Hilversum

Hilversum is the largest town in the ’t Gooi region of North Holland in the Netherlands. Surrounded by heathland, woods, meadows, lakes and beautiful villages, the town has plenty to offer: a library, two swimming pools, sports halls, several shopping centres and an international school, with none of the crowded, big city feel of somewhere larger. The town centre is known locally as `het dorp’, or `the village’. On the other hand, Hilversum is ideally located in the vibrant Randstad area, being within easy reach of Amsterdam (30 km to the northwest) and Utrecht (25 km to the south) by both road and rail, and can be reached within 30 minutes from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Hilversum is often called the `media city’, since it is the principal centre for radio and television broadcasting in the Netherlands. The town is also known for its architecturally important Raadhuis, or town hall, designed by Willem Marinus Dudok (1884–1974), a Dutch modernist architect. He became City Architect for Hilversum in 1928 and designed dozens of its public buildings and neighbourhoods, throughout the 1960s. The town was also home to Barend Cornelis Koekkoek in the 1820s. The rural setting inspired him, like other Romantic painters, to paint tiny figures in imposing, majestic natural environments to contrast humble humanity with the greatness of creation