Tilburg’s East: The Piushaven

If you ever give this town a visit, especially in spring or summer, I’d suggest you get a drink or a bite at the Piushaven. This is the canal port of Tilburg. In contrast to all those typical Dutch kitsch cities that we foreigners normally know (and love!) Tilburg has only one single canal that surrounds the East and North of the city, leading from Eindhoven towards Rotterdam (well, roughly …). It’s called the Wilhelminakanaal (read it’s history here), and it’s a quite big “no frills” water street that can be used by boats and ships up to 500 tons:

The Wilhelminakanaal.
The Wilhelminakanaal.

From the Wilheminakanaal, there’s something like a T-crossing that leads to the Piushaven, a water street with it’s dead end (almost) at the city center of Tilburg.

The Piushaven is a really cool place. Several bars, terraces and restaurants have emerged there in the recent few years or even months. (Note that when I provide links you will often end up on a Dutch website that no one else understands. Again: Tilburgers don’t expect foreigners to come there. They really will be very happily surprised if you, as a foreigner, do pay them a visit!)

The Piushaven, to the right the terrace of Stadskombuis Harboury.
The Piushaven, to the right the terrace of Stadskombuis Harboury.

Those who live there since many years, tell newcomers like me weird stories like that the whole Piushaven was a complete mess until maybe five years ago. An abandoned industrial estate or so. Well I did never see it as that, I only got to know it as a truly spirited, lively place so far. But apparently really a lot has been done to bring this area back to live. The result is already terrific!

Tilburgers will also complain endlessly about how “ugly” some houses there are. Don’t believe them: In fact, it’s all very clean, very nice, and a cool mix of old and new. You just should never forget that the Tilburgers are, after all, Dutch people – so they are used to all those beautiful little cuddly places, and they cannot even imagine ugly, urban, chaotic cities like Manchester, Duisburg or Cologne!

Ok folks, ’nuff said, here’s a small photo gallery from May 2017. A nice, sunny, spring day! You felt immediately like on holiday! As usual, click on any of them if you want a bigger view:

(Please note that as a photographer I own the copyright to all the pics on this blog, and thus I kindly ask you to respect that.)

Some buildings are real architectural masterpieces! I really love de Meelfabriek Piushaven – the old flour factory, address Piushaven 1, a striking brickstone building designed by architect Jos.C.A.Schijvens in 1935. Tilburgers also love their AaBe Fabriek schoorsteen (AaBe factory smokestack) a huge – you guessed it – brickstone affair that was erected in 1930.

cheers,
Thomas

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