Things to do in Bergem Op Zoom
Bergen Op Zoom
Founded in 1287 Berg-op-Zoom was first fortified by David d’Orliens.
It was a seigniory then a marquisate. The first family of lords was the family of Wesemael. Another large family was the House of Glymes which called itself the House of Berghes in honor of the town.
Besieged by the Spaniards in 1588 and 1622, fortified again by Menno van Coehoorn, the city was taken by the French on July 2, 1747, by the French troops of Marshal Maurice de Saxe under the orders of Marshal Lowendhal and delivered to looting, after a famous siege. Besieged in vain by the British in 1814, it was returned by France to peace.
Bergen op Zoom, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Located north of Antwerp, an hour’s drive from Brussels, on the border between North Brabant and the province of Zeeland, Bergen op Zoom is a pretty gateway to discover Brabant.
The city is best known for the Krabbegat, its famous carnival which lasts the whole month of February, during which the whole city is decorated with puppet statues. Bergen op Zoom is also rich in its historical heritage. We can thus find many testimonies of its past with, for example, one of the oldest hotels in the country, its old fortifications, the Gevangenpoort (former city gate that has become a prison), and its palace.
Bergen op Zoom – Grote Markt
The church tower dates from the 14th century and bears the name of Peperbus (meaning the pepper tree). It represents the emblem of the city and offers a panoramic view from its summit. As the weather was not with us, we did not face the ascent of the 183 steps to see the clouds and the rain more closely. The ascent is not free but only costs a few euros.
RAVELIJN OP DEN ZOOM
Located less than 10 minutes walk from the center of the city, it seems that the place is very popular
One of the “curiosities” of the city is certainly its labyrinth. Installed last summer to honor the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, the Dilemma Doolhof is a historical and artistic work in the form of a labyrinth. Installed between the two military fields of honor where more than 2000 Canadian and English soldiers are buried, you will have to face difficult choices there.
You are invited to enter it alone because you will have to make choices and only your conscience must influence you. At each crossing, you will be confronted with a voice setting up a real situation under the Nazi regime. The voice will offer you two options to progress through the maze. And you will only have your conscience to move forward. No one will know your choices and you will exit the maze anyway.
In addition to reliving a fragment of history, the installation refers to a topical questioning with migrants and the current context. The experience is disturbing and provokes questions because we will never know what we would have done in their place. And what would we do if that were to happen?
Admission is totally free. The texts and voices are in Dutch and English. And rest assured, everyone comes out very easily. Your perception of history and the current context will, however, probably be a little different.
This monument is the oldest in the city. It was originally part of a stone wall that encircled the city. When it started to grow, the door ended up inside the new enclosure and therefore lost its interest. It was then used in prison. Today, it has been transformed into an escape game (Escape the gate). An original way to discover this historical monument.
But the main tourist attraction in Bergen op Zoom is the Markiezenhof, a former Gothic-style palace dating back to the 15th century. This is where the marquises of the city once lived. The interior traces the history of the city and offers temporary exhibitions.
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