Arnhem Tourist Attractions
Arnhem, capital of the province of Gelderland, lies for the most part on the right bank of the Lower Rhine, a few kilometers below the point where the IJssel branches off the Rhine.
Part of the town is situated in the hills fringing the Veluwe, an extensive area of woodland and heath. Arnhem is of more than merely regional importance, with law courts and the offices of several government agencies and the provincial government of Gelderland, as well as several higher educational establishments, including a school of drama, a college of music and a forestry school. Industry also plays a major part in the economy of the town. Of particular importance is a tin-smelting plant established in 1929 which processes ore from Surinam and produces approximately a fifth of the total world output of tin. Apart from this there are several chemical and metalworking plants and various other factories.HistoryArnhem first appears in the records in 893, but it is believed to occupy the site of the Roman settlement of Arenacum mentioned by Tacitus. It received its municipal charter, however, only in 1233, from Count Otto III of Gelderland. Thanks to its advantageous position on the Rhine its trade prospered in the Middle Ages, and from the 15th to the 17th century it was a member of the Hanseatic League. The Emperor Charles V made it the chief place in Gelderland. Arnhem twice fell into the hands of the French, in 1672-74 and again from 1795 to 1813, when it was taken by Prussian forces. During the Second World War Arnhem suffered heavy damage, particularly during the fighting between the German occupying forces and the British paratroops dropped in September 1944 and later when the town was taken by the Allies in April 1945, when only 150 houses were left in a habitable condition. After the war the town was quickly rebuilt.Some of the places of interest in Arnhem include the National Heritage Museum, Burger's Zoo, and the Gelredome, a stadium with a retractable roof and slide-out grass pitch.
The traffic hub of Arnhem is the Willemsplein, near the Central Station. Just to the south of this square is the Nieuwe Plein, from the south end of which the town's narrow main shopping street (successively named Rijn-, Vijzel-, Ketel- and Roggestraat) extends east to the Velperplein. From this street various side streets run south to the oldest part of the town, in which, near the Rhine, is the spacious Markt (market square).
At the north end of the Arnhem market square stands the Grote Kerk (15th C.; Reformed), which was badly damaged during the Second World War but later rebuilt. From the tower (which contains a carillon) there are fine views. In the choir is the imposing marble monument of the last Duke of Gelderland, Charles of Egmond (d. 1538), an opponent of Charles V.
Old Town Hall
Immediately east of the Grote Kerk in Arnhem is the Old Town Hall, known as the Duivelshuis (Devils' House) after the three figures of devils at the entrance. The Town Hall was built about 1540 for Maarten van Rossem, Duke Charles's general.
Northeast of the Arnhem Town Hall are the Law Courts (1958-63) and the Archives of Gelderland (Rijksarchief Gelderland; 1880).
At the south end of Arnhem's market square is the Provinciehuis (1954), the seat of the provincial government, with a beautiful courtyard and council chamber (Statenzaal).
Immediately west of the Provinciehuis in Arnhem stands the Sabelpoort (14th C.; side facing the square 1642), all that remains of the old town walls.
A Bridge Too Far
The bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem ("a bridge too far") was held by British paratroops for four days against overwhelming odds during the airborne operation in 1944; it is now called the John Frost Bridge in honor of the commander of the paratroops, who are also commemorated by a monument at the north end of the bridge.
From the John Frost Bridge a ring of gardens runs north on the line of the former town walls along the east side of the old town of Arnhem, passing on the left the St Walpurgisbasiliek (R.C.), the town's oldest church (consecrated 1422; fine pulpit) and the Stadsschouwburg (Municipal Theater).
Musis Sacrum Concert Hall
Map of Arnhem Attractions