This city in the year 1590 had a strategic interest, both militarily and politically. It was conquered by the Spanish, during the reign of Philip II, but it was retaken by the Dutch on the evening of March 4th. Maurice of Nassau took the city with an army of 90 men who managed to scare away the Italian soldiers.
Efteling is an interesting amusement park. It is one of the oldest in the world, having opened in 1952. It is divided into four kingdoms, and what is most striking are the buildings with its distinctive architecture. Apart from many forests and a wide varitey of flowers, you will find all kinds of attractions, from a wooden rollercoaster take to a boat ride with its beautiful lake. Or even a hike through Sprookjesbos, a forest full of fairy tales. The park has both a hotel and a camping area. You can access it easily from Tilburg Central Station catching a bus that takes you directly to the park for a couple of euros. Tickets range from 32 euros for the simplest (with the right to see the whole park and all rides) to 69 euros, which include cafes, food and a souvenir from the park.
When we talk about cities of Holland with canals, Amsterdam is the first that come to mind. But there are many more cities with canals that have very interesting tours. This is the case of 's-Hertogenbosch, which is better known as Den Bosch. The walking tour takes you through the canals of the historic city center, which used to be used as sewers, and goes out the old walls. It is a very relaxing ride, where you go under houses while they explain the history of the remains of the wall that you find along the way. The tours are generally in Dutch, but even so they are worth it. There are 2 tours, one of 40 minutes and another one lasting one hour. If you want to do the tour in high season, I recommend you call to book in advance, as the boats often fill quickly, since they aren´t very large.
If you have the opportunity to visit someday Tilburg, you should not miss this wonderful chapel, worthy of appearing in a fairy tale. The chapel itself is nothing special, despite being the oldest in the city, but what makes it special is the location. In front of the entrance you can find a small park and the chapel itself is surrounded by a green lawn that makes it such a special location.
Wandelbos is one ofTilburg's many parks. It's a beautiful, very green and very big park, but it's still easy to cross on foot (half hour). In the center of the park is a lake with a wooden bridge offering beautiful views. It also contains, like many other parks, a small zoo with llamas, walibies, different birds, deer, etc. It's a perfect place to spend a summer afternoon.
The Vught Concentration Camp is definitely worth seeing. It's a memorial museum where you can see where the Nazis executed prisoners, the crematorium where they were burned and even where they slept. It's very modern and full of life, but sad to see at the same time. Admission is free but donations are appreciated.
The great Oosterschelde dam is one of the great hydraulic works in the history of mankind, and it shows that sometimes even man is able to defeat the forces of nature. It has a total of 66 pillars measuring over 50 meters each and there is a steel gate situated between these columns that regulate the entry and exit of water. The Eastern Scheldt Barrier is a barrier 3 kms long. It has a total of 62 gates which are always open and let the water pass through constantly. However, when the sea gets worse, then, within a maximum of one hour, the doors are sealed shut. Without a doubt, the Oosterschelde dam is one of the most impressive hydrologicalbuildings to be found in the Netherlands. It cost 2.5 billion euros to build and was officially opened by Queen Beatrix on October 4th, 1986. What happened to the the money invested? Answer: The only security of having a flood in 4000 years. In addition, in two hundred years there has been no need to renew this dam.
Oude Markt straat, or Old Market Street, is one of the most central streets to be found in the city. It used to be the main road where the Tilburg market was located, and now, and one day per year, it houses part of the city market for 24 hours. It currently houses several restaurants, but they have been housed in old buildings that remained on the market. The main attraction is the church on the same street.
Zierikzee is a village on Renesse with approximately 10,000 inhabitants. It is the regional centre for some industries and has a yacht harbour. Zierikzee developed into a small town sometime between the 11th and 12th centuries. At the end of the 16th century, a canal was constructed to connect the city with Oosterschelde which helped to increase the prosperity of the city thanks to herring fishing and trade with the Dutch East Indies. Competition with other cities in the province was inevitable and for the 18th century, when prosperity began to decline, poverty and economic stagnation attacked Zierikzee. Few buildings were built and Zierikzee maintained its beautiful historic centre. Due to poverty in the 18th and 19th centuries, three portals of the city avoided being demolished and can still be admired today. Thanks to the Delta Plan connections to the city were improved and Zierikzee could once again be allowed to developed. The Town Hall, the oldest building which dates from the 14th century, has a very extravagant Renaissance tower.
This museum houses military engineering material. The museum is found in the bauilding that was part of the Vught concentration camp. It was the kitchen to be more. It has a home garden where many military vehicles used to build bridges are kept. They have cranes, tractors, bridges .... There is also material which has to do with clothing, and gas protection. Admission is 3 euros.
Willemstad is small, but charming. It's surrounded by water, and has wall-shaped dikes, like many other Dutch towns. It's worth visiting the great windmill, and the remnants of the wars that have plagued the town. I recommend walking along the path that surrounds the city, which begins on the water, crosses through the old part of the city, and returns to the center. It's a town you can visit in a morning.
Wilde Mill (or: Molen Wilde) is a windmill in the town of Goirle. It's worth the visit because, apart from the mill and a small lake at the foot of the mill. To get to the mill you have to cross a tiny bridge over a small zoo, as there are many around, where you will find goats, rabbits, pigs, and even some deer.
Lake Bankven is a lake slightly off the Goirle center. It's in the middle of a forest, and is a place where the residents of the city come in winter to ice skate as the water often freezes over during cold seasons. The lake isn't that deep, so it's not that dangerous should the ice break whilst skating. The lake contains small islands that when it snows, and the lake freezes, it is very nice to visit on foot.
The Cathedral has the largest Gothic tower of the Netherlands and it is 97 meters high. The construction began between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It has interior tapestries, paintings and an organ. In the chapel of the Prince, from the sixteenth century, there are 17 members of the Royal family who were buried. Its style is Gothic Brabantine. Do not forget a coffee or to sit on one of the terraces of the Grote Market.
The castle on an island of Breda, today's military headquarters, the Koninklijke Militaire Academie (have parked tanks and even an airplane). On March 4, 1599 during the 80 year War, there was a surprise attack. Seventy Dutch soldiers were smuggled into in a boat and 600 italian soldiers of the garrison set flight towards the Spanish Empire. The fortified castle is surrounded by a moat fed by the river Mark. Spain struggled against the United Provinces (the Netherlands), aided by England. But also fought against France (fighting Henry IV), which is why the Duke of Parma Alexander Farnese (governor of the Netherlands) was fighting in France.
Tilburg Mosque or Suleymaniye-Moskee, is the main Islamic center of the city. The building, which is topped by two towers from which songs are sung on particular special days, are 38 meters high. The interior is fully carpeted, and the walls are lined with tiles that are worth seeing.
It is a natural park that really amazes. When you reach the end of a village street that houses it, you find a Hran esplanade arid and full of dunes. It's a really nice place because it provides a contrast to the green of the country.