Discover Benelux | Culture | Châlons-en-Champagne / Apeldoorn
Discover the cultural delights of ‘Sparkling Venice’ TEXT: AMANDINE HACH | PHOTOS: CHRISTOPHE MANQUILLET
Located an hour and a half from Paris, the beautiful city of Châlons-en-Champagne, with its many canals, is known as ‘La Venise Pétillante’ (Sparkling Venice) thanks to its location in the famous sparkling wine region. A boat trip on the canals running through the city’s historic heart should be your first port of call. The day tour ‘L’eau’dyssée’ takes 40 minutes and will show you highlights such as Collegiate Church Notre-Dame-en-Vaux, the Halles Market, the ‘Porte Sainte-Croix’ and the many bridges – the oldest dating from 1560. Your skipper will tell you the story of the town, as well as its best kept secrets! When night falls, boat rides become even more magical as the city’s monuments are lit up. The ‘Métamorph’eau’ses’ canal tour makes for an unforgettable night out. Châlons-en-Champagne is also home to many gardens, boasting 11 hectares of greenery. Visitors can enjoy numerous summer events including concerts, spectacles, and –
of course – Châlons Plage, which transforms the city into a beach destination. And every year in June, Châlons-enChampagne turns itself into a kind of giant circus. The city becomes the setting for all kinds of burlesque and unexpected shows in a host of various locations. In July, Châlons-en-Champagne celebrates global music and invites musicians from all over the world, from Venezuela to Algeria, to form the line-up of 52 free outdoor concerts. Finally, at the end of August it is the hugely popular Châlons fair, where famous French singers perform live in the city. An event, as
with so many others there this summer, not to be missed!
Apeldoorn: Lively city based amid a green treasury TEXT: KARIN VENEMA | PHOTO: HET NATIONALE PARK DE HOGE VELUWE
In the Netherlands, the area of Apeldoorn is a well-known holiday destination for city breaks combined with beautiful nature. Not only does the city offer plenty of shopping, culture, culinary delights and children’s amusement, it also boasts many famous artworks at the Kröller-Müller museum, which is located in De Hoge Veluwe national park. Apeldoorn is only an hour away from Amsterdam and offers a variety of amenities. For children, there is the amusement park Julianatoren and Apenheul, a zoo full of freeroaming primates. Culture lovers can indulge themselves with the Gigant pop podium, the ACEC exhibition centre, the contemporary CODA museum and Theatre Orpheus. The beautiful gardens of Palace Het Loo are reconstructed to the original 17th-century design and worth a visit, while the city centre 84 | Issue 67 | July 2019
has plenty of restaurants and cafés to suit any preference. De Hoge Veluwe national park is a nature reserve of over 5,000 hectares that can be explored by foot, bicycle or even by horse. The park is known as the greenest treasury in the Netherlands: it is a natural paradise inhabited by a variety of wildlife. In the middle of the park you can find the visitor centre, and there are 1,800 white bicycles available that can be used for free: for instance, to visit the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus. The Kröller-Müller museum not only boasts the world’s second-largest Van Gogh collection and a lovely sculpture garden, it also displays masterpieces by modern masters such as Monet, Picasso and Mondriaan. A recent visitor describes how she loves De Hoge Veluwe national park: “I would really recommend this park for both young and old.
It’s quiet, but there’s still plenty to do and see. You can certainly spend a whole fun day there!”
Jachthuis Sint Hubertus, the former country residence of the Kröller-Müller couple.