When people think of The Netherlands, they usually think of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. However, there is a little known town called Eindhoven that is definitely worth a weekend trip. Two of my cousins live in Eindhoven and Vruchi and I flew over for the weekend to spend some time with them. We hired bicycles and explored the city and surrounds on two wheels. Not having any prior expectations about Eindhoven, we were taken aback by the lifestyle and history of this small town. The following are 4 things that you probably didn’t know about Eindhoven.
1. Philips headquarters and High Tech Campus.
Eindhoven is home to the famous technology company Philips. In fact, it was founded by Gerard Philips, in Eindhoven back in 1891. Philips research centre is located in Eindhoven’s High Tech Campus. Today, the High Tech Campus is an R&D centre and technology hub, not only within Eindhoven, but all throughout The Netherlands. Philips was actually the original driving force behind the establishment of the High Tech Campus, but now a number of technology companies have a presence on campus, including Intel, IBM and Texas Instruments. There's the Philips museum in the centre of the town if you are interested in checking out the history of lighting and Philips as a company.
2. Van Gogh Village
Eindhoven is famous for the way it has preserved the life and heritage of the famous Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh spent a major part of his life in Eindhoven and Van Gogh village is just one of many odes to the great painter. Situated in a small town called Neunen, just on the outskirts of Eindhoven, the village is a charming little part of town. An unmissable part of Neunen is, of course, the windmill De Roosdonck. The windmill was constructed in 1884 and is present in seven of the famous Vincent Van Gogh paintings.
3. Van Gogh-Roosegarde cycle path
As mentioned, we cycled around Eindhoven and its surrounds, exploring different nooks and crannies of this dutch city. Continuing on with the theme of tributes to Van Gogh, the artist Daan Roosegarde developed this 600 meter cycle path consisting of thousands of tiny little stones that glow in the dark. At night, the stones glow in the shape of Van Gogh’s famous painting Starry Night. This form of art, known as ‘techno-poetics’ is truly stunning and definitely worth checking out. (Be sure to go at night though ;) )
4. Maastricht caves
Whilst not technically in Eindhoven, it is just an hour train ride to Maastricht. In Maastricht, the thing you absolutely must do is visit St Petersburg caves. With no light, no sound, no smell and no mobile phone signal, exploring these limestone caves is no easy feat. They stretch over 80km and extend into parts of Belgium. What is more impressive is the fact that these caves are completely man-made. Over a hundred years ago, blocks were chiseled out to extract limestone for building houses, churches and even castles. Today, the caves showcase a wide variety of artwork and inscriptions that have been carved throughout hundreds of years. It is said that even Napoleon himself had once entered the caves and carved his name into the wall.
And there you have it, a short and simple weekend away in Eindhoven. :) Not a lot of people end up going to this part of Netherlands, but if you do end up there - let us know, we'd love to hear from you to see what you guys got up to.