BIRTHPLACE OF DUTCH
Many famous poets, writers and painters were drawn to Bergen due to the impressive scenery and the bright natural light. In fact, Bergen had gained so much influence in the art scene, that a 20th century art movement was named after the village: 'de Bergense School'. Matthieu Wiegman, Gerrit van Blaaderen, Dirk Filarski, Leo Gestel, John Rädecker, Charley Toorop and many more painters were exponents of this art movement that rebelled against impressionism. Their style became known as 'Dutch Expressionism' and was characterised by angular cubist shapes, high density dark colors and thick brushstrokes. 'Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar' (4 kilometers away) and 'Museum Kranenburgh' (walking distance) are home to permanent collections as well as an ever changing list of temporary exhibitions regarding 'de Bergense School'. A must-see for anyone who has a heart for art.
THE LIVELY CENTER
Bergen is more than a 1,000 years old. The lively center of the village offers a variety of shops and there are lots of cosy bars and restaurants that are worth your visit. One of the best known restaurants is called 'Het huis met de Pilaren' which means 'The House with the Pillars'. It's situated in a monumental building from the late 18th century and it became widely known because of Jacques Brel's concert in 1964. He wasn't at all pleased to perform in a restaurant, because dinner was served during his performance. After the concert he showed his anger by throwing down his fee yelling that they could keep it or donate it to the Red Cross. 'The House with the Pillars' offers French-oriented classic dishes . During the winter season you can also enjoy a variety of game dishes.
NEVER A DULL MOMENT
If you're in for an evening of fun, you should definitely come to Bergen. Visit the different arts & crafts fairs, the jazzy live performances during 'Jazz & Sail' in September and the many art exhibitions during the 'Kunsttiendaagse' (Ten days of art) in October. There are lots of activities and celebrations all year long. Just check the calender of our local Tourist Board to stay up-to-date. Or visit this webpage for more inspiration.
WONDER OF BERGEN
Bergen lies around 50 kilometers northwest of Amsterdam. The 'Venice of the North' is definitely worth your visit. Having said that, there's also a lot to see & do in Bergen. The village is bordered by a varied landscape of woods, heath, dunes, sea, beach and polders. Located at the western edge of the village, you'll find a nature reserve providing impressive trails through woods, heath and dunes. A great area for long walks. But if you prefer to stay into the village, go and see the 'architectural wonder' of Bergen: Villapark Meerwijk. The sixteen villas in the park were completed in 1918 in the style of the 'Amsterdam School'. Well-known architects among which Johan Frederik Staal, his wife Margaret Staal-Kropholler, Cornelis Jouke Blaauw and Piet Kramer were responsible for the design of the villas.