's-Hertogenbosch, literally "The Duke's Forest" in English is a city in the southern Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Brabant. Duke Henry I, Duke of Brabant, founded a new town located on some forested dunes in the middle of a marsh. He granted 's-Hertogenbosch city rights and the corresponding trade privileges in 1185.
's-Hertogenbosch was founded as a fortified city and that heritage can still be seen today. The old city of 's-Hertogenbosch is still almost completely surrounded by continuous ramparts. On the south side, this wall still borders on an old polder, kept intact as a nature reserve.
Hidden below the old city is a canal network called the Binnendieze that once spanned 22 km (14 mi). It started out as a regular river, the Dommel, running through the city in medieval times but due to lack of space in the city, people started building their houses and roads over the river. In later times it functioned as a sewer and fell into disrepair.
's-Hertogenbosch is also home to Saint John's Cathedral (Sint Jan), which dates from 1220 and is best known for its Brabantine Gothic design and the many sculptures of craftsmen that are sitting on almost every arc and rim along the outside of the cathedral.
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Places in the Netherlands