Nuenen is an artist’s dream with its rural views, idyllic Dutch landscape and the Van Gogh connection..
Nuenen is a petite village in North Brabant. It is literally a stone’s throw from Eindhoven. A very old Dutch locality which shot into significance as the inspiration behind many of Vincent van Gogh’s works. Most notable among his works in Nuenen is the world famous painting – The Potato Eaters. A visit to this lovely town gives you an opportunity to experience the artist’s colour palette and his bond with Nuenen. Follow in his footsteps and get close and personal with one of the greatest masters of all time. Add scenic routes, outdoor activities and ancient windmills and you are guaranteed a perfect day out!
Nuenen is reached in under 15 minutes by car via A270. Look up parking options here
Multiple buses (Line 6, Line 322 are good options) run to Nuenen and its a quick and pleasant ride
Hop, jump and ride a bike to Nuenen and discover the Van Gogh cycle route. Undoubtedly the best way to reach Nuenen!
Vincentre: A tribute to Vincent, the man, who came to Nuenen in 1883 and blossomed into the world famous artist Van Gogh. The museum brings him and the Nuenen he lived in to life through interactive stories, letters, sketches and photographs. Do drop into the many interesting exchange exhibitions. Be sure to walk out and explore the outdoor location spots that are connected to Van Gogh and his paintings. A unique outdoor expedition with information columns/audio guides and an ode to the master craftsman.
Salon Nune Ville: A vintage building next door to where Van Gogh’s parents lived. This charming villa was where Margot Begemann, his lady love, resided. Be assured of a fascinating journey that is recreated via expert stories and classic decor. The website lists visiting hours.
Inspiring windmills: A chance to visit some of the subjects that Van Gogh captured on canvas. The two mills namely De Collse Watermolen and De Watermolen van Opwetten are set in pristine surroundings and offer a glimpse of history with some lovely photography moments. A trip to these windmills makes you imagine how the young Van Gogh would have been inspired to paint them. You can grab a bite at the Opwetten Watermill restaurant for a meal with a view!
Visit Van Goghkerkje : The 19th-century church stands in a picturesque setting right down the street from Vincentre. It was truly special to Van Gogh as his father preached here. We see this church in many of his artworks. Interestingly, his famous painting, Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church was stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and restored just a few years back. Go further across the street near the Stadhuis for a peaceful jaunt featuring a water body, a windmill and some fantastic farmland. Can it get any more authentic Dutch than this?
Go wild in Dierenrijk : An educational park with a wide range of animals like monkeys, elephants and bears. Especially fun if you are travelling with kids. There are outdoor activities, demonstrations and picnic areas for everyone. More information can be found on their website.
Admire the Theater Het Klooster : A monastery converted into a cultural centre. Existing from Van Gogh time, it is a historical building with a good ambience. You can look up what’s on show here.
Wander around town: Lovely landscapes, peaceful parkland, quaint buildings – no wonder Van Gogh was inspired right here. On a bike or on foot, this is Brabant country at its best. The green park in the centre of town has a bronze statue inspired by The Potato Eaters and with the St Clemens Church as the backdrop. Van Gogh had rented a studio next to this church and it was there that he painted the final version of this masterpiece. A statue of Van Gogh also stands just across the pond here. An extra chair near the Potato Eaters is an invitation to join them. Won’t you?
Nuenen has a range of restaurants and options from wayside cafes to a Michelin starred restaurant to choose from. Try some Italian food at the Messina or seafood at the Pezzaz. You could sit and drink in the beauty of Nuenen from one of the many cafes around the Park. Try the quaint Schafrath Cafe so named as Van Gogh had rented his studio from the church verger Johannes Schafrat. Or if you are in the mood for some fries, then head to the aptly named Aardappeleters opposite the Vincentre.
Cycling at night along the fairy tale Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path. Stars which absorb light during the day and twinkle after dark create a one of its kind experience. The artist Roosegaarde has envisioned this unique replication of Van Gogh’s painting – The Starry Night. Several sparkling stones on the ground along the route offer a truly romantic ride. You will appreciate the Dutch love affair with cycling after this for sure. What an amazing way to end an absolute cracker of a day out…
For Eindhoven News: Muktha Kartik Iyer