Guided Walk, Historic Mile Breda

Guided Walk, Historic Mile Breda, 8th September 2016
By Brigitte T.

160908-breda-walk-8On Thursday September 8th, a group of 15 members met up on a soft sunny morning for a historical guided walk through Breda. We were in luck, our guide, provided by the VVV, was a charming retired army officer, whose second passion in life, next to the army, was history. He spoke excellent English, was interesting, and amusing.

We started our tour in the Valkenberg park next to the monument commerating the 1404 meeting of the German aristocrat, Engelbrecht van Nassau, with his future bride, the eleven year old Johanna van Polanen, the daughter of the then wealthiest and most important family in Breda. This couple were the founding parents of the Nassau dynasty, whose heirs went on to be the Kings of the Lowlands for many centuries.

Our guide retold the story of Breda, how it grew in power and importance as a trading hub in the centre of the then kingdom of Benelux, as well being as the domiclie of the royal court. He told how Breda was invaded first by the Spaniards and later by the French, and later why and how the royal court was moved from Breda to Den Haag.

We visited the castle of Breda, which has been used as a military training academeny for officers for the past two centuries. We also visited the Grote Kerk and finally the Begijnhof.

It was a really enjoyable walk. In two hours, I think most of us learnt more about the history of the City we call home, then in all the years that we have lived here. I always think of Breda as a very pleasant second ranking Dutch city, but now I know that for centuries, it was one of the most important cities of Europe.

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The Ultimate Souvenir

An article by club member Seonad.

Sail away with your very own piece of Dutch heritage!Typical Dutch Art2

In the Netherlands, your typical souvenir might be a pair of clogs, some tulip bulbs, a print of a famous van Gogh painting or traditional blue and white Delft pottery. They’re not plastic fantastic tourist tat, but they’re pretty standard souvenirs. Wouldn’t you like something different? Something totally unique? Something that can’t be bought anywhere else?

If you wanted a reminder of your time China, wouldn’t a piece of the Great Wall be the ultimate souvenir? Or from France, a piece of the Eiffel Tower? Now of course, I’m not suggesting that you start pilfering chunks of a country’s greatest monuments – not only would that get you arrested, it’s also morally and ethically wrong and would certainly ruin such amazing tourist sites for future visitors.

But, what if you could genuinely buy a piece of a country’s heritage? Here in the Netherlands, you can!

Check out or better still, visit artist, Peet Quintus’ studio in Roosendaal.

While the name may suggest what you’re looking at is typically Dutch – it’s anything but!

Typical Dutch Art3 Some examples of Peet’s work 
Typical Dutch Art1

Peet Quintus, the talented artist behind Typical Dutch Art, does paint traditional Dutch cultural symbols: windmills, bicycles, tulips, Dutch houses, cows, etc.

But that’s where “typical” ends and “unique” begins. These are original artworks, each one painted on authentic sailcloth from a Dutch windmill – certified with the national monument number from which it originated!

Like any artist, Peet is passionate about her work but she is also happy to go the extra mile to produce something extra special for you:

  • Do you live near a specific windmill?
    If Peet doesn’t already use sailcloth from that mill, she’ll contact the miller to see if she can get some, just for you!
  • Is there something you’d like painted that’s unique to you?
    Great, just ask, she’s happy to do commissions.
  • Have a particular colour palette in mind?
    No problem, just ask!

So if you’re looking for something so typically Dutch yet totally unique at the same time, talk to Peet, she’s an inspiring artist and one of her paintings might be just what you’re looking for! Her smaller pieces make great farewell gifts (I should know, I’ve bought one or two)!

Peet would also like to offer IWC Breda members, a 5% discount off any painting. Please contact the club for more information.