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Eindhoven from A to Z: Lichtjesroute

Beginning 18 September, keep an eye out as vibrant figures like luminous smurfs, smileys, and delicate elephants start appearing all around Eindhoven. No need to panic: this isn't some psychedelic adventure but rather a cherished Eindhoven tradition, where dedicated volunteers illuminate the city in a fabulous way. The 'L' in our alphabet? It's all about the Lichtjesroute (Route of Lights). Let's dive into the origins of this special commemorative event!

On September 18, 1944, British and American troops marched into our city, marking the liberation of Eindhoven from German occupation. As one of the earliest Dutch cities to be freed, it wasn't until May 1945 that the entire Netherlands was liberated. In a gesture of gratitude, the people of Eindhoven welcomed the Allies with candles shining behind their windows. This tradition continued the following year on the same date, as residents once again lit candles and lights to honor the peace that had returned. Since then, in Eindhoven, we've commemorated our liberation with a celebration of light.


The concept of a genuine Lichtjesroute traces its roots back to 1947 when the approach took on a more professional and centrally coordinated structure. Over time, the route has undergone variations in both length and shape. Presently, the Lichtjesroute spans approximately 22 kilometers, traversing from the northern to the southern reaches of the city, or vice versa. Unlike traditional routes, there's no designated starting or ending point; you can join in at any juncture along the way. As you journey, you'll encounter an array of light displays which particularly captivate the imagination of children. Some pay homage to the historic events of 1944, while others tip their hat to the neighborhoods you pass through or iconic Eindhoven creations, such as the Evoluon or the Philips light bulbs. It's like embarking on a fun lesson in local history!


Oh, and let's not forget, there are additional activities in Eindhoven to honor the liberation. Every year, we gather for the symbolic lighting of the liberation fire and the laying of wreaths at Stadhuisplein, all in September. You can find a complete list of all the events right here.

Curious to learn more about the Lichtjesroute? Dive into our Lichtjesroute Beginner's Guide, packed with insider tips and must-see spots. Also, make sure to download the audio tour. Whether you prefer biking or driving, you're all set to explore. Remember, the Light Route kicks off on 18 September and runs until the second Sunday of October.

Eindhoven from A to Z

Curious about what defines Eindhoven? We asked newcomers, enthusiastic visitors, and locals alike. The outcome? The ultimate Eindhoven alphabet – from Area 51 to the Z of 'Zachte G'. No idea what that means? We'll tell you all about it! 

Discover the Eindhoven alphabet