Special places ... special machines
This tip is a little awkward one. When I visited the fortified village I was amazed by a machine that was here. It was early in the season and soon the tourist times would start, having more visitors that come over to this regional top attraction. The fortess was made in topshape and this ment a lot of landscape maintainance. The machine (look in the picture) is specialy equipped to mow the grass on ramps (in the Netherlands it was the first in it's kind that I ever saw, though with it's many dikes one would imagine to actually use this types more often). The machine has movable arms with mowers on the end and could move over the raising hills.
Natural splendour surrounding Bourtange
Bourtange is situated in the agricultural landscape of North Eastern parts in the Netherlands. This is a mixed and very beautiful landscape offering many variety in flora and fauna. Ackres, fields and forests are present in a very pleasant balance. In details one can already enjoy the direct (visible) surroundings of the fortress itself. The greens are well maintained and in the canals are in some places lillies that bring out extra green colours and in spring one of the most beautiful flowers there is. Furthermore the province as well as the manucipality of Vlagtwedde (of which bourtange is a part) is planning a large recreational park in the "Wet Horizon" of the "Vesting" (= fortress). This project will permanently flood the inundation area to give a more impressive scene to the military invinsible Bourtange. On the other side one plans beaches and rental facilities for canoes, boats etc.
A bit like a scare crow ... but then for enemies
It still stand there, within the inundation terrain soon to become the recreational area the "Wet Horizon". Of the few gallows that were placed in the outer fields of the fortress, one still reminds of this scary sign of repulsion to discourage the enemy. Not unlikely there were traitors or enemy soldiers hung into the gallow for long periods to let their rotting corpses take full effect on the approaching forces. Especially when the fields would have been flooded and the gallows stuck out silently with their dreadful message.
Walking instruction to reach this gallow: go from the Munster Gate all the way to the outer bridge and on to the farmhouse. Then right into the fields.
Bourtange ... in location too far away
If only Bourtange Vesting would be somewhere in Amsterdam neighbourhood. Then it would be a guaranteed success with maybe even 100.000 of visitors per year. But Bourtange is in the North-Easter corner of the Netherland, just within the most Southern tip of the province of Groningen. The usual mass-tourist will not come in these neighbourhoods and miss out on a spectacular historic monument within this still relatively small country. People that have more freedom (travelling by car and staying for an intensive visit within the complete Netherlands, are highly recommend by me to go to this special place. Let the pictures convince you that Bourtange is worthwhile your attention.