The exhibition in a nutshell
Castle, Town and Country

The start is the impressive model of the Castle. This striking structure has been around for nearly 700 years and is the oldest palace of the Nassaus in the Netherlands. What few know is that this is one of the first Renaissance palaces outside Italy. It has undergone many changes. Every Nassau has remodeled something about it, but it has stood the test of time.


In the first part, you will be introduced to the family it is all about: the Nassaus. In the portrait gallery, you meet the main characters. On the wall, the family family tree unrolls. Undisputed power couple is Henry III and Mencia de Mendoza. Their impact becomes visible: their love of art and beautiful things and their international artist contacts shape the city. Eyecatcher is the meter-long set table. Archaeological finds such as food remains and cooking pots give a glimpse of the food culture and luxury of the castle dwellers. Further on, you come face to face with centuries-old manuscripts that were once found at the Castle. You also get an impression of the specially laid out Italian garden: Park Valkenberg, the first Renaissance garden outside of Italy in Europe.


The next space revolves around the significance of the Nassaus for Breda. That impact is great: their wealth radiates on the city. On the floor and walls you find Joan Blaeu's map of the city from 1649. The Grote Markt, elegant court houses and the striking Grote Kerk with the tombs of the Nassaus. You will also learn about the various craftsmen and regents in the city. That the Nassaus were involved in religious institutions for centuries and how they stimulated the development of Breda into a place of pilgrimage becomes clear to you here.


The largest room is about the land of Breda. Because of its symbolic status as the home town of the Nassaus, Breda was besieged by the Spaniards and the Nassaus for many years. Step by step, the course of meaningful history unfolds with objects, maps, documents, paintings and the stories behind them. This results in the Peace of M√ľnster and the birth of the Netherlands. And do you know the story of the ruse with the Turfschip? Here we reveal it.