"Noord-Brabant" Provincie Noord-Brabant by OlafS
Provincie Noord-Brabant Travel Guide: 1,962 reviews and 6,617 photos
(The words below were written before I emigrated to Belgium. I leave them as they are.)
I am a Brabander by choice. When I was planing to go studying I could choose between several places. Amsterdam and The Hague were right out, I didn't want to live in the crowded part of the country. Deventer was too far away from my hometown, which mattered as I had to go by train for the first few months. Other places were even further away. Tilburg was the only option left.
During my study I felt no great ties to the province, but now I can say it has become my home country. Everything outside this province now feels foreign to me. And silly though it may sound; every time I cross the provincial border after a visit to another province it gives me a feeling of coming home.
What is this Brabant anyway? Of course this province is Noord-Brabant only, northern Brabant. The rest of Brabant now constitutes a large part of Belgium and is divided over three provinces itself. The once glorious Duchy of Brabant, the heart of the Low Countries, fell victim to a conflict about power and religion and was divided in the 17th century, never to be reunited again. While the southern part continued to flourish, the northern part became a colony ruled by Holland. This former colony is where I live.
Noord-Brabant's history is too complex to explain here. There wouldn't be enough space. It is important to say that two major regions of the current province never belonged to Brabant. First, there's the former autonomous state of Ravenstein, with places like Ravenstein and Uden. Second, there's a part in the north of the province that historically belonged to Holland. That includes Holland's oldest town Geertruidenberg. A recent threath was the plan of politicians to change the name of the province to just Brabant, like history never happened. Thankfully this plan was aborted. Politicians cannot be trusted with such important things. They're too shallow and don't have the right brains. Don't mess with the feelings of Brabanders! We're proud of our province but we'll never forget that there's a southern Brabant too. Once born a Brabander you'll feel a strong bond with your province. Not many provinces have that. Nobody would call himself a Gelderlander for instance (well, maybe one). Yes, Brabant is special. It's different, and that's the way it should be.
There are many beautiful places in Brabant. There's the capital 's-Hertogenbosch, the equally beautiful city of Breda and Bergen op Zoom. The real Brabant will be found in the villages though. This page shows a few highlights of especially the smaller places.
This is probably one of the nicest villages of this province. It's also one of the most interesting for tourists.... more travel advice
You'd think that The Netherlands is a rich country that takes good care of its heritage, wouldn't you? This picture... more travel advice
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