A young dynamic city with a modern appearance offering a traditional Brabant welcome. That is how Eindhoven is best summed up. In no time, Eindhoven and south-east Brabant grew from a mainly rural area to a strongly industrial one with technology to the fore. This was a development that went hand-in-hand with rapid economic growth.
That recent history is mirrored in the appearance of the city. Buildings and factories dating from the twenties and thirties and contemporary office blocks for IT and service sector companies stand side by side. But the city of light - a reference to the Philips light bulb factory that 'defines' (and always has done) the development of Eindhoven - is not just a sober manufacturing environment. Shops of all shapes and sizes such as the covered Heuvel Galerie (with some 100 shops), cafes and restaurants too numerous to mention give the city centre the friendly and lively air of a big city. The excellent social and cultural provision, the open-plan layout, the expanse of green and the typical Brabant landscape all around make Eindhoven a city where it is a pleasure to live and work.
The Eindhoven region can justly call itself the industrial centre of the Netherlands; the industry in question being modern, knowledge-intensive industry. It is not just Philips and DAF that give Eindhoven its pre-eminent position. South-east Brabant houses dozens of engineering companies and numerous young, innovative firms that make products which are distributed all over the world.
Eindhoven is the home of important educational establishments (Technical University and Design Academy) and other learning institutes. Philips concentrates all its research and development in the high tech campus around Philips Research in Eindhoven. The Twinning Centre on the grounds of the TUE is specially developed for starting entrepreneurs in the IT sector. However, it is a combination of knowledge, technology and trade with which Eindhoven sets itself apart from comparable cities in both the Netherlands and Europe. This has made Eindhoven a trend-setting centre of innovation and technology.
The renewing characteristic of the technology can be seen in the fact that 2.5 billion Dutch guilders is spent on scientific research and the application of that research in the Eindhoven region alone. The amount is 35% of that allocated to scientific study in the Netherlands.
Eindhoven has a lot to offer its inhabitants and visitors in the area of art and culture. The city attracts attention from far and wide with the Van Abbemuseum, Muziekcentrum Frits Philips, home to the Brabants Orkest, and the Zuidelijk Toneel (Southern Theatre) that creates sensational stage productions. The Stadsschouwburg (Civic Theatre) is well-known in the area and attracts large audiences. This is also the case for smaller stages such as the Plaza Futura theatre and the Effenaar. The cultural climate in Eindhoven is defined by some 200 exhibitions, 1,200 music and theatre performances and thousands of films in the 'normal' and 'alternative' circuits.
Eindhoven is a city in which there is space for sport at all levels. PSV, the football club, is housed in the ultra-modern Philips Stadium. Swimming is at the top of the agenda in Eindhoven, represented by Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband, member of the PSV swimming club.
In terms of sport, the city is on all international calendars with the annual marathon, the concours hippique and top events in the indoor sports centre.
Anyone wanting to participate in sport in Eindhoven and the surrounding area can do so to their heart's content. No city is so well provided with indoor and outdoor facilities such as swimming pools, sports halls, hockey and football fields and an ice rink.
For more information on everything Eindhoven and its surroundings have to offer, visit the pages of the Eindhoven Tourist Information Office at http://www.vvveindhoven.nl/int/