Ginneken Walk September 14th, Breda


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by Vanessa L.

On Thursday a number of us dusted off our raincoats and armed with umbrellas joined the IWC Ginneken Walk.  Our guide was Jan from the Gilde De Baronie.  He took us on a colourful journey which he illustrated with stories of residents, past and present and historical places.   Here is a tiny taster of the tales we were told….

Ginneken was once an independent village but is now part of Breda, since being annexed in 1942.  The area became popular with tourists from Den Haag and Amsterdam around 1900.  Its vicinity to the Mastbos and the Mark valley made it an extremely beautiful place to visit and relax.  Some hotels and small B&Bs were established served by a busy network of horse drawn trams bringing visitors into the village area from the station.  One of the favourite destinations for the wealthy ladies of that era who arrived on the 5 cent pony tram was the house of a dubious, quack healer based in Ginneken who paraded up and down the village streets in a long, flamboyant blue gown and Alexander McQueen style shoes with springs in the heels!

Have you ever heard bells ringing on a misty morning walking by the Devil’s Bridge over the Mark?  Legend has it that sometime around 1300, lovers Catherina van Gaveren and Walter van Ulvenhout rushed to Ginneken Laurentius church after she was rescued from incarceration in a monastery to marry.  Unfortunately, the bells in the tower had not been blessed and the devil let them fall, crushing the couple and priest during the ceremony.   Afterwards, he carried the bells and dropped them in the Mark where some claim they have heard them ringing.

As the heavens opened once more we headed off to Zin for lunch and chance to chat and warm up.

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