The Netherlands

Holland is a relatively small, densely populated country with a width of 200 km and a length of 300 km. It has excellent public transport facilities and the city of the conference is located in the middle of the country, on 1.5 hour train distance from both most famous cities: Amsterdam, the capital, located next to Schiphol, the international airport, and Maastricht, our "Bourgondic" city, in the far-south.

The city 's-Hertogenbosch

What's in a name? Quite a lot when the name spells out 's-Hertogenbosch because it includes centuries of history as well as the origin of the town itself... 'in the Duke's Woods'. The name 's-Hertogenbosch is quite a mouthful for anybody to pronounce and the locals shorten it to simply Den Bosch.

The History of Den Bosch started with its municipal charter granted in 1185 by Hendrik I, Duke of Brabant. In fact, the town grew from a village on the Duke's wooded estate alongside the River Maas, hence its name. Nowadays, Den Bosch is the provincial capital of North Brabant; however, the whole of Brabant was an independent state in those early days. In 1430, Brabant became part of Burgundy, which was later annexed by France as part of the Spanish Hapsburg Empire. Willem van Oranje, who is called the Father of the Netherlands, was made a member of the Spanish Council of State in 1555, but later he supported the struggle for independence from Spain. The Eighty Years War followed and Den Bosch was eventually liberated in 1629. Then, Brabant joined the Republic of the United Provinces which existed until it was occupied by the forces of Napoleon and it became part of the French Empire in 1810. The Kingdom of The Netherlands was created in 1814 including all the Low Countries; soon afterwards, Belgium separated and Brabant was divided into two parts. South Brabant with Brussels became Belgian and North Brabant with Den Bosch remained Dutch.

St Jan's Cathedral
St Jan's Cathedral 's-Hertogenbosch

The Netherlands was neutral in the First World War, but it was vanquished by Germany in the Second World War and the Brabant lifestyle was altered yet again. The fortunes of the people of Den Bosch have changed several times throughout history and this is reflected in the diverse architecture of the city buildings and the cosmopolitan character of the people themselves; they have continually adapted to the times and maintained friendly relations with their neighbors.

The conference location: Theater aan de Parade

With the most beautiful church of The Netherlands: St. Jan's Cathedral from the 13th century, as its direct neighbor, the conference location: Theater aan de Parade, is situated just in the middle of the causy center of the city 's-Hertogenbosch.

Theater Hall
Theater hall of `Theater aan de Parade'
For the ESB 2004 meeting the whole theater is reserved with all its 6000m2, including the theater-hall (900 people), the Cinema-club (185 people) and three other meeting rooms with different capacities.
Cinema Club of `Theater aan de Parade'
The central square will be used as the heart of the conference where the welcome party will take place, the receptions, the music and drinks and where the poster sessions will be organized.

Central Square
Central Square of `Theater aan de Parade'

Foyer of `Theater aan de Parade'

Bars near the Conference Location