Finally, a new Walk the Walk post! This time I found a self-guided walk of ‘s Hertogenbosch (or: Den Bosch) on Route You. A walk that took me to the capital city of our province, Noord-Brabant, and on a sun filled day of hiking (and shopping) fun.
Modern architecture at Paleiskwartier
The walk started at Central Station, where I took the opposite exit of the city center. I ended up in Paleiskwartier, a modern neighborhood with contemporary architecture, the Palace of Justice and fancy lawyer’s offices. The area is still in full development progress, but felt surprisingly calm and peaceful to me. Especially when I entered Westerpark, where I miraculously found myself all alone.
I even found out that there was a food truck festival taking place (Trek), but unfortunately that didn’t start until another few hours. That fact made me decide to make my way back through the station to end up on the other side, where the city center starts.
Boating underneath the streets
Crossing the Dommel river, I quickly turned right to enter the area of the Binnendieze. This little stream runs right through the historic heart of Den Bosch and is a massive tourist magnet for people who love to see the city from a small boat. The stream runs partly underneath the city, so when joining a boat tour, you will find yourself in the open air just as well as underneath the cobbled streets and buildings.
This area, also called Uilenburg, is besides a popular boat touring place, also a hot spot for young people and families alike gathering at the many bars, boutique shops and restaurants. Especially on a sunny day like the one when I visited, the colorful terraces are filled with people enjoying the summer vibes while it last.
Market at The Great Market Square
Uilenburg borders with The Great Market Square, which takes in a central place in Den Bosch. Here you can find ample shops, restaurants and bars, and the city hall is situated here as well. When I visited on a Saturday, it was market day, so the entire square was filled with market stalls selling all kinds of merchandise ranging from flowers to fruit, and from nuts to clothing.
St John’s Cathedral and the Parade
I made a quick stop to do some shopping at a few stores of the well-known fashion chains, and walked on in the direction of St John’s Cathedral (St-Janskathedraal). The cathedral is the most famous example of gothic architecture in the Netherlands and is impressive both from the inside, as well as from the outside. The cathedral is situated on the Parade square, a great location for a nice lunch boasting stunning views of St John.
Jeroen Bosch and Museum Quarter
The most prominent inhabitant of Den Bosch of all time is Jeroen Bosch (born as Hieronymus van Aken), a Dutch artist who’s work is now on display in the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center. His statue can also be found on The Great Market Square. 2016 will mark the 500th year of the passing of the painter, and all kinds of festivities and exhibitions are taking place to remember this prominent local.
Not far from the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center is the Museum Quarter with the Stedelijk Museum and NoordBrabants Museum. When art and history are right up your alley, you will definitely have some fun in both museums. I on the other hand had to move on, so skipped a visit this time.
Lunch in the park and the Citadel
Acting like a proper Dutch girl, I brought my own lunch and enjoyed it in one of the city parks. There were a few beautiful statues scattered around the park, and I heard the peaceful stream of the Binnendieze running right behind me. When a large group of women gathered around me (”Oh dear, we’re completely encasing this poor girl!”), I decided that it was time for me to continue my walk.
I strolled over the city walls, looking out over the Singel Canal and taking in the sunshine. My tour ended at the Citadel of Den Bosch, a former fort that was used in the early 1600’s to protect the inhabitants of the city from the Spaniards. I couldn’t see the exact shape, but from photos I saw on the Internet, I could make out that the Citadel is a five-point shaped fort, with a bastion in the middle.
My feet hurt by the time I made my way back to Central Station. Luckily, the way I had to go proved to be a pretty one, with classic yachts in the canal and historical houses decorated with fresh flowers.
Yes, even though I was quite familiar with Den Bosch already, this tour showed me even more hidden gems. I’m starting to love our province’s capital more and more. Another Local Nomad Mission accomplished!