Netherlands // The eastern Netherlands //


East of the River IJssel, the flat landscapes of the west give way to the lightly undulating, wooded countryside of Twente, an industrial region within the province of Overijssel whose principal towns – Almelo, Hengelo and Enschede – were once dependent on the textile industry. Hit hard by Asian imports, all three have been forced to diversify their industrial base, with mixed success. The largest of the three is Enschede, some 50km east of Zutphen, whose desultory modern centre is partly redeemed by St Jacobuskerk, built in 1933 in neo-Byzantine-meets-Art Deco style with angular copper-green roofs, huge circular windows and a lumpy main tower. The main reason to visit, however, is to see the outstanding collection of fine art gifted to the city by a wealthy mill-owning family, the van Heeks, and now housed in the Rijksmuseum Twente.