TRAVEL: Celebrate Van Gogh with a visit to the world’s most beautiful spring garden

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MPMC Travel Van Gogh
Keukenhof is without doubt the world’s most beautiful spring park where seven million flower bulbs make for a unique experience. For many years, this remarkable 15 acre Dutch garden has come up with a different theme and for 2015 it features Vincent Van Gogh on the 125th anniversary of his death.

Tulips from Holland are world famous and if you want to see the Dutch tulip fields in bloom, you should visit in April and May, the same period in which the biggest flower park in the world opens its doors.

It’s a park where more than seven million flower bulbs are planted every year. Gardens and four pavilions show a fantastic collection of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, lilies and many other flowers. You will be overwhelmed by a spectacle of colours and perfumes.

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Keukenhof – which will open between April 20 until May 17 – includes many gardens and four grand pavilions that show the most magnificent flowers you can imagine. Every year, Keukenhof creates a complete new look according to a central theme.

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Everywhere you look are tulips and other flowers. Though the park is only opened eight weeks a year it attracts around 800,000 visitors each year. It is without a doubt the best place to see tulips in Holland.

Keukenhof is unique in the world and an unforgettable experiences for people of all ages. Unfortunately, the park is only open eight weeks a year. You can reach Keukenhof within half an hour from The Hague, Haarlem, Leiden, Delft and Amsterdam.

However, traffic is problematic around Keukenhof during the opening weeks. A great alternative is to stay in Zandvoort, Noordwijk or Leiden and reach Keukenhof by bike. You will cycle along the tulip fields and enjoy the unique Dutch landscape.

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Two more tips. If you want to have a really flowery day out, you should combine a visit to the Keukenhof with the Flower Parade in April. Save time and money and order your tickets ahead online.

It’s not just Holland that will be celebrating the Van Gogh year 2015 – there will be many exhibitions and activities in Belgium and France as well.

Van Gogh grew up in Zundert in the Dutch province of Brabant, but spent most of his adult life in Belgium and France. While residing near Mons in the Borinage area, he had to give up his work as an evangelist for two years, and instead dedicated his time to his work as an artist; it was there that he developed his preference for rural themes and the simple life of the farmer.

In his later years, Van Gogh spent a lot of time in France, moving first to Paris, where he was influenced by the Impressionists and began producing more colourful works. Later, he travelled south to Arles and Saint -Rémy-de-Provence, and finally died in Auvers-sur-Oise, not far from Paris, in 1890.

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Between January 25 and May 17 the city of Mons is the Cultural Capital of Europe, the BAM (Fine Art Museum) will be hosting an extraordinary exhibition.

Van Gogh in the Borinage, the birth of an artist will comprise over 70 paintings, drawings and original letters by Van Gogh on loan from prestigious museums like the Van Gogh and Kröller-Müller Museums. Learn more about Van Gogh’s time in the Borinage and its influence on his further work and life.

After his period in Paris, Van Gogh moved to sunny Arles. The Fondation Vincent van Gogh in Arles will be organising an exhibition between 17 May through 30 August called Van Gogh drawings: influences and innovations.

In addition to some 40 drawings from Van Gogh’s hand, often using a reed pen, this exhibition will also feature work by other artists who inspired him. These vary from 17th-century engravings to works by Japanese artists.