Eindhoven is the 5th largest city in The Netherlands (behind Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Den Haag). It was granted city rights in 1232 but didn't start growing wildly in population until the 19th century when the industrial revolution began. Up until 1920, Eindhoven was also rather teeny. The city limits ended where the midieval moat was. With the population explosion, the five surrounding municipalities were incorporated into Eindhoven. The current "districts" in the cities are still named what the original municipalities were (one has since been split into North and South).
Cool little factoid: Martijn's grandmother was born in one of the surrounding municipalities that were incorporated into Eindhoven, so the place of birth on her passport says "Gestel" which technically doesn't exist as a city anymore!
Eindhoven is also the birthplace of Philips, which started out as a light bulb factory in the city. De Lichttorren (The Light Tower), one of the main Philips factories, has been converted into apartments and office buildings but it stands as a reminder of one of the most influential things that made the city what it is today.
Another nod to the technical background of the city is the Railway Station, which looks like a radio!
There are some really beautiful cities here in The Netherlands. Eindhoven isn't really one of them. Many places in the city were destroyed during WWII and instead of rebuilding to match the historical things that weren't destroyed, they just went for a "Let's demolish everything awesome and start over again*." A lot of really neat buildings were lost and replaced with things that I find much less aesthetically pleasing. *They did restore one of the lovely churches in the city center that was completely bombed and destroyed, but I wish they'd decided to do more of the city center.
Speaking of buildings that I'm not sure are aesthetically pleasing, I present to you De Blob (yes, that's really what it's called). I'm not in love with it, but I think it's growing on me. I really should've gotten a picture from the other side because the glass panes there are all transparent, and that is sorta snazzy.
One of the more recent construction projects in the city center has been an underground bike garage. You go into the weird white tunnel and take the moving walkway down where you can store your bike for free. In a country where you can't even use the toilet for free, a free guarded parking space for your bike is something to take advantage of!
There are TONS of weird random sculptures throughout the city. One of the most notable is The Flying Pins, near the Technical University (TU/e). I always want to go sit in the bowling ball holes and Martijn says no. I just think it looks like a nice cozy seat to put your bottom in. I should've gone and done it when I took this picture but dang it was COLD outside!
We even have a UFO! Since I was too lazy to go take a picture of the bowling pins AND the UFO today, you instead get to see the 1:25 scale version that lives at Madurodam. The Evoluon was a science museum that opened in 1966 to celebrate the 75th birthday of Philips. It closed in 1989, and due to structural issues it can't handle the kind of traffic it would need to sustain a museum. It's now used as a conference center... and a really good landmark when you're giving directions. "Yah, just drive past the UFO..." You can read a little more about the Evoluon in it's heyday here.
In terms of land, the city really isn't that huge so the amount of green space around is surprising. We have hidden gems such as De Vergeten Tuin and not so hidden gems like De Genneper Watermolen which sits in the enormous Genneper Park. The green areas on the map below show only some of the parks.
I hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into my new "home" city.
This week E is for... Eindhoven! Make sure to go check out the other participants by clicking on the picture below.