Inside the centre of bemmel the townhall is set up in a former castle, called the "Kinkelenburg". The outside is surely beautiful, with it's old donjon (livingtower) and house surrounded by a canal and a green little park. But, don't be shy and try to have a view inside the castle. Especially the main hall, where also the marriages are taking place is of wonderful splendour. The colourful paintings and fine sculpture remember of the aristocratic times that the Van bemmel-family ruled this house and the estates around it.
Biking is here and everywhere in the Netherlands the best way of getting into the spirit and seeing the country in exquisit intensity. By car things rush by, by bike you can soak in the view better and become one with the Netherlands. Okay, maybe not always the waether is ideal, but still ... we also bike through the rain and wind. It builts character, we are aclling it (-:
First I have to explain what "Dweilen" is. Litterally it means "to mob", but in our tradition it also means to walk slowly and swinging from right to left and back (like being drunk). This done as being a small musical band (fanfare) and we are talking about the "Dweil"orchestra. In Bemmel there is a special day that these orchestra's are competeing with eachother (Bemmelse dweildag) and it is real fun to attend to this folkfestival - especially foreigners will be pleasantly surprised what fun this is.
Bemmel and Gendt, this part of the riverlands are very Dutch, but still not frequently visited by the tourists that come to The Netherlands. First they mainly stay in the West (the so called Holland) and second they visit in our region the towns or "Hoge Veluwe" N.P. with it's Kröller Müller museum. A bikingtour along the villages of Bemmel, Gendt and also Doornenburg, Angeren en Huissen, means a beautiful view over the riverlands often from the dikes. A piece of typical Dutch landscape, without the masses of tourists.
Bemmel is one of the former districts that now-a-days joined together as the "Over-Betuwe"-district. A kind of pact to prevent the larger towns like Arnhem and Nijmegen to take more and more land to them for use as expansion. The green environment is to be kept and thus some smaller district together have a better chance in survival.
The riverlands are very green and bikingtours over the dikes give a perfect view of this open landscape (that I love so dearly). Wide are the riverbeds as once or twice a year it needs an enormous space to house the highwater-levels. The rivers then turn to raging inlands seas that gush enormous amounts of water from the European backalnds towards the Northsea.
On the inland side of the dikes are the little lakes (reminders of when it went wrong and the dikes broke), the green fields, ackres and greenhouses. Of course many little villages are in between the rivers Rhine and Waal (actually the Southern mainflow of the river Rhine), recognisable by there little churchtowers in each centre. A very Dutch landscape.
Fondest memory: My sisters marriage on the classic townhall (the former castle "Kinkelenburg") of course.