Bourtange Travel Guide

  • Bourtange
    by FlyingDutchmen
  • Bourtange
    by FlyingDutchmen
  • Bourtange
    by FlyingDutchmen

Bourtange Things to Do

  • Museum De Barakken

    De Barakken Museum gives an overview of the fortress, the people that lived there and much more. It's an integral part of the fortress.

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  • Papenburg,Deutschland

    Around 10:00 am the tourists start to arrive ,it may be a busload of School children , or visitors from Nearby Germany ...it was at this point we decided to travel the 20 Kms or so to Papenburg ...This city is home to a massive shipbuilding industry ,turning out everything from giant cruise ships to luxury yachts...the Centrum has a decidely Dutch...

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  • Stand Guard on the Eastern Wall

    If you're looking for a little tranquility after the hectic pace of the Randstad ,Bourtange will do nicely.For a history buff , or those who enjoy movies set in this period ,I haven't been anywhere better ... they keep paths mowed atop the walls ,and one can walk circuits of the moats , cross over and walk larger laps ,with plenty of photo-ops for...

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  • End of an intensive walk through the...

    After this few hours of walking through a magnificent example of late-medieval and renaissance defensive systems, one has a great experience of what things must have been like in these times. There might have risen many more questions. Feel free to ask me (by mail) about Bourtange or visit the splendid and complete website of Bourtange itself,...

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  • The windmill of Bourtange, target...

    Also within the fortress a windmill stands tall in the wind. The original one was sold in 1832, when the whole fortress was publically sold to the highest bidder andeventually became the windmill in the small village "Ter Haar". When restoring the fortress as it used to be in the 20st century, a new windmill was one of the first wishes of the...

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  • The tred mill to provide oils and more

    Between the windmill and the "Turf schuur" (peat barn) stands the "Rosmolen" (Tred mill, or literally "horse mill"). this completely restored building is fully operational. The millers stone can be set in motion by horse power. The system puts a 15 times overdrive from the pulling whell onto the millers stone. In average the stone will turn around...

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  • Fuel (turf = peat) for keeping warm

    Fuel for heating was - in the average Dutch winter of those times - very necessary. To prevent that the enemy would hold a longer siege in winter time, the fortress Bourtange had to have a fuel storage. In those days the main fuel was "turf" (peat) which was found in the close vicinity (Drenthe peat fields). The "Turf schuur" (peat barn) was a long...

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  • This was not a children's toy

    The military was a strict and disciplinous place. This often was created by a reward and punishment system. If one did a heroic action in wartime or learned well at military school, the rewards came often by getting a higher rank (promotion). The other way around when one made mistakes. However, there were offenses that called out for even more...

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  • The commanders house at the market...

    Back on the Markt (central square) we again can enjoy the shade of the sixteen old trees that surround it (350 years old !). We stand next to the Commander's House and where once commands were called, now candy is sold. Another interesting shop and workplace is within the former Mayor's house. Here a clockmaker has found his premisses, repairing...

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  • More religious food for the soldiers

    In times that freedom of religion was the main drive of the independance struggle of the Lowlands (and the Seven Provinces in the first place), churches were of great importance. Also in Bourtange fortress a church was built in 1607, being also the first Protestant church in the Northern province Groningen. From the materials of the original church...

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  • More barracks and officers houses

    In the direction that is still undiscovered terrain are a little restaurant and a small supermarket "t Lutje Winkel" and further away again more barracks appear. Here is also the hostel, but more interesting the "barracks museum". In this museum one gets an impression how it used to be to be dispatched in Bourtange in the 17th and 18th century. A...

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  • All information in building "De Poort"...

    When we return in "Bourtange Vesting" itself, the large building on your right hand side (number 32 on the map) is very much worth a visit. Inside a large maquette of the fortress is present and this will give you a clear image of what a inpenitrable fortress Bourtange became through the centuries. Also here a slideshow tells you about the history...

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  • Both entrances are easily made...

    Walking further away from the Munster Gate one has again the bridges that are drawn up to secure the entrances on either side. As the worst danger was expected to come from the East, from neighboring Prusian kingdoms, this side was appointed to be the most heavily protected. The inundation fields made it possible to flood a piece of land of about...

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  • Watch commander ... out of the fortress

    Outside the fortress core Bourtange, on islands within the outer defense works, are some buildings. One used to be a barrack for the guards and a seperated building for the commander of the guard. This platoon of the detachment of soldiers that were stationed in Bourtange, were a roulating group. One week for each group, that had the duty to scout...

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  • So if that was the frontdoor, this is...

    Enjoying the views when walking over the ramps (defensive earth walls) towards the other gate. This is the Munsterse Poort (Munster Gate) that was connecting to the road towards Munster (Westfalen), in those days a very important town in North-Western Europe (and also the birth cradle of the Netherlands, when the peace treaty was signed here in...

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Bourtange Restaurants

  • Dont miss to eat there

    For coffee, lunch, evening meals, traditional morning coffee, buffet-style meals, barbecues, weddings, parties, etc..Formerly an admninistrative center and officer´s inn at this historical fortress.... dutch dish

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  • s'Landhuis

    Bourtange has a couple nice restaurants as well as a "fast food joint" ...we had dinner at s'landhuis located right on the main square, or should I say Circle, of the town ...there is a bit of a German twist to the menu . I had a Bourtange Schnitzel myself and was quite satisfied...the bill came to 26 Euro for the two of us including a couple of...

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  • Eat where the officers used to be dine

    In the times that Bourtange was a military fortress, this place used to be the administrative staff of the detachment that was placed here. The place where purchases were done and where the "soldij" (miliraty salary) was paid. It was also a hostell for officers on travels from one station to another. It also was the officers mess and had a good...

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Bourtange Transportation

  • Towards the North, into South-West...

    Bourtange is a small village near another small village: Vlagtwedde. Roughly seen the main access road for Bourtange that originate from the popular West side of the Netherlands are over the highways along Utrecht (A2, A12, A27) to Zwolle (A28) and Emmen (A37). From here a still quite long drive over provincial roads in the direction of Stadskanaal...

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  • Walking through Bourtange in my...

    The route as I described it going through the "must see"-activities (now-a-days "to do"-tips) in this VT-page, can be visualised in the picture that I placed in this tip. It might be a way to completely see the fortress, though the map and route distributed by the information centre near the parking ground is as well very good.

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  • Bourtange Hotels

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Bourtange Shopping

  • Local traditional specialities

    t Lutje Winkel is, besides the local supermarket for the inhabitants within the fortified village, also a place where you can find some traditional food products of the region. "Kruidkoek" (Spices Cake) from Groningen or the local Groninger saucages. Also "Groninger"mustard has a good name in the Netherlands.

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  • From antiques to souvenirs

    The shop is a collection of all kinds of little items and special "hebbedingetjes" (things to have and hold). The shops is situated in the old convoy master's house. He managed the purchase of all military and mandetory goods, as well as their storage within the fortress. Souvenirs, but also funny antiques, can be bought in the various little...

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Bourtange Warnings and Dangers

  • The Wooden Horse

    No, this is not a Trojan horse but a real instrument of torture.Offenders were chained to the horse and got their punishment thereafter.

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  • Walking on stepstones and stairs

    For those people that are not so easy on foot, people in wheelchairs and ladies that are not so clear in mind that this is no spot for pumps with needles (-: please, do reckon with the fact that the fortress is accessible, but still quite intensive to visit. The roads are cosisting of "kinderkopjes" (round stones) and to enjoy a view from the...

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  • Keep it clean ... show some respect

    The inhabitants of the "Bourtange Vesting" do every effort to keep the fortress clean, neat, proper and in a shape that it is best presented to it's visitors. this last means that things that would disturb a historic scenery are not wished for. Cars inside the fortified village core are kept in the garages (former weapons depot) and for people that...

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Bourtange Off The Beaten Path

  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • A bit like a scare crow ... but then for...

    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...

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Bourtange Sports & Outdoors

  • Pavlik_NL's Profile Photo

    by Pavlik_NL Updated Apr 8, 2005

    This farmhouse used to be the "Pesthuis" (Plague house), where ill soldiers were brought. Today it became a children's farm, but also a recreational station. There is a small exposition and a shop where farmproducts are sold. Open from the 1st of April until the 1st of November.

    Equipment: Canoes and boats can be rented at recreational farmhouse the "Sikkepit"

    The

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Bourtange Favorites

  • In the present day

    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...

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  • History recalls

    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...

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  • View from mill

    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 :-)

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Map of Bourtange

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