A lot of people had told me Breda is a nice city, but I never got around to visiting it until yesterday, and everything I’d heard was true.
I arrived by train. The centre of town is only a short walk and to get there I had to walk through Valkenberg Park. It’s a very nice place and, although there are plenty of benches to sit on, most people were sprawled out on the grass, basking in the sun.
One of my favourite things in Valkenberg Park is the fountain and, when the sun catches the water vapour just right, it acts like a prism and creates rainbow-like colours. I’d tried to capture the effect in a picture, but didn’t succeed.
Valkenberg Park could be a good place to go on a Tuesday evening because it’s a Palm Parkies venue and bands will be rocking and rolling every Tuesday until August 23.
The Grote Markt is also very scenic. I am more used to sitting inside a café or bar but, if was going the sit outside and have a beer, the Grote Markt is the place I would have chosen to do it and I’d have had plenty of company. The impressive building in the background is the most important monument in Breda. It’s a church called the Grote of Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk and it manages to look good from every angle.
If you ever visit Breda it’s also worth taking a look at Breda Castle. I don’t think it looks as impressive as the Grote of Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk, but Breda Castle played an important role in the history of the city. It has also earned a place on the list of top 100 Dutch UNESCO monuments.
While I was wandering from street to street and exploring, I glanced to my right and saw a pretty garden.
The two statues represent ladies from a religious order called the Beguines. Women who belonged to the order made themselves busy doing good deeds during the 13th-16th centuries and, although their style of living was similar to that of a nun, Beguines (aka Beghards) did not take any formal religious vows. Breda’s Begijnhof Museum is located in the same courtyard as the garden. Apparently, it has a lot of information about the women of this order and the things they did in Breda. The entry fee is only €2. That’s very cheap, but it was such a nice day I never went inside.
The area around Breda Harbour is also nice and the bars near the water appear to be quite popular, but not nearly as popular as the ones situated in the Grote Markt.
I’m not sure if the area near Breda castle is also classed as the Harbour, but its just the other side of a small bridge and has a very good view of the Grote of Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk.
While I was in the Harbour area I saw something I had never seen before—a horse-drawn tram. I never knew such a thing existed, but I think a ride on a tram like that could be a very interesting way to see the city. I never had time try it, but maybe on a future visit, I will give it a go.
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