A Day of History and Charm: Exploring Bergen op Zoom with Friends

Creating Lasting Memories

We visited our friends who live in Bergen op Zoom, a Dutch city in the southwestern corner of the country near the North Sea. While the men played golf, the women took a delightful tour of the city’s beautiful downtown.

Unveiling the Grandeur of the Markiezenhof

Our adventure began at the Markiezenhof, one of the Netherlands’ grandest and oldest city palaces. Once the residence of Bergen op Zoom’s Marquesses, this stunning complex was meticulously restored to its former glory in 1987. From the impressive facade to the elegant interiors, the Markiezenhof is genuinely incredible. Inside, the Court Hall is a particular highlight. The imposing ornate Christoffel Fireplace and the colorful stained-glass windows are awe-inspiring. Important guests like Emperor Karel V (1500-1558) have walked these halls. The Markiezenhof also houses an impressive scale model depicting Bergen op Zoom in its full 18th-century glory. The model visualizes the city’s once impressive fortifications and highlights its former military history.

Meeting the Mischievous Goat of Mad Mary

Next, our friend led us to a rather curious sight: a bronze statue of “The Goat of Mad Mary.” The goat is beloved for being a symbol of the city’s lightheartedness. It tells the tale of a grumpy woman named Mary and her mischievous pet goat. Apparently, the goat’s antics caused quite a stir in the city, leaving Mary red-faced and the townspeople chuckling. 

A Walk Through History: Peperbus and Grote Markt

The Peperbus is a truly iconic landmark in Bergen op Zoom. The name literally translates to “pepper pot” in Dutch. Built in the 15th century, the Peperbus was a watchtower and part of the city’s impressive fortifications designed to protect Bergen op Zoom from invaders. 

The Grote Markt (Great Market) square is likely one of Bergen op Zoom’s oldest districts. Buildings have been in this area for centuries. De Draak (The Dragon) is a strong contender for the title of the oldest building in Bergen op Zoom. Parts of the current structure date back to 1500, though the hotel claims a founding year of 1397. Regardless, it holds the distinction of being the oldest hotel in the Netherlands.

A Perfect End to a Perfect Day

I had no idea Bergen op Zoom was such a historic gem! Exploring downtown with my friends was a blast. Back home, the men had returned from their golfing adventure. We all freshened up and headed out for a delicious dinner in town, which was the perfect way to end this informative and beautiful day.


Friday, March 3, 2023


2.99 miles

Moving Time

1:02:00 hours


8 °C, moderate breeze, sun