Always on show

The story of Brabant

A journey through the thrilling southern province

Brabant is famous for its distinctive accent, Burgundian hospitality, and artists such as Van Gogh and Sluijters. But it is also the land of Roman conquerors, prehistoric farmers, Catholics, and Protestants. The Story of Brabant takes you on a journey through the past. From the first hunter-gatherers who, thousands of years ago, tracked mammoths over icy plains, to present-day Brabant with its population of 2.5 million people. How did people live in these various eras, through periods of prosperity and times of crisis? What makes Brabant authentically Brabant?


The Story of Brabant lifts the lid on the key moments in the history of Brabant. Along the way, you encounter Roman conquerors, dukes of Brabant, iconoclasts and mercenaries. But also gentry from the Hague, pious priests, and successful entrepreneurs. It is a story of prehistoric farmers and their precarious existence. Of a remote outpost of the Roman empire. Of the Duchy of Brabant, which becomes the key province of the Netherlands. Of the Eighty Years' War, which damages the province's prosperity.

We show you Brabant as a Generality Land, governed directly from The Hague. We also show you how Brabant regains its independence and makes a fresh start, by building factories, new churches and monasteries; how it overcomes the hardships of war and turns its fortunes around. The Story of Brabant reveals the history that makes Brabant what it is today.


From the Venus of Mierlo to the 'Hood of Shame' that was used as a punishment for women in 's-Hertogenbosch, and from a Roman helmet to De Gruyter's 'Sweet of the Week'. There are lots of familiar objects on show in The Story of Brabant. It is also an opportunity to see new acquisitions, such as the portrait of Henry III of Nassau-Breda, one of the most famous noblemen in the history of Brabant who owned and may have commissioned The Garden of Earthly Delights by Jheronimus Bosch.

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