North Brabant is a province of the Netherlands located in the southern region of the country. To the south of the region sits Belgium’s provinces of Limburg and Antwerp, while the Meuse River is just north of the province. Today, the province is one of the most populated with major cities such as Den Bosch and Eindhoven calling North Brabant home.
A Look at the History of North Brabant
Up until the 17th century, North Brabant was a part of the Duchy of Brabant. The southern region of the province was, at the time, a part of present-day Belgium. The province is no stranger to war having battled the Spanish during the latter part of the 1500s. Thanks to the Peace of Westphalia, the northern region of Brabant officially became a part of the Netherlands and was known as Staats-Brabant, or State Brabant. Unlike other regions of the Netherlands that were self-governing, Staats-Brabant was under federal rule.
Despite attempts to introduce Protestantism into the North Brabant, the region clung to their Roman Catholic beliefs and remained a war zone for more than a century. In 1796, however, the Dutch Republic became the Batavian Republic and Staats-Brabant was then referred to as Bataafs Brabant. Eventually, this title also disappeared with the reorganization of the French, but the region once again remained divided.
In the early 1800s, the Netherlands and Belgium united under the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. It was at this point that North Brabant was given its present-day name. South Brabant remains today as a part of modern day Belgium, which became independent from the Kingdom in 1830.
The Economy and Tourism
The North Brabant province is a vital part of the Dutch economy. Factories, food processing plants, trucking companies, textile factories and electronic manufacturers provide thousands of jobs and help drive the Dutch economy.
The province’s capital city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, or Den Bosch, is a popular tourist destination with beautiful architecture, shops and a selection of fine restaurants. A number of modern art galleries can be found in the center of town. In fact, the famous painter Hieronymus Bosch was born in the city. A statue of him still stands in the city’s market square today. In addition to art galleries, travelers can also visit the Saint John Cathedral and the Town Hall.
North Brabant is a haven for nature lovers. Its picturesque landscape features small historic villages, windmills and stunning castles such as Heeze, Heezwijk and Gemmert. For a change of scenery, travelers can visit Eindhoven. This industrial city features a number of art galleries and museums, such as Van Abbemuseum. Here, tourists can see a fascinating collection of artwork, including a portrait created by Pablo Picasso entitled “The Green Lady.”The diverse landscape and attractions of this region help to make North Brabant a popular tourist destination for both overseas travelers and the Dutch.
Cities in North Brabant:
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