Bussum is a leafy commuter town in the Het Gooi region in the Netherlands and is around 24km from Amsterdam. The towns transport links are great with Amsterdam Central and Utrecth both 20 mins by train, add the A1 passing the town and you getting to and from is a breeze.
As far as size goes, Bussum is relatively small, with a population of 32,731. Nevertheless, it has many characteristics of a larger town, such as variety in social structure, and a lively atmosphere of bars, shops and a great indepenant cinema . Bussum also is the home to Spant!, which is ranked among the Dutch top 10 locations for hall hire and conference centres. In addition to this, Spant! also functions as a theatre, which means many different types of performances can take place here.
Bussum is also home to many music clubs, each aimed at specific types of music, from drum and show band to oratoria clubs; a number of drama clubs for both young and old; a cinema, a theatre, swimming and fitness centre, two libraries and other venues such as Monkey Town (an indoor play center) and Rock Steady indoor climbing center as well as a number of sports clubs to suit all tastes.
Bussum is set to merge with the local municipalities of Naarden and Muiden on the 1 January 2016. In October, 2014, the combined town councils chose the name Gooise Meren for the new municipality.
History of Bussum
For a long time Bussum was not more than a hamlet situated amongst the heathlands of Het Gooi and was first mentioned in 1306. In this time, Bussum was a large heathland with many small farms, sheep pens and forests as is shown on old maps. Since Bussum is situated near the fortified town Naarden it was governed by Naarden from 1369 onward. In 1470 Bussum was inhabited by about 250 people, which made it the smallest village in Het Gooi.
After centuries of oppression, four hundred Bussum citizens managed to break free from the town, and Bussum achieved its independence in 1817. yet it was not until the arrival of a railway line in 1874 that Bussum began to flourish.
Naarden is one of the most beautiful towns in the Gooi region, Naarden is situated around 24km East of Amsterdam and can be reached by car on the A1 highway or by train with the nearest station being the Naarden-Bussum station.
The fortified town of Naarden is the Gooi area’s most ancient town and also one of Holland’s most precious cultural monuments. Naarden is a fine example of a Star Fort complete with fortified walls and a moat both of which been restored and are currently in excellent condition. During the second world war the city's distinctive shape made it a navigation point for Allied bombers returning to England after raids on Germany. The town is well known for its many antique shops and national events which have labelled Naarden as a lifestyle and antique town, you will also find many cosy and welcoming restaurants catering for a variety of tastes.
Naarden’s history is a turbulent one and should you want to find out more we would suggest paying a visit to the Dutch Fortress Museum, other attractions worth visiting are The Grand Church or Saint Vitus Church which is known not only for its impressive ceiling paintings, but also for its yearly performance of the Matthäus Passion. The town hall built 1601 is a typical example of Dutch Renaissance building. Naarden is well known as the city where Jan Amos Komensky was buried and visitors can see his grave in mausoleum devoted to him. Naarden also has the Naardermeer (Naarden Lake), one of Holland’s first nature reserves. The Arsenaal (an old arsenal), owned by the famous furniture designer Jan des Bouvrie. Naarden plays host to the bi-annual Naarden Photo Festival and, on Good Friday, Bach’s St Matthews Passion is performed in the Saint Vitus church.
History of Naarden
Naarden was granted its city rights in 1300 (the only town in Het Gooi with these rights) and later developed into a fortified garrison town with a textile industry. The Great Church (Grote Kerk). The church is situated on the Markstraat and dates from the 15th century. Prior to the Protestant Reformation Protestant Reformation it was named for St Vitus. It is one of the oldest surviving churches in The Netherlands, having had the good fortune to survive the Spanish invasion of 1572 and the subsequent burning of the town. The church has numerous wooden vaults that are painted with scenes from the Old and New Testaments. These were hidden for many years and were only rediscovered in a recent restoration.
The Spanish House (Spaanse Huis). The house, situated at Turfpoortstraat 27, was originally a church building converted to house migrants. In 1572 Spanish troops conducted a massacre of some 700 inhabitants who had gathered to hear a peace proposal. The Spanish then fired on the assembled citizens, and went on to set fire to the town. A plaque above the lintel of the door and below the eaves commemorates the massacre. In 1615, after the population had reestablished itself, they built the city hall on the site. Part of the building was given over to De Waag (The Scales House), the municipal office entrusted with the verification of weights and measures. The building later served a French garrison as a bakery, turning out over 1000 loaves per day. From 1967 until 1992 it served as the Comenius museum. Today, the historic building serves as a the Weegschaal Museum.