The oldest part of Oosterbeek is the Benedendorp (Lower Village), on the northern bank of the Lower Rhine. One landmark in the village is the little (Reformed) church, which has certain architectural sections that date back to the second half of the 10th century.
In the 19th century, several mansions were built on the higher ground to the north of the old village. One of these mansions, called De Hemelse Berg, was destroyed in 1944. Another, called Hartenstein, is now home to the Airborne Museum. The construction of smaller buildings in the same area led to the creation of the Bovendorp (Upper Village). To the north of the built-up area lies the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery.
The village is known for its involvement in the September 1944 Battle of Arnhem, during which it was heavily damaged. General Roy Urquhart of Britain had his headquarters at Hotel Hartenstein. Oosterbeek is also the location of the Hotel de Bilderberg, where the Bilderberg Group first met in 1954.
Oosterbeek is also known as the painters village. The Oosterbeek School is known as the birthplace of Dutch Impressionism, along with the nearby village of Wolfheze. Art historians call this the Barbizon of the North. The school's most successful period was from 1841 until 1870, before the artists turned to other villages in the western parts of the Netherlands.
Artists who were part of the movement near Oosterbeek include Gerard Bilders, Paul Gabriël, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek, Jacob Maris, Matthijs Maris, Willem Maris, Anton Mauve, Hendrik Mesdag, Willem Roelofs, and Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch.
Be sure to spend at least a day or two visiting Arnhem's many historic sites and attractions, as well as its pleasant green spaces, such as Park Sonsbeek, popular for its old manor house and tearoom.
The city occupies the site of the old Roman settlement of Arenacum and, thanks to its advantageous position on the Rhine, has been an important place of trade since the Middle Ages, evidence of which can still be seen throughout Arnhem's old city center. In addition to its many memorials, Arnhem boasts numerous other interesting things to do, including shopping, dining, and visiting museums and cultural attractions such as the excellent Netherlands Open Air Museum with its displays of traditional lifestyles.
Another must-visit is the nearby Hoge Veluwe National Park, one of the country's most important conservation areas and a fun place to explore either on bike or on foot.