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Culture in Breda

In the inner city of Breda are many monuments. One monument that can be recognised from far is the church ‘Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kerk’ (Our Beloved Lady Church) or Grote Kerk (‘Large Church’). From nearly every point of Breda you can see this magnificent church from the 15th century. The castle of Breda shows the historical relationship between Breda and the house of Oranje Nassau (Orange Nassau). At the moment the castle is being used by the KMA. Next to the castle is the city park Valkenberg. Until 1812 this park was the castle garden for the Lords of Breda. Many more monuments are worth a visit such as the Spanjaardsgat and the Begijnhof (beguinage) of Castle Bouvigne.

Castle Bouvigne

The Castle of Bouvigne is situated under the Ginneken and close to the Mastbos (a forest), south of Breda.

The domain dates back to the 15th century and is composed of a fairy looking castle, surrounded by 3 special gardens: a French, an English and a German one. In 1554 the Castle makes it first appearance on an official document: the will of the previous owner Jacob van Brecht. It started off as a stone house, where later the first floor of the tower has been built (between 1554 and 1611).

The wonderful gardens at the castle are most of the time accessible for a visit. The castle is only open on special days, it belongs to the ‘Waterschap Brabantse Delta’.


The Spanjaardsgat (hole of the Spanish) are two 7-corners defence towers. These two towers are reminders of the time that Breda was in the hands of the Spanish (1590).

The ruse of the Peatship of Breda is one of the most famous events from the Eighty years War. The sailor Adriaen van Bergen from Leur, smuggled in its Peatship an army of 75 men inside the castle. Around midnight the soldiers came out and overtook the occupiers of the castle.

Begijnhof (Beguinage)

In the inner city of Breda is the beguinage. The beguines form since the end of the 12th century a movement of pious, catholic women. In 1535 the beguines of Breda moved to a location in the Catherinastraat (Catherina Street), where they have lived for over 450 years (until 1990).

The beguinage is a complex encircled by walls and composed of small houses and a little church. The 29 houses, divided over two courts, are grouped around a herbal garden. Nowadays the beguinage is being used as a place to live for unmarried women.

Castle of Breda

This castle is situated at the Kasteelplein (Castle Place) in the centre of Breda. It doesn’t look like what you’d expect a castle to be. Only the exterior still has two 7-corners towels visible (Spanjaardsgat). In 1350, the Dutch nobleman Jan II van Polanen, Lord of Breda, transformed a fort into a strong castle with a canal and 4 towers on the corners. The building has been integrated in the defence constructions of Breda. Over time the castle has been reconstructed and enlarged several times.

During the French times (18th century) the castle of Breda has functioned as a military hospital and barracks. In 1826, the King Willem I has made the castle available to the Royal Military Academy (KMA). Since that time the KMA has settled in the castle of Breda.

The Town Hall

At the Grote Markt (Main Market), is the Town Hall of Breda. The Town House used to be 3 houses. In 1768, Philips Willem Schonck put one facade in front, which makes it look like a whole. Above the entrance is a statue of a woman with a blindfold and a scale.

All that still takes place here are weddings from citizens from Breda and receptions of the mayor of Breda. The modern Town Hall with all its services for the citizens is now situated at the Claudius Prinsenlaan 10.

Grote Kerk (Big Church)

The Grote Kerk of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Big Our Beloved Lady Church) is the most important monument of Breda. The church is in the middle of the centre of Breda, at the Main Market. The construction of this church started in 1410 and about 130 years later (1547) it was completed.

The tower of the church (97 meters high) is visible from far away and can be climbed on certain days. At the top there is wonderful view over the Main Market and the city. At present only a few masses are being hold at the church. The building can be visited en is being used for concerts, symposia, exchanges, school trips and exhibitions.

The Dome prison

In 5 years (1882 t/m 1886) the dome prison has been built. It was designed according the panoptical principle: from the centre of the round shaped complex, the guards could keep a constant eye on the prisoners.

The complex has been designated as a state monument in 2001. Today it's no longer used as a prison. The 'prison' is on sale now and until then, entrepreneurs, artists, volunteers, groups, institutions and organizations carry out numerous activities. All this under the name "Future Dome".

The Chassé Theatre

The Chassé Theatre is situated in the inner city of Breda. It is a large theatre with next to it the Chassé cinema (with three rooms for movies), a place to eat and drink and a large foyer. The theatre is in a modern building with a noticeable undulated roof.

The theatre was built in 1995. Through the theatre Holland Casino is accessible. Each season the Chassé Theatre offers an extensive theatre programme with many different genres and for different ages and target groups.

Holland Casino

In October 1987, Holland Casino was opened in Breda. Holland Casino is situated in an old monastery barrack and is linked to the Chassé Theatre.

The Casino is situated in the inner city of Breda. Holland Casino is not only one of the biggest, but also one of the most financially powerful casinos in the Netherlands. The casino of Breda has 7 different playrooms. There are 7 bars, a museum and a restaurant.

Poppodium Mezz

The Mezz is in the centre of Breda. It is totally designed as a pop stage. The Mezz always goes for live and a lot of attention is giving to everything that makes a live concert into a great experience. ‘Mezz concerts & dance’ is the place to be for all the activities happening in the pop culture.

Mezz has a room that offers enough space for 650 people. For less audience there is the Mezz café, a stage that can fit 150 people.

Water tower

The water tower at the Wilhelminasingel in Breda, has been designed by the architect Jan Schotel and has been built during the period 1893-1894. The water tower is 42 meters high and has a water reservoir of 500 m3.

The tower was transformed into an office in 1976. The tower used to be indispensable, it was a ‘storage tank’ that made sure that on the flat land, the water would by under pressure.