Nijmegen is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands and has a rich history that dates back over 2,000 years. it’s a hugely popular port call on our river cruise sailings and we’re going to show you why.

The History Of Nijmegen

Roman Origins: Nijmegen, known as Noviomagus Batavorum in Roman times, was founded by the Romans around 19 BC as a military camp on the strategic crossing of the Waal River. It quickly grew into a bustling settlement and became an important administrative and military centre in the Roman province of Germania Inferior.

Medieval Period: After the fall of the Roman Empire, Nijmegen experienced various shifts in power as it came under the control of different medieval rulers. It was a part of the Holy Roman Empire and the Duchy of Guelders at different times. During this period, Nijmegen continued to develop as a trading hub due to its location near major trade routes.

Hanseatic League: In the late Middle Ages, Nijmegen became a member of the Hanseatic League, a powerful trading network of cities across Northern Europe. This membership further boosted the city’s trade and economic prosperity.

Eighty Years’ War and Spanish Rule: Nijmegen played a significant role during the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648), which was the struggle for Dutch independence from Spanish rule. The city was captured and recaptured several times during this conflict, and it eventually became part of the United Provinces of the Netherlands.

Second World War: During World War II, Nijmegen was heavily impacted by the Battle of Nijmegen, which was part of Operation Market Garden. This battle saw Allied forces attempting to capture strategic bridges in and around the city. Nijmegen suffered significant damage during the conflict.

Post-War Period and Modern Times: After the war, Nijmegen was rebuilt and has since become a vibrant city with a focus on education, healthcare, and culture. The Radboud University Nijmegen was established in 1923 and is now one of the leading research universities in the country. The city also hosts the Radboud University Medical Centre, one of the largest and most advanced medical facilities in the Netherlands.

Cultural and Sporting Events: Nijmegen is known for its cultural events, including the Nijmegen International Four Days Marches, which is the world’s largest multiple-day walking event. The city also has a lively music and arts scene, with festivals and performances held throughout the year.

Historic Architecture: Nijmegen’s history is reflected in its architecture. The city features a mix of medieval, Renaissance, and modern buildings. The Stevenskerk (St. Steven’s Church) is a notable landmark, and the remains of the Roman walls and gates can still be seen in parts of the city.

Nijmegen’s long and diverse history has left a lasting impact on its culture, architecture, and identity as a modern city in the Netherlands.

Nijmegen Things To See And Do

Nijmegen is a vibrant city in the Netherlands with a rich history and a variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy. Here are some things to see and do in Nijmegen:

Valkhof Park and Museum: The Valkhof Park is a beautiful green space with historical ruins, including remnants of a Roman fort and a Carolingian chapel. The Valkhof Museum showcases the history of Nijmegen and the region through artieacts, art, and exhibitions.

Stevenskerk (St. Steven’s Church): This stunning Gothic church is a prominent landmark in Nijmegen. It has a rich history and offers guided tours that provide insights into its architecture and historical significance.

Grote Markt (Main Market Square): The heart of Nijmegen’s city centre, Grote Markt is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and historic buildings. It’s a great place to relax, people-watch, and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Nijmegen International Four Days Marches: If you’re visiting in July, you might have the chance to witness or participate in this famous walking event. Thousands of participants from around the world take part in this multi-day walking challenge.

Walk or Bike Along the Waal River: Nijmegen is situated on the banks of the Waal River. Enjoy a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the river, where you can take in scenic views of the city and the surrounding landscape.

Museum Het Valkhof: This museum features an eclectic collection of art and artifacts, including Roman antiquities, medieval sculptures, and contemporary art. It’s a great place to explore the diverse cultural heritage of the region.

Historical City Centre: Nijmegen’s city centre is filled with charming streets, shops, cafes, and historic buildings. Take a leisurely walk through the streets and admire the architecture that reflects the city’s rich history.

Honig Complex: This former industrial site has been transformed into a creative hub with art studios, cafes, and event spaces. It’s a unique place to explore and experience Nijmegen’s contemporary arts scene.

MuZIEum: This interactive museum offers a unique experience by allowing visitors to explore the world through the eyes of the blind and visually impaired. It provides insights into sensory experiences and challenges perceptions.

De Bastei: A museum and centre for nature and culture, De Bastei offers exhibitions and activities related to the environment, landscape, and history of the region.

Berendonck and Wylerbergmeer: If you’re looking for outdoor activities, consider visiting these nearby recreational lakes for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Cafes and Dining: Nijmegen boasts a vibrant culinary scene with a variety of cafes, restaurants, and eateries offering local and international cuisine.

These are just a few of the many attractions and activities Nijmegen has to offer. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or simply exploring the city’s atmosphere, you’re sure to find something enjoyable to do in Nijmegen.

Sailings Featuring Nijmegen

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