A bike ride around Helmond, Netherlands
A chilly stroll around this attractive university town
(Photos/words © urban75, March 2009)
First settled around 1000, Helmond is a municipality and a city in the province of North Brabant in the southern Netherlands.
Granted city rights as far back as the 1230s, Helmond was once a major textile and metal producing centre but most of the heavy industries have long since closed.
With a population of nearly 90,000 residents, Helmond is one of the five largest cities in the province of Noord-Brabant and has its own
professional football team, Helmond Sport.
We spent a lovely long weekend in the city and were massively impressed by the open air, healthy lifestyle and lack of cars everywhere. Shame about the bars though. They were rubbish!
The main shopping street in Helmond.
Crazy cube houses (Kubuswoningen) in Helmond, designed by the Dutch structuralist architect Piet Blom in the mid-1970s.
Bust of architect Piet Blom who studied at the Amsterdam Academy of Building-Arts as a student of Aldo van Eyck.
Facing the courtyard is the entrance to the Speelhuis theatre.
Bridge over the the Zuid-Willemsvaart canal which runs through the city.
Coffee by the canal. It is customary to get little glasses full of whipped cream with your coffee as well as milk.
In the heart of Helmond can be seen this impressive castle, built by Jan III van Berlaer around 1350.
Helmond Sport FC football ground. I really wanted to see them play, but unfortunately they had an away game that Saturday.
The compact club premises.
There's an excellent fruit, veg and flower market in Helmond.
Steam organ in full blast in Helmond.
Fenwick hands over a Euro or two.
Bicycle bells galore at this parts stall in the market.
Old wagon at the organic farm.
Overall view of the organic farm, situated a little way out from the centre.
My fellow intrepid travellers!
The Netherlands is fantastic for cycling - not only is it flat, but there's loads of safe cycle lanes.
We cycled to an old monastery some 8km out of town and grabbed a coffee in the unexpectedly hoity-toity restaurant next door (I was expecting something a bit more rural and rustic). Still, it gave us chance to dry off and warm up and the coffee was good.
View of the nunnery.
Gatehouse to Helmond Kate Crony.
Farmer advertising apples for sale.
Inside the farmer's barn.
Buying some vegetables for dinner.
Kasteel Croy, parts of which date back to the 15th century.
Tomb of the Wesselman family set on an island
in a small lake in a nearby public park.
Mass of wires and lights at the level crossing.
Helmond sign on top of the railway signal box
Bikes stored by the station.
Waiting for our train back to Blighty.
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