Den Bosch, also called ‘s Hertogenbosch, is the capital city of Noord Brabant, a province in the south of Holland, and also meaning ‘The Forest‘ in English. Located a little over 100 km from The Hague, it takes an hour and a half by train for me and my friends one lovely Saturday morning to visit. Our mission: exciting museums, lovely little stores, and awesome food.
Our first destination is the Museum Quarter. After a fifteen minute walk from the station adorned with lovely European buildings, paved streets, piles of fallen orange leaves underneath trees, and the warm sunlight that feels more like summer than like autumn, we arrived at the modern building of the Stedelijk Museum.
The Stedelijk Museum of Den Bosch is a small museum consisting of two floors, and they specialise in exhibiting high value jewellery and ceramics. It was a compact but beautiful exhibition, the ceramics room was lighted with a combination of natural light, white floors and walls, and bright coloured vases of unique shapes and sizes. They are the work of Ettore Sottsass, who has a brilliant mind in creating out-of-the-box designs with his characteristic choice of colours.
Next up, in the other side of the building of the Museum Quarter is Het Noord Brabants Museum, The Museum of North Brabant. This museum is slightly more big and crowded, added to the fact that one of their temporary exhibitions just opened, and it’s hot and juicy: the Loving Vincent Exhibition.
In this exhibition, the rooms showcase the process and behind the scenes of the creation of the movie Loving Vincent, a sort of biography of the famous painter Vincent Van Gogh made entirely of paintings. Some of the paintings made for the movie are featured there, with descriptions of Vincent’s life, the people in his life that will be in the movie, and the inspiration that encouraged the filmmakers (directors, writers, and artists) to make this unique and one of a kind movie that will come out in late October. (Trailer)
As a fan of Van Gogh myself and knowing a lot of his work from the ones exhibited in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (a gorgeous museum that I highly recommend!), I loved this exhibition. It’s exciting to look at fun facts and behind the scenes of the movie, the amount of research and thought they put into it to make it as perfect as they can.
Another exhibition in this museum is Between the Lines by Chiharu Shiota, an artist that is quite different from Van Gogh. This woman created a famous and highly acclaimed artwork in an entire room, which we visited that day. A room filled with red yarn, spread across the walls and up and down the room, it’s truly a beautiful and unique sight – not to mention perfect for photographs! We also saw her other works, including her photography and three-dimensional pieces.
Not only that, another Van Gogh was spotted on the floor above, with an exhibition to showcase the province of North Brabant, from its history, its specialty, the culture, food, people, even artwork. Since Van Gogh did spend some time in North Brabant, they acquired some artwork by him and also alongside those paintings, a description of the investigation they did using x-ray and infrared to discover the history of the painting and Van Gogh’s painting process, which was very insightful.
I left the museum with happiness and an empty stomach. Our next destination is therefore to get something to eat! We chose a lovely restaurant bar not far from the museum called Lokaal 1650.
With a lovely interior (even though most people opted to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine) and unique selection of cuisine, the food completely satiated my hunger. I ordered a bento box consisting of four selections to share: fried shrimp, a roasted duck wrap, a rendang croquette, and last section of seafood taco. They were innovative and fun to eat, and a glass of wine to accompany the food was just perfect.
Afterwards my journey was not over. A short trip to the Sint Janskerk (St. John’s Cathedral) was followed with a lovely stroll along the streets of Den Bosch, as I peered into fun boutique stores and passed through people enjoying their afternoon coffee on cafes, while enjoying the lovely sun and the clear blue sky.
Den Bosch is a small town with cute buildings, and two lovely museums. For fans of Van Gogh, ceramics, or even just an avid museum lover like I am, be sure to visit this less-visited and underappreciated town when you get the chance! There is also a castle not too far that we didn’t visit but I long to go to in the future. All in all, an exhausting but lovely day!