WELCOME TO NIJMEGEN
The oldest city in the country is a fantastic place to meet people all year round. Located on a ridge on the banks of the river Waal, Nijmegen has been attracting people for many centuries.
Nijmegen is a university town that is popular with students and tourists. Visitors love the city centre because of its combination of charming pavement cafés and restaurants as well as its entertainment, modern shopping centres and charming boutiques. Everything is within walking distance and the city is a great example of how well old and new can combine. One minute you’ll be buying clothes in the oldest shopping street of the Netherlands, and the next, you’ll be moving on to a trendy lounge café for a drink. Alternatively, you might choose to sit outside at one of the many high-quality restaurants on the Waalkade and enjoy the fantastic views overlooking the river.
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Nijmegen might be the best kept secret of the Netherlands. It has a rich history of events, some of them organized by the young creative people in the city. For example, it has over 180 dance music organizations! Not only there are a lot of dance events, there are also many other activities in the city and the region. These include music festivals like Down the Rabbit Hole and Music Meeting, pop concerts in the Goffert Park, events at the creative Honig-complex, Summer Schools at Radboud University and cultural activities in art-cinema LUX or pop-center Doornroosje.
And let’s not forget the Vierdaagsefeesten (a whole week of partying during the Four Days Marches) in the third week of July. With 1.5 million visitors, it’s the third biggest open air festival of Europe! But that’s not all; Nijmegen has a lot more to offer. Cool, hip stores in town. There are beaches in the city and an island with endless possibilities! Nature’s only a stone’s throw away from the city center. Different kinds of scenic areas around the city where you can take a relaxing walk, go for a run, or an exciting mountain bike course. And when you’re all done, have a drink and a bite to eat in town. There are places enough to do this; Nijmegen has the highest terrace-density of the Netherlands. It has a right to call itself the summer capital of Holland!
The Kronenburgerpark is a magnificent park in the centre of Nijmegen. It is located close to the station and the Lange Hezelstraat. The wide variety of tree species (more than 150!) and the height differences make the park unique in the Netherlands.
Here, a section of the city wall has been preserved and it gives you a good idea of the impressive defences that once used to surround the city. You can also view the St. Jacob's Tower which was never finished (1525), the Rondeel (1527) and the imposing Kruittoren (1425).
Nijmegen has a number of historic parks, including the Valkhof Park (Valkhofpark), which is located close to the centre on a hill along the river Waal. It is the oldest park in Nijmegen and one of the oldest city parks in the Netherlands. Here you can enjoy a magnificent piece of history.
The park was created at the end of the eighteenth, and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries on and around the remnants of Valkhof Palace (Valkhofburcht). In the park, the palace's St Nicholas' Chapel has been preserved, as have the remnants of the St Martin's Chapel, which are also referred to as the Barbarossa ruin.
In 1886, Flemish landscape architect, Lieven Rosseels, redesigned the park so that it linked up better with the city’s expansion of 1878, which included a broad ring of parks, plantations and avenues around the old city. He built paths and steps for walkers on the difficult incline up towards the Waalkade quayside, and built a bridge across the Voerweg to link Het Valkhof with the Kelfkensbos forest.
The Hunner Park (Hunnerpark) is a magnificent city park located on the outskirts of the centre. The park is very inviting and a great place for enjoying the peace and quiet of nature. The park was created between 1876 and 1882 when Nijmegen's city walls were demolished.
There were originally plans to construct villas on the site, however, the park was eventually completed according to a design by landscape architect Liévin Rosseels from Leuven from 1885. On one side, the city wall has been preserved and the park also includes an ancient footbridge.
The Hunnerpark is a popular party location during the festivities of the Four Days Marches. The annual 'Orange Pop' festival on King's Day (Oranjepop) has also been held in the park since 2007. In 2011, the Hunnerpark was also host to the Nijmegen Liberation Festival.
The rich cultural history of Nijmegen goes back two thousand years to when the Romans settled here and to when Nijmegen grew into the largest city in the country at that time. Several centuries later, Charlemagne chose the Valkhof as a location for the construction of his palace and it became one of the most important places in his empire. In the centuries that followed, many other regents, dukes and emperors choose Nijmegen as their home. The city was often the centre of conflicts because of its strategic location and the last time this happened was during the Second World War, when the Allies accidentally bombed the city. Apart from the hundreds of people killed, a large part of the city centre was obliterated. Thanks to a successful reconstruction programme, Nijmegen has been able to retain its charming, lively and friendly character. The city is friendly, with a wealth of history and culture for you to explore.
Exciting History and Liberation Route EuropeNijmegen has a rich history: a history which goes a long way back in time and has certainly left its mark. The Exciting History and Liberation Route websites have audio stories and videos about important locations in and around Nijmegen which date back to the Middle Ages and featured significantly in the Second World War. You can download these exciting stories using your mobile telephone from excitinghistory.com and liberationroute.com