Saturday, 31 March 2012



Eindhoven is a municipality and a city located in the province of North Brabant in the south of the Netherlands, originally at the confluence of the Dommel and Gender streams. The Gender was dammed off short of the city centre in the 1950s, but the Dommel still runs through the city. The city counts 213,809 inhabitants (1 January 2010), which makes it the fifth-largest city of the Netherlands and the largest of North-Brabant.

The written history of Eindhoven started in 1232, when Duke Hendrik I of Brabant granted city rights to Endehoven, then a small town right on the confluence of the Dommel and Gender streams. At the time of granting of its charter, Eindhoven had approximately 170 houses enclosed by a rampart. Just outside of the city walls stood a small castle. The city was also granted the right to organize a weekly market and the farmers in nearby villages were obliged to come to Eindhoven to sell their produce. Another factor in its establishment was its location on the trade route from Holland to Liège.

Around 1388, the city's fortifications were strengthened further. And between 1413 and 1420, a new castle was built within the city walls. In 1486, Eindhoven was plundered and burned by troops from Guelders. The reconstruction was finished in 1502, with a stronger rampart and a new castle. However, in 1543 Eindhoven fell again: its defense works were neglected due to poverty. 
The industrial revolution of the 19th century provided a major growth impulse. Canals, roads and railroads were constructed. Eindhoven was connected to the major Zuid-Willemsvaart canal through the Eindhovens Kanaal branch in 1843 and was connected by rail to Tilburg, 's-Hertogenbosch, Venlo and Belgium between 1866 and 1870. Industrial activities initially centred around tobacco and textile and boomed with the rise of lighting and electronics giant Philips, which was founded as a light bulb manufacturing company in Eindhoven in 1891.

The Evoluon
The old city centre was heavily bombarded during the Second World War and was almost completely destroyed. New buildings rose where old once stood. Much of the city's industrial heritage was luckily been preserved; these old buildings now stand in beautiful contrast to the modern architecture appearing in Eindhoven today.

Art, technology, design, rock, hip-hop, dance, film, urban sports, unique hospitality. Strijp-S brings all this together. It is the new creative heart of Eindhoven, teeming with inspiration every hour of every day. Strijp-S is the place to be. First there’s the Portiersloge, the new ‘Gate House’ where a mega-model and a giant iPad explain the developments planned for the coming years as well as what there is to see here and now.

With the covered shopping centre 'De Heuvel Galerie', Piazza Centre, large department stores including the exclusive 'De Bijenkorf' and an extensive selection of boutiques an specialist shops, the centre of Eindhoven is the most bustling shopping centre in the South of the Netherlands.

In a central position in the heart of the city is the Markt, where in fine weather, the terraces are immediately full. Here, you mainly find "Grand cafés" where you can eat, drink and make merry! Also situated in the Markt is the legal Holland Casino.

Opposite central station is Stationsplein. With its restaurants, "Grand cafés", trendy dancing bars and terraces, this is an outstanding example of an area that is made for going out. There are more pubs, bars, pleasant eating-places and restaurants in Dommelstraat (side-street off Stationsplein), the venue 'De Effenaar' and the 'Liquid' club are also situated here.
Want to go on a pub-crawl? The Stratumseind is extraordinarily suited to this. This is the street with the most bars in the whole of the Netherlands! There are more than 40 bars and various eating places which are also open at night.

Van Abbemuseum

                                                        Eindhoven’s Top 5:
  1. St. Catherine's Church is a Roman Catholic church in the centre of the city, dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria . The church is located in the Catherine square, at the end of Stratumseind ​​and was built in the19th century to replace the dilapidated medieval, original Church. The neo-Gothic building was designed by Pierre Cuypers and is considered an early highlight of his career. Construction began in 1861 and was completed in 1867. The cost of construction amounted to 279,000 fl. Cuypers processed in this design a lot of ideas about the symbolism of Catholic writerJoseph Alberdingk Thijm . The most striking feature of the church are the two towers, both 73 meters high and at examples of French Gothic several forms, called a male and a female tower, with the names David and Mary. The towers are part of the double front tower . In 1942 and 1944 the church was badly damaged by bombing. After the war, restoration architect CH de Bever began rebuilding . The old windows that were lost were replaced by stained-glass windows by among others Charles Eyck and Pieter Wiegersma . The church has been a national monument since 1972  . 
  2. The Evoluon is a conference centre and former science museum erected by the electronics and electrical company Philips, in 1966. Since its construction, it has become a landmark and a symbol for the city. The building is unique due to its very futuristic design, resembling a landed flying saucer. It was designed by architect Louis Christiaan Kalff, while the exhibition was conceived by James Gardner. The building was based on an idea by Frits Philips, who originally made a sketch of the building on a paper napkin. Frits Philips wanted to give the people of Eindhoven a beautiful and educational gift to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the company that bears his family name. Its concrete dome is 77 meters (253 ft) in diameter and is held in place by 169 kilometers (105 mi) of rebar.In the 1960s and 70s it attracted large visitor numbers, since its interactive exhibitions were a new and unique concept in the Netherlands at that time. But when competing science museums opened in other cities, the number of visitors to the Evoluon declined every year. After several years of losing money, the original museum closed down in 1989 and the Evoluon was converted into a conference center, opening in 1998.
  3. The 'Blob'. Designed by award winning Italian Architect Massimiliano Fuksas, who also designed the new Piazza (glass canopy next to the Bijenkorf), the blob is the centre-piece of a complete re-development of the 18 Septemberplein, which includes two bicycle tunnels and a second smaller blob. Due to open at the end of March 2012, it will host shops on the ground floor and office space on the higher floors. Opinions are sharply divided on the architectural merit’s of the new structure, but what actually is a blob? The term is used in the IT world to denote a large chunk of computer data known as a Binary Large Object, but is more commonly associated with an amorphous, glutinous object, made famous by the 1958 film “The Blob” starring Steve McQueen, in which an ever-expanding jelly from outer-space terrorizes small town America. In the architectural world blob refers to a recognised style used by a number of famous buildings including the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
  4. The Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven is the city's top destination for contemporary art lovers. In addition to innovative temporary exhibitions, the permanent collection includes works by Lissitzky, Picasso, Kokoschka, Chagall, Beuys, McCarthy, Daniëls and Körmeling. For a schedule of their temporary exhibitions and other events at the museum, see the Van Abbemuseum website. The building, redesigned in 2003 by Abel Cahen around the original 1936 structure built by architect A.J. Kropholler, is in itself worth exploring.
  5. Parktheatre.  A recently renovated, modern theatre with a variety of shows and entertainment, the Park Theatre is located in the Stadswandelpark just south of the city centre, near the Van Abbemuseum. Re-opened in 2007, the Park Theatre building is a work of art in itself, especially worth seeing at night. Classical theatre, ballet, concerts and other cultural events can all be found here, so be sure to check their schedule to get an idea of what's going on during your stay. There is also a restaurant in the theatre, Park & Pluche, which features outdoor dining during the summer months.

    The controversial 'blob'

Intrepid Travel (Intrepid Guerba)

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