Dat gaat naar Den Bosch toe

When I am back in the Netherlands, it has become a tradition to have an outing with my “soul mate” Inez. This time our destination was ‘s Hertogenbosc, the capital city of the North Brabant province. The name of the town is usually shortened to Den Bosch. Dat gaat naar den Bosch toe (That goes to Den Bosch) is the title of a Dutch folk song. Click here to listen.

It is less than one hour by train from Amsterdam. We arrived around 11 am and first went for coffee with a Bossche Bol.

We were lucky that we could get tickets for the Binnendieze cruise, because it is a popular tourist attraction and tickets for that day were almost sold out.. The Binnendieze is a river/canal system within the city walls of Den Bosch, very different from the Amsterdam canals, because a large part is vaulted.

The boats are electric “whisper” boats and as most of the canals are at the back of houses, you don’t hear the din of the city life. Amazing. Our experienced guide told many interesting details about the history of these waterways.

Here are a few more photos. The canals are so narrow that you have to keep your hands inboard and sometimes duck your head. Does the last photo remind you of Gaudi? The architect who restored this vault, was clearly inspired by him 😉

The cruise took about one hour and was the highlight of our outing. But Den Bosch has much more to offer. We walked to the market with the statue of Hieronymus Bosch, who lived here

And we visited the St. John’s Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, with a complicated building history (1220–1530).

Many artworks inside

Visiting a church I always like to light a candle (and make a wish). The organ of the cathedral is one of the most important ones in the Netherlands.

The Noordbrabants Museum was next on our to-do list, but Inez suggested that we should visit first the Slager museum, dedicated to the many painters in the Slager family. I had never heard of them, apparently they were well known in Den Bosch.

Left an interesting painting by Piet Slager sr, depicting the veterans of the Battle of Waterloo. Right the world-famous painting of the Marskramer (the Wayfarer) by Hieronymus Bosch. But wait a minute, something must be wrong, that painting is in the Boymans museum in Rotterdam!

Actually the paining is a reconstruction of the original. The museum shows reconstructions of many masterworks in a temporary exhibition Het Geheim van de Meester (The Secret of the Master). Click here for an explanation (in Dutch).

After our lunch we visited the Noordbrabants museum for a short while, as we had to board the train to Amsterdam before 4 pm (our tickets not being valid during rush hours). The museum has a good collection of paintings by Jan Sluyters.

Back in Amsterdam we had dinner in restaurant A Beautiful Mess.

A short outing this time, but very enjoyable.

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