Welcome to Valkenswaard, a charming town in the southern Netherlands, known for its rich history and beautiful landscapes. With a population of 31,221 in 2021, Valkenswaard is a municipality in the Metropoolregio Eindhoven of the province of North Brabant. The town spans an area of 56.50 km2 (21.81 sq mi) of which 1.58 km2 (0.61 sq mi) is water. The name Valkenswaard comes from its history of falconers, who caught wild falcons there; valk is Dutch for falcon. In the past, Valkenswaardian falconers were active at many European courts, in which falconing was a beloved pastime. Today, Valkenswaard is a popular tourist destination, offering visitors a glimpse into its rich history and culture.
One of the main attractions in Valkenswaard is the Eurocircuit Valkenswaard, a motorsport racetrack that has hosted the European Rallycross Championship and the FIM Motocross World Championship. The town is also home to a Second World War cemetery containing 220 British soldiers, which is now maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Valkenswaard is also known for its large cigar factories, which were founded in the 19th and 20th centuries. The two most renowned cigar factories in Valkenswaard were Willem II and Hofnar. Visitors can learn more about the town’s cigar-making history at the Hofnar Cigar Factory Museum.
The spoken language in Valkenswaard is Kempenlands, an East Brabantian dialect that is very similar to colloquial Dutch. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture by learning a few words of Kempenlands and trying some of the local cuisine. Some of the must-try dishes in Valkenswaard include stamppot, a traditional Dutch dish made with mashed potatoes and vegetables, and bitterballen, a deep-fried snack filled with a mixture of beef or veal ragout and beef broth.
Valkenswaard is also home to several notable people, including Henk van den Breemen, a retired Dutch military officer, Pieter van Geel, a retired Dutch politician, and Linda Williams, a Dutch singer who participated in the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest. Sports enthusiasts will be interested to know that Jan Tops, an equestrian who won a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics, and Lidewij Welten, a Dutch field hockey player, were also born in Valkenswaard.
Whether you’re interested in motorsports, history, or culture, Valkenswaard has something to offer everyone. So why not plan a trip to this charming town and discover its many treasures for yourself?