Most significant to know is the fact that inside the fortress of Bourtange there are people actually living! The houses that used to be barracks are now occupied by civilians that can easily say that they live in the most wonderful and special circumstances. Many deserve that too, as they stand at the basis of the restaurations of Bourtange and now pick the lovely fruites of their hard work. They also take care of a clean, even pristine, environment within the fortified works, so visitors are even pleasured more by the impressive fortress of Bourtange.
Fondest memory: I visited Bourtange on a sunny afternoon in spring 2004 and was delighted to see this historic monument of the Netherlands. Though I live here now all my live, this small country never has seizes to amaze me, especially when I visit these little - relatively unknown - treasures. Bourtange will surely see me again ... when I want to show friends, that don't dislike a somewhat longer drive from Arnhem, something really special.
Favorite thing: The North Eastern Dutch border with germany used to be one big swamp land with some lifted areas, so called "Tange's". Through this wasteland the important road followed some of these safe "Tange's" from the most important Northern town Groningen to the South and to the centre of the Lowlands that in the 15th century had shifted from Flanders to Holland. Willem van Oranje (William of Orange, father of the fatherland) himself ordered this fortress to be built and works started in 1580. Main target was to have control over the important route that was the lifeline of Groningen. These were roaring times in the Lowlands as the independance struggle (the 80 years war) raged over the country and then the Dutch patriots, then the Spaniards took hold over parts of the land. In the 17th century the fortified village was enlarged and the "ravelines" were exoanded further and further with their typical earth walls and canals. When the swamps became dryer and dryer, inundation projects were started by putting dams in the nearby river. this pade it possible to flood the land in case of an attack. In the 18th century "Menno van Coehoorn" (a famous Dutch military advisor) finished the works at the fortress with more "ravelines" and fortifications. including a interior re-design of the village. However, with the new weapons in the 19th century, the fortress was outdated and was publically sold and dismantled partly. In 1964 the people that lived in and around Bourtange decided to create the fortress back to what it was and they did a splendid job. Thus creating one of the main touristic attractions in these surroundings that was finished in 1972.
The mill had a real steep stairs leading to a door. I didn t dare climbing it but the kids were up and down all the time.
Jacolien offered to shoot some photographs and this is one she shot.
Quite nice if I may so :-)
Fun! No modern playstuff, just an old quaint village with some candy stores and a wax candle making shop.
They made some lovely candles!
And had good fun! running down the mud walls (dikes) and no one paying really attention to them!