Difference between revisions of "Eindhoven"
Revision as of 20:40, 20 February 2007
The written history of Eindhoven started in 1232, when Duke Henry I, Duke of Brabant granted City rights in the Netherlands to Endehoven, then a small town right on the confluence of the Dommel and Gender streams. The city's name translates literally as "End Yards", reflecting its position at the southern end of Woensel. At the time of granting of its royal charter, Eindhoven had approximately 170 houses enclosed by a Defensive wall. Just outside of the city walls stood a small castle. The city was also granted the right to organize a weekly market and the farmers in nearby villages were obliged to come to Eindhoven to sell their produce. Another factor in its establishment was its location on the trade route from the Holland region to Liège.
Around 1388 the city's fortifications were strengthened further. And between 1413 and 1420, a new castle was built within the city walls. In 1486, Eindhoven was plundered and burned by troops from Gelderland. The reconstruction was finished in 1502, with a stronger rampart and a new castle. However, in 1543 Eindhoven falls again: its defense works were neglected due to poverty.
A big fire in 1554 destroyed 75% of the houses but by 1560 these had been rebuilt with the help of William I of Orange. During the Dutch Revolt, Eindhoven changed hands between the Dutch and the Spanish several times, until finally in 1583 it was captured by Spanish troops and its city walls demolished. Eindhoven did not become part of the Netherlands until 1629.
The industrial revolution of the Nineteenth Century provided a major growth impulse. Canals, roads and railroads were constructed. Eindhoven was connected to the major Zuid-Willemsvaart canal through the Eindhovensch Kanaal branch in 1843 and was connected by rail to Tilburg, 's-Hertogenbosch, Venlo and Belgium between 1866 and 1870. Industrial activities initially centred around tobacco and textile and boomed with the rise of lighting and electronics giant Philips, which was founded as a light bulb manufacturing company in Eindhoven in 1891.
The explosive growth of industry in the region and the subsequent housing needs of workers called for radical changes in administration, as the City of Eindhoven was still confined to its Middle Ages moat city limits. In 1920, the five neighbouring municipalities of Woensel (to the north), Tongelre (northeast and east), Stratum (southeast), Gestel en Blaarthem (southwest) and Strijp (west), which already bore the brunt of the housing needs and related problems, were incorporated into the new Groot-Eindhoven ("Greater Eindhoven") municipality. The prefix "Groot-" was later dropped.
The early twentieth Century saw additions in technical industry with the advent of car and truck manufacturing company DAF Trucks(Van Doorne's Automobiel Fabriek) (DAF) and the subsequent shift towards electronics and engineering, with the traditional tobacco and textile industries waning and finally disappearing in the Seventies.
Large-scale air raids in World War II (including the preliminary bombing during Operation Market Garden to aid the paratroopers in securing the bridges in and around the town) destroyed large parts of the city. The reconstruction that followed left very little historical remains and the post-war reconstruction period saw drastic renovation plans in highrise style, some of which were implemented. At the time, there was little regard for historical Cultural heritage; in the Sixties, a new city hall was built and its neo-gothic predecessor (1867) demolished to make way for a planned arterial road that never materialised.
The Seventies, Eighties and Nineties saw large-scale housing developments in the districts of Woensel-Zuid and Woensel-Noord, making Eindhoven the fifth-largest city in the Netherlands.
Population (2006): 209,286. Population metropolitan area Eindhoven (2006): 440,000
The villages and city that make up modern Eindhoven have originally been built on sandy elevations between the Dommel, Gender and Tongelreep streams. Starting from the Nineteenth Century, the sedimentary basins of the streams themselves have also been used as housing grounds, leading to occasional floodings in the city centre. Partly to reduce flooding, the Gender stream, which flowed straight through the city centre, was dammed off and filled up after the War, and the course of the Dommel was regulated. New ecologial and socio-historical insights have led to parts of the Dommel's course being restored to their original states, and plans to have the Gender flow through the centre once again.
The large-scale housing developments of the Twentieth Century saw residential areas being built on former agricultural lands and forest, former heath (habitat)|heaths that had been turned into cultivable lands in the Nineteenth Century.
Eindhoven has grown from a little village in 1232 to one of the largest cities in the Netherlands with over 210,000 inhabitants in 2005. Much of its growth is due to Philips and DAF Trucks.
In 1891, brothers Gerard and Anton Philips founded the small light bulb factory that would grow into one of the largest electronics firms in the world. Philips' presence is probably the largest single contributing factor to the major growth of Eindhoven in the 20th century. It attracted and spun off many hi-tech companies, making Eindhoven a major technology and industrial hub. In 2005, a full third of the total amount of money spent on research in the Netherlands was spent in or around Eindhoven. A quarter of the jobs in the region are in technology and ICT, with companies such as ASML, Toolex, Simac, Neways, Atos Origin and the aforementioned Philips and DAF.
Prime examples of industrial heritage in Eindhoven are the renovated Witte Dame ("White Lady") complex, a former Philips lamp factory; and the Admirant building (informally known as Bruine Heer or "Brown Gentleman" in reference to the Witte Dame across the street), the former Philips main offices. The Witte Dame currently houses the municipal library, the Design Academy and a selection of shops. The Admirant is has been renovated into an office building for small companies. Across the street from the Witte Dame and next to the Admirant is Philips' first light bulb factory. The small building now houses the Philips company museum.
The students from the Eindhoven University of Technology and a number of undergraduate schools give Eindhoven a young population.
Eindhoven has a lively cultural scene. For going out, there are numerous bars on the Market square, the Stratumseind (Stratum's End), the Dommelstraat, the Wilhelmina square and throughout the rest of the city. During spring and summer, Eindhoven houses the Fiesta del Sol, the Virus Festival and the Jazz in Lighttown festival.
The Van Abbemuseum has a collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by Picasso and Chagall.
Eindhoven was home to the Evoluon science museum, sponsored by Philips. The Evoluon building is currently used as a conference centre.
In 1992 the Muziekcentrum Frits Philips was opened as a stage for classical and popular music in Eindhoven, received by critics as a concert hall with acoustics that rival the best halls in Europe.
The Stadsschouwburg is Eindhoven's stage for opera, cabaret, ballet etc. Opening its doors in 1964, it has received over 250,000 visitors every year. With its 1000 m2 it has one of the largest stages in the Netherlands. With a major renovation ending in 2007, the new Parktheater will receive an estimated 300,000 visitors a year.
During Carnival, Eindhoven is rechristened Lampegat (literal translation: Lamp Hole (Lamp Town)).
Eindhoven's Plaza Futura is a cinema featuring cultural movies, lectures and special cultural events.
Eindhoven is a rail transport node with connections in the directions of:
Eindhoven Airport is an airport with some international destinations, just 5 kilometers outside the city. There are flights with KLM Cityhopper to London Heathow, and Ryanair serves London Stansted airport, Dublin, Rome, Milan, Pisa, Barcelona, Marseille and Glasgow. Air France also has 3 return from Paris to Eindhoven on weekdays.
The A2 national highway from Amsterdam to Maastricht passes Eindhoven to the west and south of the city. The A2 connects here with the A58 to Tilburg and Breda and to the A67/E34 to Antwerp. In 2004, the A50 was completed connecting Eindhoven to Nijmegen and Zwolle.
Eindhoven has a extensive bus network. A cheap way to get around is by using the 'Met Elkaartje' bus ticket: unlimited travel within the province North Brabant for € 5 (2 persons) or € 7.50 (3 persons) a day. Of course, like every city in the Netherlands, the best way to get around in the city is by bike.
With the covered shopping centre 'De Heuvel Galerie', large department stores including the exclusive 'De Bijenkorf' and an extensive selection of boutiques an specialist shops, the centre of Eindhoven is the most bustling shopping centre in the South of the Netherlands. The following streets form the main, pedestrianised shopping area: 18 septemberplein, Demer, Rechtestraat, de Markt, Nieuwstraat, Hermanus Boexstraat, Vrijstraat and Hooghuisstraat.
Markets (city centre):
Tuesday 09.00 - 14.00 h. De Markt (city centre)
Saturday 10.00 - 17.00 h. De Markt (city centre)
The major museums in the city are:
The Van Abbemuseum is one of the leading museums for modern and contemporary art. The impressive collection includes works of Picasso, Chagall, Kandinsky, El Lissitzky, Theo van Doesburg, Mondriaan and Appel. January 2003 the completely renovated museum opened its doors again.
Experience the atmosphere of the 19th century during a tour at the first and oldest Philips factory building right in city centre. See with your own eyes how light bulbs used to be made in that period (1891).
A unique collection of paintings and sculptures with artificial light as the central theme. You only realise after a visit to this centre what the part of artificial light is in everyday life, now and in the past. 600 works are on permanent exhibition and at the same time, temporary exhibitions are held regularly. The museum is housed in the very first Philips Incandescent Lamp factory.
For an extensive dining guide you can visit http://www.vvveindhoven.nl/en/nightlife/dining-in-eindhoven/restaurants
The most famous 'going out areas' in the city are:
In a central position in the heart of the city is the Markt, where in fine weather, the terraces are immediately full. Here, you mainly find "Grand cafés" where you can eat, drink and swing. Also situated in the Markt is the legal Holland Casino.
Opposite central station is Stationsplein. With its restaurants, "Grand cafés", trendy dancing bars and terraces, this is an outstanding example of an area that is made for going out. There are more pubs, bars, pleasant eating-places and restaurants in Dommelstraat (side-street off Stationsplein), the venue 'De Effenaar' and the 'Liquid' ...
For a pub-crawl, the Stratumseind is extraordinarily suited. This is the street with the most bars in the whole of the Netherlands. There are more than 40 bars and various eating places which are also open at night.
'De Bergen' is a piece of old Eindhoven, which is still in reasonably original condition. The pleasant bars and restaurants on the 'Kleine Berg' are popular with the more artistic members of the public. It is a few minutes' walk through the narrow streets to Wilhelminaplein.
In this characteristic square there are authentic brown bars, terraces and live-performances. In summer, open-air performances are regularly organized. Every Sunday afternoon and Monday evening stunning live performances are given at café Wilhelmina. The 'De Gaper' bar has some 200 different sorts of whisky.
The small scale rural countryside around the city is a visit worthy. In the east is the village Nuenen, 11 km from central Eindhoven, where van Gogh was practicing as beginning painter, around 1880. His favorite places are marked there. Beside that, there are many marked bicycle routes. For maps and/or more information, you can visit the 'VVV' (Tourists Agency) on the Stationsplein.