Drenthe is the province of hundebeds. You can find here 52 of the 54 hunebeds in the Netherlands. A hunebed is a megalithic skeleton of a burial chamber of 5.500 years old, which is constructed of huge boulders of around 25.000 kg. Originally the hunebed was covered with earth.
These boulders came to Drenthe from Scandinavia, transported by the ice-glaciers during the ice-period of 200.000 years ago. The boulders were dragged to the burial place and piled up to rectangular graves.
In Emmen are 10 hunebeds. The Long Grave at the Schimmeres is unique in the Netherlands and are further only be found near Oldenburg in Germany.
In Assen at the central Brink in a former Government building the Drents Museum is situated.
In the museum are permanent and temporary exhibitions of archaeology (artefacts of the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Roman Era, found in Drenthe), silver, textiles, art including Vincent Van Gogh.
Interesting is the story about peat, the moor corpses and the girl of Yde. You can also use an interactive geo-explorer with touch-screen, to go back in time.
In 2004 the museum existed 150 year. There was an very impressive temporary international exhibition "The mysterious Bog People''
In the museum you can also find a nice shop and the ''Cafe Krul'' in Art Nouveau style for a drink and special dishes connected with the themes of the exhibitions.
Opening hours of the museum:
11 AM to 5 PM
5 euro for adults
For more information check the museum website.
The Kloosterstraat, meaning monastery street, is just south of the place of the former monastery in Assen. This street is by its name a remembrance of the origin of Assen, being the building of the monastery of ''Maria in Campis'' in 1258.
At the time the monastery still existed there were allready buildings at the southside of the Kloosterstraat, like the farmhouses of the monastery in the 17th century.
The present building, you see at the picture, is a former farmhouse, built in 1820 and restored in 1972.
At the Brink of Assen you can find the Ontvangershuis (Tax Collectors House), now part of the Drents Museum. The Ontvangershuis is the oldest house in Assen. Only a wall survived the huge fire in 1676. This wall with Roman bricks, you can only see from the Brink side. The house is rebuilt in 1697.
The best view at the building you will have from the other side, from the Oostersingel. From here you can also see the garden designed in the Dutch style in the 17th century.
The Ontvangenrshuis was the house of the Collector General of Drenthe, but was also used as "Prinsenhof", the place where the Dutch Stadhouders (Stadtholders) stayed the night. So King Louis Napoleon slept here in1809, when he came over to give Assen the municipal rights.
Aalden has a very scenic part, the village Oud Aalden with lovely traditional Saxony farmhouses with thatched roofs. Nice are also the barns with the traditional plaited straw parts at the walls.
Oud Aalden is a village with a brink. The so-called 'brink' was originally a place at the edge of the village where the cows and sheep gathered in the evening and morning. Nowadays the brink lies often in the centre of the village as a nice green open space with huge old oaks. These oaks were originally planted for construction purposes. The brink is characteristic for many villages in the province Drenthe and protected as cultural heritage.
The Hoes of Hol-an is a very known place to stop for a drink or to taste one of the numerous pancakes. This is also the place where you can see the traditional interior. In these traditional farmhouses people used to sleep in the livingroom. Look behind the doors of what looks like a a cupboard and you will see the beds, the so-called 'bedstee'.
The Van Gogh house in Nieuw Amsterdam is the only house in the Netherlands where Vincent van Gogh has lived and worked, which can be visited. At the end of 1883 he lived two months in the logement of Hendrik Scholte in Nieuw-Amsterdam/Veenoord. A part of this logement is rebuilt in the authentic style of a café-restaurant anno 1880.
The room where Vincent has made his paintings looks like the painter can be back any moment from a walk. Except the room where he worked and lived you can watch a film showing his life and history.
In South East Drenthe are many places to find where Van Gogh has made his drawings and paintings. Excursions to these places can be organised. Known are the draw bridge in Nieuw Amsterdam, the tiny church in Zweeloo and the traditional boat, the so-called snikke.
Opening times wednesday till sunday 1.00 pm - 5.00 pm. Entrance fee 4,50 euro.
The Zoo of Emmen has a very beautifull rather natural atmosphere. There is a herd of 14 elephants of all ages, an African Savannah, a butterfly-garden, a Playa Pinguinos, a South- American bird area and much more. At many places you walk between the animals.
I especially like the african savannah with rhino's, zebra's, ostriches, wildebeasts, giraffes and impalas. At one point you're a eye height of the giraffes.
The butterfly garden is a colourfull tropical garden with many flowering plants where you can walk between the many colourfull butterflies. Sometimes a butterfly will sit down on your hand.
The original zoo is in the middle of the citycentre of Emmen. In 2002 a second part of the zoo is opened at the edge of the centre. A huge pedestrian traverse connects the two parts through the centre of Emmen. In the new part of the zoo is the South American section. At the Playa Pinguinos you can walk between the pinguins. Also you can watch the swimming pinguins under water
adults: 16.50 euro, entry single
children: (3-10) 13.50 euro, single entry
adults: 35 euro, the year round
children: (3 to 10) 14 euro, the year round
The small village of Orvelte is a living museum village. In the historical village people still live and work. There are museums, workshops, galleries and shops. You can see a saw mill, a blacksmith, a wooden shoe maker, an old shop from 1919, a milk factory and old Saxony farmhouses like the Bruntinger hof from 1729.
You can walk for free in the village and visit most of the galleries and the informationcentre. But for visiting the traditional workshops you have to buy a ticket at the entrance of the village for 7.50 euro. These attractions are open from april till the end of october. In the summer season there are many activities like markets, demonstrations of traditional handicrafts and a music festival with traditional instruments.
Hoogeveen is situated in the south of the province of Drente. The former canals in the citycentre are disappeared and transformed in nice pedestrian areas.
To remember the history of the water and canals of Hoogeveen a huge meandering water artwork, the so-called cascade, is designed in the Hoofdstraat in the shopping area. With its length of 250 meter it is the largest water artwork in the Netherlands.
In and close to this shopping area is also the theatre 'De Tamboer', the best equipped theatre of the province, the glass museum, some churches and a windmill. And of course there are some nice bars and restaurants.
Noord Sleen, just west from Emmen is one of the lovely villages in south-east Drenthe. It's nice to take the old road from Emmen and Westenesch to Noord Sleen. This road -lined with old oaks- is leading through the rural area of the Slenerstroom.
In the landscape you can see the traditional 'boomwallen'. These characteristic rows of trees marked in the former days the different pieces of land. Nowadays they are part of the cultural heritage of the province.
The village of Noord Sleen have many traditional farmhouses. Some are transformed into living houses, galleries or shops. Noord Sleen has a windmill at its southern edge on the way to Sleen.
Don't miss the two hunebeds at the west side of Noord Sleen along the road to Zweeloo and Aalden. There is a small signposted road at your righthand side, leading to the hunebeds. The most northern one is still very well preserved. Totally you can find 52 hunebeds in the province Drenthe. A hunebed is supposed to be a megalithic skeleton of a burial chamber, made of huge boulders about more than 5000 yers ago.
The sculpture garden of de Hullu is situated in a scenic rural landscape about one km outside the traditional village of Gees. This garden of 7ha has a perfect combination of nature and culture.
You can walk in the garden with different species of trees and plants, pounds, a piece of forest and great views at the surrounding landscape. In this ambiance there are annual exhibitions of visual artists.
There is also an indoor gallery and art shop. You can have a cup of coffee or tea with cakes at the roofed terrace with view at the garden. Also you can buy some of the plants you saw in the garden.
The garden is open from half may till the 1th of october at wednesday till sunday. Opening times are from 1.00 till 5.00 pm. Entrance fee is 5 euro for a single entry or 12.50 euro for the whole season.
Dalen is a village the southeast of Drenthe north of Coevorden. The village has about 3500 inhabitants. Though many new houses are built, there are still a lot of characteristic farmhouses left.
Dalen is known as the village between the windmills. There are two windmills, the so called 'stellingmolen' (built in a way that it still can catch wind between the buildings) of Jan Pol from 1820 and the windmill 'De Bente' from 1814. Both windmills are still ijn use and can be visited.
The church in the centre, the so-called 'Nederlands Hervormde kerk' is built in the 14th century. The clock from 1639, stolen during the WWII by the Germans, is back again in the clocktower. In the former old backery, now a café called 'in d'Aolle Bakkerij' you can still see the old backofen with accessoires from 1832.
Assen is the capital of the province Drenthe. With my (then) young children we had a great day at the Traffic park where my son did not want to get out of his little car, and I became addicted to go-cart racing!
The town itself has a very nice museum (currently, in 2008, hosting the famous Chinese clay figures). There's a street market on Saturdays.
Excavations proof that the area around Zweeloo was allready inhabited thousands year BC. Jewelry found in the grave of ?the princess of Zweeloo` tells that there were allready international contacts in the 5th century AD.
Zweeloo is situated in the rural area and looks also very green itself by the many huge oaks in the village. Zweeloo is a good base for exploring the forests and heatherfields around.
And if the small church from the 13th century at the eastern edge of the village looks familiar to you, you have maybe seen the drawing of this church, made by Vincent van Gogh during his stay in the province Drenthe.
Frederiksoord's main attraction is the Colony of Welfare, where poor Amsterdammers were brought in the early 1800s to try and get a better life by learning to be a farmer. The museum shows how this was done, and a tour of the buildings show how this community came to life.
Balkenweg 1, Assen, Netherlands, 9405 CC, NL
Good for: Solo
We never stayed overnight at the Tulip Inn Hoogeveen, but have been inside for a lunch or specially...more
Verlengde Herendijk 50 Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Ams
Good for: Couples