The city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch
‘s-Hertogenbosch, colloquially known as ‘Den Bosch’, is a city and municipality in the southern Netherlands. It was founded as a fortified city and is still almost completely surrounded by city walls. Thanks to the central government declaring it a protected townscape, most of its historic elements have been preserved. Moreover, the city survived the Second World War relatively unscathed, meaning that a great deal of its historic heritage remains intact, including churches, old buildings, fortifications and statues.
Hidden below the old city is a canal network that is called the Binnendieze and that once spanned 22 kilometres. Originally, it was a regular river called the Dommel that ran through the city in medieval times, but due to lack of space, people started building their houses and roads over the river. Later, the river functioned as a sewer and fell into disrepair.
In recent decades, the remaining sixth of the old waterway system has been renovated and it is nowadays possible to take a guided subterranean boat trip to explore it.
In addition to its abundant history, ‘s-Hertogenbosch city overflows with festivals and events and its city centres offers many places of interest and shopping areas. Culturally, it has several museums, including the Stedelijk Museum ‘s-Hertogenbosch (a municipal museum that combines a unique collection of ceramics and jewelry with exhibitions of contemporary art and design) and the Noordbrabants Museum (a collection of art and other objects related to the art, history and culture of North Brabant and the Southern Netherlands). The most famous museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, however, is the Jheronimus Bosch Art Centre that displays all master pieces by the famous Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516).
‘s-Hertogenbosch is without a doubt the place to be for Burgundians thanks to its great variety of cafés and restaurants. Moreover, Den Bosch has its own food speciality known and popular throughout the Netherlands: the ‘Bossche Bol’. This is a giant profiterole, somewhat larger than a tennis ball, filled with whipped cream and coated with chocolate.