THE PLACE TO BE
Breda is closely associated with the Dutch Royal Family. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the House of Nassau settled in Breda for 150 years. They gave the city its royal allure, still visible to this day in the city’s most important icons such as the Grote (Large) Church, Bouvigne Castle and the Begijnhof. You will get a lovely impression of Breda from the middle ages to the present day in the Stedelijk (Municipal) Museum Breda. Discover stories about the city via the Blind Walls Gallery, a remarkable street museum displaying more than 90 murals.
You can of course shop till you drop in this city. Discover the excellent boutiques in the Veemarktstraat or ’t Ginneken and the gems in ’t Sas or the many exclusive shops selling fashion and jewellery in De Barones indoor shopping centre which has been completely renovated. To have a break and enjoy some greenery, take yourself to the Valkenburg city park, originally a castle garden. The Mastbos, the former hunting grounds of the ‘Gentlemen of Orange’ are just outside the city. Children can play endlessly in the woodland playground. Follow one of the many footpaths to discover how beautiful this unique wood is.
The delightful town of Etten-Leur is less than a fifteen-minute drive from Breda. Here you will find the Van Gogh Church, where the world-famous artist Vincent van Gogh’s father once preached. It was here in 1881 that Vincent registered himself in the civil register as an artist.
There are a number of places and buildings in Etten-Leur that remind us of the Master Painter, such as the verger’s house where Van Gogh’s parents lived for seven years, and the Van Gogh Wall next to the Van Gogh Church. Dozens of sketches and drawings give a good impression of Van Gogh’s life. A bit further away is Zundert, Vincent van Gogh’s birthplace, and there you can see the grave of his brother, also called Vincent.
Oudenbosch is one of North Brabant’s most beautiful villages and is known mainly for the Basilica of Saints Agatha and Barbara. The basilica is for a large part a copy of St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. A narrow staircase takes you high up from where you can see the beautiful paintings in the dome from close quarters.
Visits to the Basilica are free, but you can also take a guided tour. Combine your visit with a walk around the town to visit Oudenbosch’s other unusual spots, such as the Oudenbosch Arboretum and the Chapel of Saint Louis.
Cycle through the Brabant countryside that inspired Van Gogh and visit all the Van Gogh locations in North Brabant. You’ll never get closer to Vincent! The Van Gogh Cycle Route in Brabant comprises 435 km of cycling pleasure, divided into ten unique routes. Enjoy the varied Brabant countryside and visit the places that moulded Vincent, such as Zundert and Etten-Leur, but also Nuenen. The Van Gogh Cycle Route is incorporated into the official cycle route network system. There is a Van Gogh Cycle Route sign at every intersection. Follow these signs from one numbered intersection to another. Between the intersections you can follow the general cycle route network signs.