Hey, that railway station looks like a radio….
At the junction of all railway-lines coming from North, and West and those coming from South and East, the Eindhoven train station hosts over 200.000 travellers each day, making it the busiest station outside the Randstad. Being a National Monument you should take some time before rushing to your train and take a look at the building itself. It does look like a radio with a frequency-display, dialing-wheel, an antenna and even two speakers. Welcome to Philips-City
Where can I find those famous Dutch tulip-bulbs?
No Hansje Brinkers here, that little Dutch boy who plugs a dike with his finger. Instead there’s this nice lady producing a lightbulb in front of current Café Usine. Note that tiny little of lady sitting at her foot doing the exact same thing. So for those unteachable that didn’t notice yet, this place is all about bulbs…not the famous tulip-ones as you might expect, but lightbulbs…our local speciality. Maybe that’s why they decided to put 10 Lightbulbs bowling pins at the end of the kennedylaan? These bowling pins, by the way, are created by the same architect who put that big clothespin in Philadelphia, bat column in Chicago, Spoon in Minneapolis, Binoculars in Venica, California and a saw in Tokio.
Really, only lightbulbs?
Nah, and everything related to electronics you can think of. Televisions, Radio’s , DVD-players, Chips etc. Plus all other worldwide sold products as DAF Trucks creating Trucks since 1932, ASML Lithomachines 9over 70% of the worldwide produced chips are produces with Eindhoven Sanner-Equipment). Must be said that most production has been moved abroad, however that lightbulb is still glowing in Eindhoven.
Okay, and where are the canals and historic buildings?
If you really want your tourist book picturesque image of 18th Century building facing a scenic canal, then you’d better hurry to the previously mentioned railway-station and get your ticket to Amster-, Volen- , Monnikken- or whatever –Dam. Eindhoven is an industrial city. Many historic buildings have been destroyed by three airstrike bombings during the Second World War. Two, unexpectedly, by our own allies trying to stop production at the Philips factories. One, expectedly, by the enemy German airforce. However, not réally expected as the Germans came back one day after Liberation bombing the city as well as the celebrating people, leaving Eindhoven as the heaviest bombed city in The Netherlands after Rotterdam.
Unfortunately sometimes even local government didn’t seem to have any compassion for history and decided to tear down some beautiful old buildings to make way for new constructions.
Okay, there ís some old architecture if you insist; De Bergen-district still has some old-style Eindhoven buildings as well as Stratums Eind has. However make sure that you see the Stratums Eind ones before diving into the Eindhoven Nightlife.
The one and only historic building you should not miss is the first Philips Lightbulb-factory (Emmasingel)
But you’d better face the truth that you’re walking through a modern city and enjoy the way old factories are being embedded in a modern town. Have a coffee in Usine and feel how the factory-workers felt. Stroll down currently reconstructed Strijp S-complex and make sure you check out some remarkably shaped building like the Evoluon. Looking at it by yourself you’ll see a tremendously work of architecture. Being there with your kids changes it into a big mushroom where gnomes might live. Encountering it with your Startrek-buddies reshapes into this big flying saucer. Walking around it after using some magic mushrooms it…. ah. better not do it.
City of Light. Does that mean a Paris of the North?
This nickname doesn’t refer to the city’s traffic-lights as active in the middle of the night as during rush-hour. No, you can guess it already, it refers to the production of the, again, lightbulbs and all other light-related products by Philips. Although some buildings in the downtown-area are lit up by night we can not compete with that other city of light: Paris. But Eindhoven and light are connected. It must be said however that during the annual Glow-festival the nickname is perfectly honored and the entire city is dedicated to Light. When the night falls the image of the city changes.International artists play with light and you should really not miss it when in the city by the beginning of November.