I’ve arrived at the Netherlands in the middle of the night. And the first thing I saw (first in the dark, then in the morning light again), was the beautiful Bergen op Zoom – relatively small town at the south end of the Netherlands.
Maybe just because I have been staying in the very heart of the beautiful historical centre, I felt in love with it (and the whole country in general) at first sight.
The first place I have been taken to, even though it was midnight, was the Boulevard. It’s a beach alley with lots of cafes and restaurants. Nothing worked at that time, of course. So we enjoyed the peaceful beauty of water reflections of the night lights and the gentle quiet wind blows.
The Gevangenpoort (Prisoner’s Gate) in Bergen op Zoom is the oldest monument in the city.
The gate dates back to the 14th century. It was part of the former city fortress wall and is one of the few remaining examples of city gates in The Netherlands as they were found in Dutch cities in the Middle Ages. It is the only city gate left in Bergen op Zoom, and a national listed monument.
The Grote Markt is considered the oldest part of the city. A beautiful historic square surrounded by pretty monuments such as the Sint Gertrudiskerk with the Peperbus tower, the De Maagd theater and the monumental town hall. One will find many restaurants, bars and terraces around.
In the summer months, the Grote Markt is a wonderful backdrop for numerous events. Such as ProefMei, JazzBoZ, Open Monuments Day and the Burgundian Krabbenfoor.
With the time I found out that Zoom is the name of the river which crosses the town. So its name literally means Hill on the Zoom river. Well, I did find the river, not a sight of the hill, though… 😉
Nevertheless it’s beautiful to walk around and enjoy the nature.
It also turned out that the town was one of those build in star-shape for defence. Although it hadn’t left much of it, unlikely Willemstad, yet the remains could be found at a certain spots around..
Back in the days huge regular Carnivals have took place in Bergen op Zoom twice a year. With the time and the progress they have stopped. Yet the town is still hosting some Carnivals, as the whole Noord Brabant region.
Here you can also see Markiezenhof – the oldest city palace of the Netherlands, located in the historical heart of town. Now it’s converted to a Historical museum.
Besides the museum, the Markiezenhof is also home to a diverse offer of events such as concerts, theatrical performances, the raptor shows in August and many more.
You can see all the photos from the town in Bergen op Zoom photo gallery. Just keep in mind they are thousands as I lived there for months and months… 😎