by Petra Andre, Efficient Hotel Partner, 20 September 2017
Hilversum is often called “media city”, because it is the principal centre for radio and television broadcasting in The Netherlands. Radio Netherlands, heard worldwide via shortwave radio since the 1920s, is also based here. Hilversum is the home to an extensive complex of audio and television studios belonging to the national broadcast production company NOS (Nederlandse Omroep Stichting), as well as, to the studios and offices of all the Dutch public broadcasting organizations and many commercial TV production companies. All gathered at the ‘Media Park’.
In 2002, the right wing politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated near the Media Park. Pim Fortuyn was one of the first politicians who was open and extremely outspoken about the Islam and the way migration policy was handle by the Dutch government. He was extremely popular and his party had 26 seats just prior his death.
Another spectacular incident in the area of the Dutch TV headquarters was in January 29, 2015. A fake gunman demanded airtime at Nederlandse Omroep Stichting’s headquarters.
Hilversum is the “media city” of the Netherlands and in order to acknowledge this, the city established a Museum voor beeld en geluid located right at the entrance of the Media Park where all the TV studios are based. It is worth visiting this museum. You can get a sneak preview ‘behind the scenes’, make your own news show and play a role in a soap series. It provides you with facts and figures from the start of TV in the Netherlands until the present day.
Hilversum is also known for its architecturally important Town Hall (Raadhuis Hilversum),designed by Willem Marinus Dudok and was built in 1931. Marinus Dudok has been of great influence on Dutch architecture. The Town Hall, built in 1931, has been occupied by the Germans during the War WII.
Today, it is still in use as a town hall and is a very beautiful wedding location. Furthermore, the Dudok Town hall plays an important role as starting point for cultural walks through Hilversum.
Hotel & Theatre Gooiland is a landmark in Hilversum. This original building in the heart of Hilversum was designed by architect Duiker, who was a student of Dudok. The hotel was recently renovated. Fun fact: we (my husband and I) had our wedding reception on the roof terrace 20 years ago. This unique complex is one of our partners, you will find more info on the website of Efficient Hotel Partner. The designers of this hotel only used Dutch brands for the furniture, paintings, beds etc. Furthermore, you will notice art with a cheeky homage to the TV and Media in the early days.
The Theatre Gooiland offers a large variety of plays and concerts, the combination of all three, restaurant, theatre and hotel makes it an interesting place to visit.
Opposite ‘Gooiland’, you will find the St Vitus Church (actually cathedral) Build in 1892 By P.J.H Cuijpers, it is a monument and attracts lots of visitors. Cuijpers is also responsible for the design of the Rijksmuseum and the Central Station in Amsterdam.
Although Hilversum is a city in the region, the city centre is called “het dorp”, which means “the village”. It is the largest city in the Gooi, (a residential area where the rich & famous live, mainly famous from Television). A lot of expats live here due to fact that there is an international school and Hilversum is only 25 minutes’ drive from Amsterdam and 45 minutes to Schiphol airport.
NIKE: One of the largest and well-known companies in Hilversum is NIKE. Their European head office is located here. All the large offices are built around a former horse- trotting arena which is now being used as their sport park.
Next door is the famous Ferrari dealer Kroymans; the owner, Frits Kroymans has been in the news with scandals often, not always very positive news, however everyone is still attracted by the showroom and its beautiful cars. (Ferrari, Aston Martin, Masserati).
In the heart of Hilversum, you will find Museum Hilversum, former Town Hall and one of the oldest buildings in Hilversum. This beautiful well-preserved museum, is a host for painting and photo exhibitions, the current exposition is the Winning photos of Canon Silver Camera.
The museum is easy accessible for young and old, as it is based in the city centre you can combine a visit to the museum with a bit of shopping. Hilversum offers many nice restaurants and shops. The museum’s opening hours: Monday till Sunday € 5,- entrance fee.
Indonesian restaurants are popular in Holland and also in Hilversum. Spanders Hoeve is one of the first Indonesian restaurants with a Michelin star. Nowadays, the original owner is not running the place where they were honoured by this classification but still definitely worth trying.
Hilversum is surrounded with a large green area called ‘de Hei’ and the lakes called Loosdrechtse Plassen, all within 20 minutes walking distance from the city centre of 10 minutes by bike. This makes Hilversum not only a lovely place to live but also a very attractive Dutch village to visit.
Contact Efficient Hotel Partner for more information.