Netherlands 2015: Den Bosch

While planning a previous European trip I came across a Dutch town named ‘s-Hertogenbosch (aka Den Bosch) that was known for old walls, canals, and as the hometown of Jheronimus Bosch, an artist I’ve always been interested in. We didn’t make it to the town on that trip, but I kept my notes and we made it a priority to see on this trip. Getting there was an easy 1-hour train ride from the Schiphol airport train station, so by 10:30a we had arrived.

Den Bosch train station

One block from the Den Bosch train station is the patisserie Jan de Groot, home to the famous Bossche bol, a chocolate covered, cream filled pastry the size of a baseball. Leandra ducked in to procure one just ahead of the quickly forming line…

line in front of Jan de Groot

After dropping our bags at the hotel we found a bench outside the beautiful Sint Jans and enjoyed both the view and the pastry.

tasty treat in front of St John's Cathedral

Sugared up we went inside the cathedral (free entry) and enjoyed the stained glass.

stained glass  stained glass

After the church we wandered some of the neighboring small streets and alleyways, many of which crossed over canals.

boats

Citadel  you know, just sitting on a cannon
old citadel on the north side of town; posing with cannons

One of the sights that I wanted to see in Den Bosch was the Jheronimus Bosch Art Center, which explores the artwork of the artist in an old church. Inside were re-creations and tapestries of many of his pieces, plus interpretations by other artists. As a bonus there is a nice view over the city from the top of the cathedral, and you can take an elevator.

Jheronimus Bosch Art Center  gourds out front of the Jheronimus Bosch Art CenterSt Jans from the top of the museum

Altogether a worthwhile two hours. Art makes us thirsty, so we stopped at Cafe De Palm where I ordered a Triple ‘d Anvers and Leandra had a Leffe Bruin before we returned to our hotel for a much needed nap.

Feeling rested we started our early evening by walking south toward the bastions, old battlements along a canal, followed by several of the southern side streets.

Den Bosch

cannon aimed at countryside

street art

With 1.5 hours until our 8:30p dinner reservations, we stopped in at ‘t paulje. I ordered a Belgian favorite, Omer, while Leandra tried a Paix Dieu. The evening was lovely and we managed to snag a table outside on the terrace where we could enjoy both the weather and people watching. We split a second beer, Vurige Non, from Dorpsbrouwerij De Pimpelmeesch.

beers @ Proeflokaal 't paultje  Restaurant ff Swanjéé
beers at t’paulje and Restaurant ff Swanjéé for dinner

Dinner was nearby our hotel at Restaurant ff Swanjéé. Leandra had made reservations early in the week, and still the only time we could get was 8:30p; thankfully an outdoor table was available. I ordered Surinamese chicken roti while Leandra ordered the carpaccio, which had the largest mound of pine nuts we’ve ever seen. For dessert we went for the chocolate bar with sea salt, almonds and a light toffee – delicious! We really enjoyed our meal here, well recommended.

Saturday morning we continued exploring, including the morning market where we found pastries, fresh raspberries, and some tasty cheese for breakfast.

raspberries!  cheese!mural  flowers and stone

Around noon we checked out of our hotel and went back the train station to return to Amsterdam for the next two days. Den Bosch was a fun town to explore with a nicely slower pace compared to the much larger Amsterdam and we were glad to start our weekend here.