate their float. An average float contains between 400.000 and 500.000 dahlias!
The church of St. Trudo is indeed a pretty recent church. It has been built in 1925 close to the old medieval church. This one has been destroyed a few years laters .