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Noord-Brabant, or North Brabant in English, is the southernmost province of the Netherlands. It is the country's second-largest province, covering 5,082 square kilometers of land. North Brabant extends northward from state borders with Belgium, stretching between the provinces of Zeeland to the west and Limburg to the east. The land is drained by the Mark and Dommel rivers. 's-Hertogenbosch, found at the northern borders of the province, is Noord-Brabant's capital city, yet the largest city is Eindhoven, located in the province's central area. The local landscape is primarily flat and composed of heathlands. Four national parks, De Zoom-Kalmthoutse Heide, De Loonse and Drunen Dunes, De Biesbosch, and De Groote Peel, can be found within the province's borders, each of the protected areas providing a relatively unique set of natural conditions. Beyond natural areas, Noord-Brabant features considerable historical heritage. Numerous castles, such as Heeswijk Castle, Maurick Castle, Helmond Castle, and Heeze Castle, to name a few, are scattered across the region. Concerning famous people, Vincent van Gogh, a world-renowned painter, was born and lived in North Brabant. Thus, in several cities, artworks and other heritage connected to Van Gogh can be found. July tends to be the warmest month in North Brabant. However, it also receives the most precipitation compared to other months. Therefore, presumably, "the best time to visit" Noord-Brabant is during spring.
' s-Hertogenbosch, North Brabant's capital city, is found in the northern borders of the province. The city is one of the oldest medieval settlements in the Netherlands, featuring a maze of medieval streets and alleyways that can be explored by tourists on foot. Another option to enjoy the historical sights and bridges of the 's-Hertogenbosch is from a small boat floating beneath the walls of the medieval fortified city. To enjoy local cuisine, tourists are advised to visit the Korte Putstraat in the historical city center, which is a street "known across the country for offering culinary treats in a variety of cuisines." The capital city also offers several museums, the Noordbrabants Museum and the Design Museum Den Bosch, together forming the Museum Quarter, often nicknamed the "Dutch branch of the Guggenheim." In the Noordbrabants museum, visitors can enjoy some of the artwork that was created by Vincent van Gogh. Additionally, there's also a Design Museum Den Bosh, showcasing collections of ceramics and jewelry. Another predominant municipality within Noord-Brabant's borders is Eindhoven, which is the largest city in the province. Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven is known for its distinctive design and collection of modern contemporary art. The city also holds acclaimed festivals such as GLOW and Dutch Design Week.
Concerning the historical heritage of North Brabant, across the region can be found numerous castles dating back to medieval times. One such historical destination is the Heeswijk Castle, located in close proximity to 's-Hertogenbosch. The castle features a drawbridge, a moat, castle towers, gardens, and historical interiors, all available to tourists. Beyond that, Heeswijk is a natural gateway with several hiking and cycling opportunities. Another sight found about 10 minutes from 's-Hertogenbosch, is Maurick Castle, standing on an island in the Dommel river. The castle offers three historical suites for guests to stay overnight. In the city of Helmond, found just to the east of Eindhoven, is located the largest moated castle in the Netherlands, the Helmond Castle. Another castle near Eindhoven is Castle Heeze, protected as a national monument. The national monument consists of the medieval castle Eymerick and a 17th-century coast. Heeze showcases historical furniture, tapestries, soft furnishings, and a collection of paintings.
Noord-Brabant is the homeland of the world-renowned artist Vincent van Gogh. Currently, Van Gogh's work is located in various parts of the world. However, his first recognized artwork, "The Potato Eaters," was created in Brabant. The artists' footsteps can be traced in numerous places in Brabant, such as Zundert, Nuenen, Tilburg, Etten-Leur, and' s-Hertogenbosch. Brabant is the birthplace of Van Gogh and is where he also took his art classes. The historical village of Nuenen features a walking tour along 23 locations directly connected to Vincent van Gogh's work. Additionally, in the province's capital, the Noordbrabants Museum houses original works by Van Gogh in an exhibition called "The Story of Brabant." 
North Brabant, located in the southern part of the Netherlands, stretches across 5,082 square kilometers. The province's coastal areas are fertile, supporting wheat and sugar beets, while the inland riverine lands of Noord-Brabant are mainly composed of pastures. Southern heath areas of the province contain mostly woods, conifers, small lakes, and peat bogs. In the 19th century, extensive heathlands were reclaimed from the water. Since then, several new settlements have been established in the reclaimed areas, namely in the raised bogs of Be Peel, which were used for the peat industry. The landscape of North Brabant is mostly flat, with almost all of the province's territories being located above sea level. The region is scattered with villages, yet most of the population lives in urban areas. To the south of Eindhoven and in Heeze are located the heath areas called Groote Heath and Strabrechtse Heath, which features "the largest fen of the Netherlands" called The Beuven (Beu fen), measuring 85 hectares.
There are four national parks in North Brabant. One of them is a cross-border national park called De Zoom-Kalmthoutse Heide. The other three are De Loonse and Drunen Dunes, De Biesbosch, and De Groote Peel. Each national park offers unique conditions, providing sanctuary for various plant and animal species. The Zoom-Kalmthoutse Heide National Park, which extends across the borders of the Netherlands to Belgium, is covered by heathlands, along with dunes, pastures, ponds, and forests. A considerable number of bird species inhabit the protected area. The hawk, falcon, stonechat, tree pipit, and nightjar, to name a few, are reportedly prevalent in the protected area. De Biesbosch National Park, located in the northern part of the province, is comprised of a freshwater delta with about 8,000 hectares of small rivers and streams. Predominant animal species inhabiting the national park are beavers. At present, beavers of De Biesbosch have built over a hundred dams in the protected wetlands. In the central part of the North Brabant are found the Dunes of Loon and Drunen National Park. Belonging among the Netherlands' largest natural areas, the Dunes of Loon and Drunen National Park are the most extensive drift area in western Europe. The dunes were reportedly formed approximately 10,000 years ago. Nowadays, the site is nicknamed "Brabant Sahara" as it consists of approximately 30 square kilometers of shifting sands. Lastly, De Groote Peel National Park is a renowned wetland area boasting one of the most extensive and varied bird populations in Western Europe. The landscape comprises ponds, marshes, and heathlands, which were used in the past to extract peat.
Concerning the local climate and weather conditions, in North Brabant province's largest city, Eindhoven, the warmest month tends to be July, with an average daily temperature of 24°C. Reportedly, February is the coldest month, with 6°C being the average temperature. April tends to be the driest month in Eindhoven due to having 39 mm of rainfall on average. The most precipitation falls during December, as it receives an average rainfall of 75 mm.
Noord-Brabant, or North Brabant, was reportedly inhabited since prehistoric times. Within the province’s territory, remains that indicated the early occupation of the area were found, dating back to the Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Ages. Consequently, the Roman settlement was established in the territory of the North Brabant. There reportedly were Roman camps discovered along the river Maas.
In 1190, the title of duke of Brabant was acquired by the counts of Leuven. Gradually, the Brabant territory expanded either through marriages or conquests. Brabant, with its trade port Antwerp, which is nowadays part of Belgium, became the economic powerhouse of the Low Countries and hub of trade and commerce between Germany, France, and England. Beyond trade, culture and scientific development also found their place in the Brabant territory. The Duchy of Brabant was inherited by the house of Burgundy, followed by the Habsburgs. The King of Spain, Philips II, started the process of modernization of the government. Together with religious disagreements and reformation, the modernization led to the Dutch revolt against the Spanish rule. The war resulted in the separation of the north and south Brabant. The southern part of the former duchy came under Habsburg rule, while the northern portion became part of the Dutch republic. The province of North Brabant was officially established in 1815 when Belgium and Netherlands were amalgamated as the United Kingdom of Netherlands. To this day, the boundary between Netherlands and Belgium doesn’t form a contiguous line but instead leaves numerous enclaves on both sides of the borders.
“Het Rijke Roomse Leven” is a term for the period between 1900 and 1960s, which translates as the “rich Roman life,” an era of strong Roman Catholic belief. In the region were established not only churches but also Roman Catholic hospitals and schools run by nuns and friars. Even politically, the province was dominated by Catholic parties. In the 1960s, the secularization and emancipation of the Catholic population took place. Gradually, church attendance in North Brabant decreased. However, the Roman Catholic atmosphere and culture stayed considerably strong in the region compared to the provinces further north.
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