Hidden between forests and fields lies the glory of Sterksel: a modest but lively town in the Brabant countryside. Here you will find plenty of peace and quiet, lots of greenery and stylish buildings. But make no mistake: time has not stood still in Sterksel.
Where necessary, the people of Sterksel take matters into their own hands. For example, the population knows how to keep important facilities alive themselves. An example is the local supermarket that is run largely by volunteers.
Sterksel has everything a small village should have, from school and sports clubs to carnivals and fairs.
It is a place where you live or stay amidst greenery. Where you are carried away by the energy and creativity of local entrepreneurs and residents. Where you can relax on a terrace in the sun.
Special to Sterksel is the neighborhood Kloostervelden. Here diversity is the key word. The area was developed on the land of a former monastery, which has thus been given a whole new function. It is a village by a village; an oasis of tranquility with great appeal to young and old.
Visit Sterksel by bicycle or on foot. Here you can relax without getting bored for a single moment.
After 1900 the reclamation of the village of Sterksel began. For this purpose, NV 'de Heerlijkheid Sterksel' built a narrow gauge railway of four kilometers long with a station. In memory of this, there is a monument consisting of a fifteen-meter-long track with an information board. It is the shortest railroad in the Netherlands.
Narrow gauge railway
Are you thirty, male and still single? Then tradition has it that your friends in Sterksel treat you to a feast of oxen. You will be put in the limelight that day in an unflattering way... The ox got a special meaning in Sterksel because the animals were used in the exploitation of the village. Without oxen no Sterksel, in other words. The animal was honored with a beautiful statue near the church. By the way, this is the only statue in the Netherlands that is officially monumental folk art.
D'n Os was designed and made by the inhabitants of the village. The statue plays an important role every year with carnival. The local carnival association also bears the name 'De Ossendrijvers'.
How do you increase the likelihood of encounters and social interaction? Placing visual art is an answer to this question. Thus was created the nearly two-kilometer-long, permanent art route "Prikkels en Tintelingen" on the former institutional grounds of Providentia.
Three artists were inspired by this special place, its history and its residents. They created works of art based on the healing power of nature.
You can pick up the route for free at Gallery Kempro and Brasserie de Broeders or download it.
The Brothers of Saint Joseph bought this land in 1919 and built an institution for people with epilepsy. It became a place where many patients lived and worked for decades. When the view of care changed in the early 1990s, many residents moved to places outside the institution. About two hundred people with multiple disabilities were left behind. A way was sought to bring society closer to these residents. And so a new residential neighborhood was created on the grounds: Kloostervelden. The residents of Kloostervelden and those of Kempenhaeghe now share this beautiful place together.More on Kloostervelden
Kempro's studio accommodates over 20 talented craftspeople and artists, all clients within Kempenhaeghe with special artistic talents. Within the gallery of Kempro beautiful exhibitions of artists (with or without disabilities) from home and abroad take place. This makes Kempro a place where art, artists and art lovers meet.
Atelier and Gallery Kempro
Avenue of Providentia 3
SterkselMore about Atelier Kempro
In 1919, the Brothers of St Joseph decided to buy land in Sterksel for a new nursing home for epileptics. After temporary accommodation in a small convent, they laid the foundation stone for a permanent house in 1925, designed by architect Bartels. The spacious building with nursing home was completed in 1927. Extensions were built in the following years, including a chapel in 1932 and a children's ward in 1936. In 1958, part of the site was transferred to the Franciscan Sisters of Oirschot, who founded Kempenhaeghe. Providentia joined Kempenhaeghe in 1970, which also opened a site in Enschede in 1978. The complex, originally a convent, was abandoned by the brothers in 1991 and by the sisters in 1995. Today, Providentia functions as an epilepsy centre, resembling a small village with its various facilities.
SterkselMore about Providentia
The Eindhoven-Weert railway line opened in 1913, thanks to the personal efforts of Johannes F. Pompen. The historic Sterksel Station, was opened on 1 November 1913 and closed on 15 May 1938.
The station building, which stood on the left side next to the railway until 1965, is a tangible reminder of that time. Until the 1930s, the station building served as a residence with ticket office and waiting room.
During World War II, the train at Sterksel took on a special role. During the war years, the train stopped for the Hitlerjugend, who had their quarters at Providentia. Later, the train mainly served the students of the White Fathers. On 3 September 1944, the peaceful surroundings of Sterksel were startled by a dramatic incident. A passenger train from Heerlen to Eindhoven was attacked by five US fighter planes, near Sterksel station. The firefight between the planes and the train resulted in deaths and injuries among the passengers.
Despite this tragic event, the history of Sterksel shows resilience. Medical help came from doctors from Heeze, Leende, Geldrop and other places. As the train was completely broken down, another locomotive arrived from Eindhoven with some freight wagons to still be able to transport the remaining passengers.