Discover ‘s-Hertogenbosch

In today’s post a small photo impression of my trip to ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands a few months ago. I often get asked, “Is Holland the same as the Netherlands?”. Officially Holland is only a small part of the Netherlands, but informally the name is also frequently used for the whole of the Netherlands, so I hope this will clear up some confusion.
From Newark we flew into Amsterdam and from the airport it’s just a 60-minute drive to ‘s-Hertogenbosch. On the ride out, you quickly find yourself in the wide open spaces—the typical Dutch Polder Landscape with cows. Beautiful!

It had been more than a year since my last visit, so I couldn’t wait to visit the historic center as well as some interesting new urban development projects. Together with friends we planned a bike tour and after a delicious lunch with Dutch pancakes, we were ready to go!

We made our first stop at the ‘Amazones’. It’s architecture is definitely inspired by New York’s Flatiron Building. Completed in 2014, these three towers are located in a green setting and are just a 10-minute walk to downtown. The apartments have amazing views: on one side the high density of the city and on the other side, the low density of the park area. What I find most interesting about these towers is the changing character of the facades as you walk around these buildings. Standing in front of the building you see the open and elegant character, versus the massive and closed character of the sides.



The Citadel, a former fort built between 1637 and 1645, served to protect the inhabits of the city from the Spaniards. The pedestrian bridge is an especially interesting construction to paint, more will follow soon!



A surprising way to explore the historic center is by boat on the river the ‘Binnendieze’. In an open boat, you sail through and under the city! I love the brick architecture and the reflections of the houses on the water. Below some quick monochromatic watercolor studies of the ‘Binnendieze’ that I painted during my stay.


Historic Center


Binnendieze – monochromatic water color study – Simone Li


Historic center


Binnendieze – monochromatic water color study – Simone Li

Sint Jan Cathedral
The Sint Jan Cathedral, built between 1370 and 1529, is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture and is decorated with extraordinary sculptured detail. Every year around Christmas there is a life-size indoor nativity scene, which draws a crowd to the church.


Sint Jan Cathedral

‘Sint Jan’ Parking Garage
This project is definitely one of my favorites—who would think that a parking garage can be beautiful and interesting? The project team succeeded in subtly integrating a parking garage into the urban grid with great respect for the historic site. The parking garage is located under the water and in your way out you will certainly enjoy the art on the wall, the sculptures, the poetry, the beautiful view at the restored city wall, and the dramatic entrance to the historic center through a small hole in the city wall.


Sint Jan parking garage


Sint Jan parking garage

The ‘Paleisbrug’ is a park, and a pedestrian and cycle bridge across the railway between the historic center of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Paleiskwartier (a newly developed urban area). Those who have ever visited New York’s Highline will notice the likeness between these two projects.


Paleis brug



International Exhibition ‘Jheronimus Bosch – Visions of Genius’ 


Painter Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450- 1516) – The garden of earthly delights (oil, oak)

Finally, I’d just like to draw a little attention to this international exhibition.

“From 13 February – 8 May 2016, Het Noordbrabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch will present the international exhibition Jheronimus Bosch – Visions of genius. With an expected 20 paintings (panels and triptychs) as well as 19 drawings, this will be the largest Jheronimus Bosch (c. 1450 – 1516, ’s-Hertogenbosch) exhibition ever. It will provide an unparalleled homage to the most important Medieval painter this country has known: never before were so many works by this devilish artist brought together in a single place.” ¹

Visit the website of the Noordbrabants Museum http://www.hetnoordbrabantsmuseum.nl/english for more information about this intriguing exhibition and decide for yourself whether you like the work of this Medieval painter or not …..



  1. https://www.bosch500.nl/en/events/agenda/agendadetail/q/a_id/59/titel/exhibition-visions-of-genius

Comments 14

  1. Maria

    Goed zo Simone, wat een prachtige stad is ‘s-Hertogenbosch toch, de stad waar altijd iets te doen is.

  2. Hein Heling

    Er is maar een stad waar dit allemaal mogelijk is en dat is

  3. susie sullivan

    Wow! A place I’ll probably never get to visit in person, so THANKS for taking us there by your images. Enchanting! Have got to revisit to absorb it all.

  4. Carin

    Ik woon er met trots!
    Steeds weer word ik hier verrast door mooie nieuwe maar vooral bijzondere stedenbouwkundige oplossingen. Je hebt ze mooi neer gezet. Je aquarellen zijn heel treffend. Super!

  5. Donna Stone

    Thank you for my 15 minute vacation to your home country. Wow, I love your artistic representation as well as the short explanations of what I was viewing. Thank you for taking me into a bit of your heritage!

  6. Mary Moores

    I love how you handle mark making in your watercolors. Thank you for sharing the places you love. Amazing! Thanks for taking time to explain the connections of how the buildings relate to other places.

  7. Harlene

    What great timing – we will be there in a little over a week. Your article and photographs are a great introduction, and your watercolors are lovely!

    Do you have restaurant or any other recommendations that you could share? This will be our first visit and we’ll only be there for two days before continuing on to Amsterdam.

    Thanks so much

  8. Simone Li

    What a wonderful and lovely feedback. Thank you all!!

    Some culinary recommendations:
    – The center of ‘s-Hertogenbosch is compact and walkable, so you’ll find lots of nice restaurants.

    – Nice restaurants with a great burgundic atmosphere in ‘s-Hertogenbosch’s culinary main street: Korte Putstraat

    – A Bossche bol is a famous pastry from the city ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
    Address: Stationsweg 24, 5211 TW, ‘s-Hertogenbosch

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