8 reasons to visit Vincent's Homeland

Rianne Leenders
By: Rianne Culture lover | Read time: 9 minutes
  • Van Gogh mural kerk Etten-Leur
  • Fietser bij Van Gogh kerkje in Nuenen.
  • Van Gogh Village Museum zelfportret
  • Van Gogh wandelroute Zundert bruggetje

The most famous person to come from North Brabant must surely be Vincent van Gogh! The master painter was born in North Brabant and lived and worked there for most of his life. It was his life in the villages of Brabant, surrounded by farmland, that moulded him as a person and as an artist. Tread in his footsteps and discover the stories of the world-famous painter and of Brabant, the place that left a place in his heart.

1. Van Gogh in Het Noordbrabants Museum

Admire original works by Vincent van Gogh

Admire original works by Vincent van Gogh

Did you know it’s possible to admire original works by Vincent van Gogh in North Brabant? You will find them in Het Noordbrabants Museum in 's-Hertogenbosch. In addition to 12 of his works, the permanent collection ‘Van Gogh in Brabant’ also contains letters, personal documents, photos and animations.

If you are already in 's-Hertogenbosch, combine a day out with a visit to the Design Museum Den Bosch, take a boat trip along the Binnendieze subterranean waterway or have a look inside the magnificent St. John’s Cathedral; the largest cathedral in the Netherlands!

Van Gogh zaal in Het Noordbrabants Museum in s'-Hertogenbosch Het Noordbrabants Museum buitenkant Varen over de Binnendieze in 's-Hertogenbosch

2. Discover Van Gogh on your bike or by foot

  • Van Gogh Fietsroute Zundert
  • Van Gogh Wandelroute Nuenen bordje met molen
  • Fietser bij Van Gogh kerkje in Nuenen.

Van Gogh left his mark on many places in North Brabant, from his birthplace in Zundert to the watermills he painted many times in and around Eindhoven. Cycle routes and footpaths connect these beautiful heritage locations. You can enjoy the varying Brabant countryside on the Van Gogh cycling and walking routes while passing through places on the way that moulded and inspired Van Gogh.

The Van Gogh cycle route has a total length of 435 kilometres giving you a choice of 10 route sections. You can discover the Van Gogh National Park on foot by walking along the intersections of the five Van Gogh NP walking routes as though you were actually walking through a real painting! The routes pass through Nuenen, Etten-Leur, Zundert, Helvoirt and Tilburg.

Check out all the Van Gogh cycling and walking routes

3. Visit Van Gogh Village Nuenen

  • Twee meisjes in Vincent Lichtlab
  • Van Gogh Village Museum zelfportret
  • Van Gogh Village Museum aardappeleters

When you say Van Gogh, you are saying Nuenen... this Brabant village close to Eindhoven inspired him to produce his first masterpiece – The Potato Eaters – in 1885. You can become acquainted with Van Gogh as a person and follow his development into a world-famous painter in the Van Gogh Village Museum. If you want to play with light and colour just as Vincent did in his paintings, you can do so in the Lightlab, fun for young and old!

There is plenty more to discover in Van Gogh Village Nuenen after visiting the museum. You can admire heritage sites that have a direct link to Van Gogh in more than 20 locations. Discover the stories of this picturesque, natural village during a walk past the monuments.

4. Van Gogh Church in Etten-Leur

  • Van Gogh Kerk in Etten-Leur
  • Van Gogh mural kerk Etten-Leur

After several attempts to become an art dealer, teacher and preacher, the 28-year-old Vincent once again stayed with his parents in the village of Etten. Not only was this the place where he first fell in love, he also decided to pursue his dream to become an artist there.

Unusual memories of him are there to be witnessed in the Van Gogh Church in Etten-Leur, including father Theodorus van Gogh’s original pulpit. Opposite the church is the famous Moeierboom tree; this majestic linden tree was planted in 1675 and has been a place for meeting and greeting for more than 345 years, so also for Vincent van Gogh.

5. Starry, starry night...

Experience the most innovative and artist cycle path in the Netherlands! The 600-metre long Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path – located between Eindhoven and Nuenen – has thousands of tiny stones that light up in the dark. The cycle path is inspired by Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’. The cycle path is also part of the Van Gogh cycle route in Nuenen.

6. Van Gogh murals

In the same way that North Brabant became an inspiration for Van Gogh, the artist inspires cities and artists in Brabant to this day. You will find impressive Van Gogh murals in cities such as BredaEindhovenTilburg's-Hertogenbosch and Helmond. They have been produced by big names and young talent from the street art scene. Each one of the murals tells a story about Van Gogh and his family, and their connection to North Brabant.

Van Gogh muurschildering Tilburg Van Gogh muurschildering Eindhoven Van Gogh muurschildering Breda Van Gogh muurschildering Helmond

7. Vincents birthplace

He was born here in 1853

He was born here in 1853

You can go right back to Vincent’s beginnings in Zundert, the village in West Brabant where he was born. The Van GoghHuis in Zundert cherishes wonderful memories of Vincent’s younger years. Imagine you are here in the Van Gogh family’s living room.

Combine your visit with a walk through Zundert or across the Oude Buisse Heide heathland, a beautiful nature reserve where Vincent wandered around for hours as a young boy. Plan your route easily using the walking route planner.

Vincent Van Gogh Huis Zundert Vincent van Goghplein Zundert straatnaambordje Van Gogh wandelroute Zundert bruggetje

8. Draw in the style of Vincent

  • Vincent's Tekenlokaal Tilburg

Discover the artist in yourself? You will find Vincent’s Art Room in the Paleis-Raadhuis (Palace Council Office) in Tilburg. This is where Vincent had his first drawing lessons. Nowadays it is a top location for developing talent and the enjoyment of drawing. Drawing lessons, courses and creative workshops are organised for children, young people and adults. You can only visit the art room by appointment.

Explore the area that inspired Van Gogh:

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