The Lichtjesroute (or “Route of Lights” in English) started on Monday in Eindhoven. For three weeks, a 22-kilometer route adorned with twinkling lights will be on display in the city to celebrate its liberation from Nazi occupation in 1944 during the Second World War.
While large parts of the Netherlands had to wait until May 1945 to be liberated, Eindhoven was liberated eight months earlier, on 18 September 1944, when Allied troops entered the city. Residents welcomed the American and British soldiers with lights displayed in their windows.
Since 1984, Eindhoven has organized an annual light trail to commemorate this liberation.
The Lichtjesroute lasts three weeks, from Monday, 18 September, to Sunday, 8 October. The lights will be switched on daily at 7 p.m. and remain on until 10:30 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the display extends until 11:30 p.m.
According to the organizers, the event uses thousands of light bulbs, LEDs, and gas-discharge lamps, kilometers of cables, and the help of dozens of volunteers. Approximately 200,000 people drive, walk, or bike along the route each year.
— Lichtjesroute (@Lichtjesroute) September 15, 2023
Covering about 22 kilometers, the route goes through the city center of Eindhoven, from north to south. Visitors can start at any point. The route map can be found here.
— Lichtjesroute (@Lichtjesroute) September 1, 2023
The organizers estimate the following times to complete the route: two hours by bike without children; three hours by bike with children; an hour and a half by car on weekdays; and three hours by car on weekends due to increased crowd sizes and traffic jam; and about six hours on foot.
The organizers note that Mondays through Thursdays are typically the least crowded days to visit, with weekends being busier and potentially more congested.
A highlight of the event, and an absolute “must-see” according to the municipality, is the Eendjesvijver (“Duck Pond”). Situated at Hendrik de Keyzerplein, it houses some of the event’s most significant installations. It is a vibrant gathering spot along the route, with volunteers handing out sweets to visitors.
Below, you can find photos from previous years.
— Lichtjesroute (@Lichtjesroute) December 24, 2022
Een enthousiaste fan van onze #Lichtjesroute heeft een leuk, kort filmpje gemaakt ❤️. Klik op de link en geniet mee: https://t.co/3KpBtaN3Et
Hartstikke bedankt Gerard Fransen van #FransenAudiovisuals uit Asten! pic.twitter.com/Rq9TJVw9d4
— Lichtjesroute (@Lichtjesroute) September 27, 2021
????Er zijn nog plaatsen beschikbaar op woensdag 29 september en dinsdag 5 oktober! Kijk op Facebook voor meer informatie ????.
????Join our vehicles on Wednesday September 29th or Tuesday October 5th. Check Facebook for all related information ????. pic.twitter.com/UBGKsTXG98
— Lichtjesroute (@Lichtjesroute) September 20, 2021
Laatste kans: tot vanavond 18.00 uur kun je inschrijven voor onze #Wheelstour 5 oktober! Beleef de route (coronaproof!) in een authentiek #legervoertuig. Proef de sfeer van weleer ????in #Eindhoven. pic.twitter.com/vLdJXmzxac
— Lichtjesroute (@Lichtjesroute) October 2, 2021
????Kun je er niet genoeg van krijgen of heb je nog geen tijd gehad? Dit weekend branden onze ‘lempkes’ voor het laatst in #editie2021! #Eindhoven#weersvoorspellingisprima #herinneringenmaken #watledje???? pic.twitter.com/1qNJvxoRs5
— Lichtjesroute (@Lichtjesroute) October 8, 2021