Arnhem is a city in the east of the Netherlands in the province of Gelderland. It is located a few kilometers from the Dutch-German border. The Dutch A12 motorway leads car drivers from The Hague and Rotterdam via Utrecht and Arnhem into Germany.
Arnhem received city rights in the thirteenth century already, after the counts of Gelre (the predecessor of Gelderland) had fortified their residence here. Thanks to the excellent location on the Lower Rhine the city blossomed into a lively trade centre.
The Battle at Arnhem in World War II is better known as the end of Operation Market-Garden. The Allied Forces tried to link the North and South of the Netherlands in September 1944, but they were stopped at the Rhine Bridge near Arnhem. The city was ruined in this period. The operation was filmed in A Bridge Too Far.
After the war the Gelderland capital was revived quickly. Restorations resulted in an attractive city where nearly 150,000 people live today.
Burgers Dierenpark is Arnhem’s popular zoo. It claims to show animals in a natural habitat, which makes Burgers Dierenpark all but a traditional zoo. The park owns the largest roofed tropical forest in the world, while it also holds swamps, caves, waterfalls and a desert – all absolutely absent in common Dutch environment.
Park Sonsbeek has no tigers, rhino’s or tropical fish, but merrymaking citizens, 75 acres of natural scenery and a collection of statues. An historical overview of life in the Low Countries since the 17th century can be found in the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum (Dutch Open Air Museum). It features expositions and presentations of Dutch buildings, bridges and canals. You can also see an authentic Arnhem tram here, which are nowadays replaced by equally exclusive trolley buses in the city streets.
Military Museum Bronbeek is one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands. The Museum of Modern Art at the Utrechtseweg has an extensive collection, with the magic realist Carel Willink as one of the highlights. The panorama view of the river Rhine from the museum also fascinates lots of tourists. Another special feature of the museum: it aims to expose art by female artists for at least 50%.
The view from the museum might be nice, but the best outlook one gets from between the bells of the Eusebius Church. The 73m. tall church was built in the 15th century in neo-gothic style. It was ruined at Operation Market-Garden, but reconstructed after World War II.
When the weather is nice, the café porches are packed with day-trippers (especially Germans) and residents. The Korenmarkt (Grain Market) is rich of trees and the Jansplein (John’s Square) also has a lot to offer for visitors seeking entertainment. Arnhem owns the country’s first roofed football stadium. This Gelredome was built in and is the home of Dutch football club Vitesse, but hosts a lot of concerts as well. U2, Santana, Britney Spears, Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls and Bruce Springsteen include the pop artists that have performed here.
The tourist office is present online at http://www.vvvarnhem.nl.