Kring Vrienden of ’s Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

The Kring Vrienden van ’s-Hertogenbosch (Circle of Friends of ‘s-Hertogenbosch) is a heritage associ­ation with hundreds of volunteers and thousands of members. Each year, they welcome many hundreds of thousands of visitors for city walks and canal cruises through the city center. In addition, the volunteers of the Kring have been active for many years as hosts and guides in a dozen museums and monuments, including St. John’s Cathedral and the citadel.

Kring Vrienden has recently celebrated its 45th anniversary. In 45 years, the organization has become the sustainable organization it is now. The Kring has developed core-qualities to maintain, research, show and exhibit ‘s Hertogenbosch’s historical features, waterbodies and landscapes. The Kring does not rely on any type of sponsorship, but completely functions on its membership fees and tourist payments for the tours they offer.

Kring Vrienden furthermore publishes the magazine Bossche Kringen, which appears at least 6 times a year. It exists since May 2014, following the successful merge of the magazines KringNieuws and Bossche Bladen. Members of Kring Vrienden of ‘s Hertogenbosch receive a hardcopy of the magazine at home for free. On the website of Bossche Kringen (http://www.vanelten.nl/BosscheKringen/) you can find earlier versions of the magazine.

Another feature that has been developed by Kring Vrienden is Bolwerk Sint-Jan. It is a hotspot of activity on the waterside, near the old entry porch of the city for cow-trade. Bolwerk Sint-Jan was built in 1528 to function as a protection for one of the most important entries of the city. Unfortunately, end of the 18th century this fortification was demolished, to improve dewatering of the river Dommel and decrease chance of flooding. Once this city entry was one of the most important places to meet accountainces and to find business opportunities. And thanks to Kring Vrienden, it has regained its function as hotspot again.

The remains of the last two porches, the city wall and the streetwork from the middle ages, have been well integrated into the new building. The new Bolwerk partly disappears in the current canal banks. Inside, you can find a restaurant and the information centre for tourist entering the city of ‘s Hertogenbosch. From here many of the boat tours start, going up to the Binnendieze canals, and the rivers Dommel and Aa. The restaurant has a terace on the waterside, where with some luck you can enjoy the sun with some wine and good company.

Itineraries

Boat tours in and around the city canals

Water is unmistakably connected with the past, present and future of ‘s Hertogenbosch. A continuous flow of the urban water in its canals is impertinent, together with retention measures in the outer areas, to among others decrease the effects of climate change. The volunteers of Kring Vrienden explain this daily during the boat tours in and around the city canals.

More information at this link: www.kringvrienden.nl

Southern Water Frontier

We offer various discovery trips on foot, by bike, car or boat to the extensive fortifications around the city of ’s-Her­togenbosch or to the many remains of the Southern Water Frontier which runs from Grave to Bergen op Zoom. A special boat trip goes to Fort Isabella in Vught, where trenches, saps and a horse mill as used in the siege of 1629, can be visited and experienced. The 150-kilometer-long Southern Water Frontier consists of dozens of fortified cities, sconces and forts that protected the Northern Nether­lands from invasions by Spaniards, Austrians, the French and Belgians.

More information at this link: www.kringvrienden.nl

Videos

Interviews

SERs

The Knowledge Centre of Kring Vrienden

The Knowledge Centre ensures a good cooperation between the activities of the different cultural historic research groups. The Centre initiates communication between the research groups and collects a yearly report of the research groups. There are research groups for many different topics, like: (1) archaeology and archive research, (2) building plans for the cities public spaces, (3) small monuments, (4) Industrial heritage and Bosch mills, (5) churches and monasteries, and so on. There are ideas for research groups on water in the city.

Project Group Education on Water

After its entry into WAMUNET, Kring Vrienden decided that their membership needed to be solidified and strengthened by the start of more activities and events adding to education on water. Therefore, a new project group is being formed. This project group will build a strategy for education on water in ‘s Hertogenbosch. The board of Kring Vrienden has already expressed its wish for educational events, especially focused on children.