As the largest city in the south of the Netherlands, Eindhoven offers a wide spectrum of facilities in the areas of shopping, nightlife and performing arts. And in recent years the city has also provided the backdrop for sports events like cycling's ProTour time trial. For visitors who want to break their journey, there is more than enough choice of hotel accommodation. In brief, Eindhoven is a city where plenty of things are happening.
Director of the Van Abbe Museum
"No small city anywhere with such a big museum"
When Charles Esche (1962) was asked in 2004 to switch from the Rooseum in Malmö to the Van Abbe Museum, he didn't need to think about it for long. "The Van Abbe Museum is one of the most important in Europe. There's nowhere else in the world where you'll find a city with a population of just 200,000 that has such an important museum. The Van Abbe has the ideal scale. It's small enough to be able to define your own artistic policy, but big enough to be able to buy works of art and to pay for a good staff."
Looking at different places and making different choices. That's nothing new for Esche. He chose a small house in an ordinary area instead of a big house in a ‘good' location. "I like colorful areas, and my neighbors are a Turkish family. That's great, because I love Turkey and Turkish food." You won't find the director of the Van Abbe very often in the centrally located Heuvel Galerie shopping mall. He prefers to wander around the shops just outside the center that have something special to offer. "You can buy beautiful furniture in Eindhoven, whether it's design or second-hand, especially around the Woenselse Markt. That's an interesting and attractive area in its own right, because of the many different population groups who live and shop there."
More lively area
He also enjoys visiting the Bergstraat. "You'll find some really interesting shops there, and a fantastic bookstore with some great books about art, architecture and travel." Just a bit further there's Fuzzy Records, where Esche likes to browse for CDs of guitar bands like the White Stripes, The Smiths and The Streets.
If Esche gets his way, there's going to be a lot more going on at the Van Abbe Museum. "In the summer we're going to show outdoor movies, which you can watch free of charge from our terrace. We're looking at whether we can also open our restaurant on other evenings as well as Thursday. And on top of that, we also want to make it possible for people to visit the museum in the evenings. We're going to contribute in all kinds of ways to making this a more lively area."