201702_0020 Leijsenven (3 pics)
North Brabant - Boxtel
Until the 17th century a large part of the area, that today form the province of North Brabant, was part of the Duchy of Brabant. In the 14th and 15th century Brabant experienced its Golden Age. Especially true for the cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Leuven, Breda and 's-Hertogenbosch. During the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, the area was a battle field. After the war in 1648 North Brabant became officially part of the Republic. Most of the erstwhile Duchy actually ended up in present-day Belgium, where it is now divided between provinces of Antwerp, Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant.
Despite attempts by the republic Brabant remained Roman Catholic and thus without rights. Only in 1795 it became a province and gained equal rights as the other Dutch provinces. This unequal treatment and the adherence to the Catholic Church ensured that Brabant (and Limburg) feel different than the rest of the country. However, these differences become increasingly smaller in the current time.