When you say “a light bulb”, the name that immediately comes to your mind is “Thomas Edison”. Meanwhile, electric lighting experienced greatest development at the end of the 19th century in the Dutch Eindhoven. This relatively unknown but extraordinary city unfairly remains in the shadow of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Despite that, it not only prides itself as the historic capital of the electrical industry, but is also the Dutch mecca of design and modern technologies.
Most famous for:
mass production of light bulbs dating back to the 19th century.
Most interesting architectural styles:
A breakthrough moment in history:
1920 - obtaining the status of the Dutch capital of the electrical industry.
Most famous historical monuments:
Neo-gothic church of St. Catherine.
One definitely needs to:
visit Van Abemmuseum - contemporary art centre
Something for gourmets:
Het Stratumseind district with over 35 restaurants, several cafes and bars.
A place for a walk:
Off the beaten track:
Watermill in Kollen known for the famous painting by Vincent van Gogh.
Gerard Philips - co-creator of Philips, Jan de Bont - director, cameraman and film producer.
The city of light
In 1891, the Philips family opened a factory of light bulbs in Eindhoven. Soon, the city was lit up with them, and the developing company began to conquer international markets. About 30 years later, Philips factories were also thriving in Poland, and over time, became the main producer of bulbs of this brand. No wonder that Eindhoven is now called the City of Light. This fact is additionally emphasized by the annual GLOW Festival of Light Art, which was recently attended by as many as 740 000 people.
There is a reason for saying that light is in the city’s DNA. During the festival, artists from all around the world build extraordinary installations using energy-saving technology, which make the whole city look like a living organism pulsating with a riot of lights. You definitely need to see the Philips Museum located in the first, oldest factory of the producer. There, you will find, for example, a replica of the production floor, where you can learn more about the old technology of creating light bulbs.
indhoven is also a city of famous trucks, as it is the hometown of DAF Company. Few people know, however, that until the mid-1970s, the company also produced extremely original passenger cars that never entered the Polish market. While everyone knows German brands, Dutch versions of DAF passenger cars will be not only a huge surprise for fans, but also a unique chance to set off on a journey through the history of automotive design.
Original models, such as 30, 44, 66 or 600, as well as prototypes that have never made it into mass production, can be seen at the DAF Museum, which is a real feast for the enthusiasts of the four wheels. The museum is located in the historic building of the former brewery from 1884.
From a festival to a festival
Eindhoven is a city of events, festivals and fairs. Although the weather in this part of Europe constantly changes, the city is always filled with joy and numerous interesting events, with the already mentioned GLOW being one of many cultural attractions.
Nevertheless, the city offers more events that are worth checking out, e.g. Dutch Design Week, the Dutch carnival, the UCI ProTour bicycle race and the folk and reggae music festival.
Cuisine full of surprises
The city is full of restaurants and cosy cafés that will please you with original, local cuisine. The fans of meat dishes will be especially satisfied after testing smoked sausages known as kraut, prepared with spicy meatballs (gehaktballen) or Dutch goulash (stamppotten). However, the cosmopolitan Eindhoven will also surprise you with its rich cuisine of other countries offering dishes from Italy to Ethiopia. Every epicure should definitely hit the Het Stratumseind district that bursts with cafes, restaurants and pubs.
It’s really worth it
Eindhoven is a city full of surprises, where neither adults nor children will get bored. You can find there museums, theme parks, including a huge aqua park, an art district full of small galleries and artistic pubs, fantastic examples of modern architecture, and a true paradise for cyclists. And all of this in an extremely friendly atmosphere, where every tourist, regardless of nationality, will be able to get away from everyday duties and have a good time.
An unusual monument of giant bowling pins.
The most characteristic building, located in the centre of Eindhoven.
A collection of eco-innovations in the city park.