Breda is a city in the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, and the currency is Euro. It was founded at the beginning of the 12th century by Otto II, Duke of Bavaria as a fortification against Viking invasions. Despite its short history, Breda has many relics from different eras which can be found in various museums and monuments that hold significant importance for their country and culture. The city was home to Cornelis de Hounchin (who translates to “Company Master” or “Colonel”) who fought for independence during the Spanish Wars of Succession and would later become King Charles I’s commander-in-chief of North Brabant during 1702 – 1716.
Breda is home to one of the largest and most important Dutch universities, Leiden University. It houses 8 faculties, with a total of 21,000 students. The university was founded by the Spanish and is famous for its university reforms and its scientific discoveries such as Oenothera (sunflower), Arctium (burdock), and the ichthyosaur.
Other notable places of interest include: Delftware Museum, De Voorbije Vecht, Museumplein Breda or “Museumplein” Breda, Museum Drie Eikenbosch Breda. The museum opened its doors in 1894 and has many ancient artifacts and paintings. The museum has many different items such as Cloth of Kings, armor, paintings, and 13th & 14th-century relics.
The Museum Drie Eikenbosch Breda was found by accident (or rather, double-checking before an excavation). While digging for foundations to build a new building, the site revealed three ancient oak trees that had been dated back to the 12th century. Breda’s official nickname is “The city of the three beeches”, as it was so called because of 3 oak trees that existed in the city around 1225. The oldest of them is the Weerribbenburg beech, where a statue was built in 1981 as part of a commemorative project for Herman van Veen, who was a famous painter and resided in Breda from 1871 to 1904. The “Weerribbenburg Beech” was a common subject in his paintings, which depicted his yearning for nature and especially water because he had been shipwrecked many times on his way to France.
Breda is home to 2 famous soccer clubs: Roda JC and BV Veendam. Roda JC was founded in 1912 and is well known for its youth system which produces many talented players each year. They are well known for making it to the semi-finals in the UEFA Cup in 1987, only less than a decade after being promoted into the top-flight Dutch football league, Eredivisie. They have also won 1 KNVB Cup (Dutch Cup) and 9 Johan Cruyff Shields (current Eredivisie Champion). The club has lots of supporters who are called “Furia Roja” or “Red Fury”.
BV Veendam was founded in 1933 and currently competes in the Dutch second division, Eerste Divisie. The club is well known for its famous youth system which has helped produce lots of talented players over the years. They are also known for their fans, who come out in large numbers to support their team.
Breda is also home to 2 Major League Soccer players: Jonathan de Guzman (known as Chicharito), and Juan Agudelo who got acquired by Stoke City F.C.. Jonathan de Guzman played for Swansea City F.C. from 2009-2013 and Juan Agudelo played for Chivas USA from 2012-2014.
Breda is known as a religious city, as it was the residence of many saints. In 2012, a pilgrimage was created to honor San Guillo who lived in Breda in the 6th century. The pilgrimage includes an exhibition, concerts, and other events.
For Tourists: During the weekend there are a lot of activities for tourists including shopping, museum tours or biking around town. Some popular places which are famous for their annual festivals include De Voorbije Vecht (a square that has many restaurants raising funds raising money for charity), Muntplein (which has a monument that represents its rich history), and Museumplein Breda (which is home to 3 museums).
There is a train station, bus station, and airport in Breda. There is also a metro line that travels throughout all of the city. It’s called the Lijnstreek-Zuid. The metro station names used to be in English, but they were changed recently to Dutch names.