Sellingen Things to Do
Smeerling, lovely green corner
Smeerling is a lovely corner in the province of Groningen. The 'old' village, excisting of eight impressive Saxion farmhouse, with a typical architecture for the Westerwolde area. Together they do have the status of a protected village area.
The tiny settlement is surrounded by meadows and woods. It is located on the banks of the meandering river 'Ruiten Aa' with its wonderful landscape.
Smeerling is starting point for various bike trips and nearby walks. There is a rather spacious free parking place.
One of the farmhouses houses an antique shop. 'Gasterij Natuurlijk Smeerling' is located in another farmhouse (dating back to the year of 1742). A huge glass construction for the lunchroom has been made in the barn. The 'Gasterij' also has a small (gift)shop and is information centre for the Dutch nature organisation 'Natuurmonumenten' and has brochures and maps for your walk or bike trip. .
This ‘Gasterij’ is located in Smeerling, a settlement existing of eight impressive Saxion farmhouses. Together they do have the status of a protected area. In a barn of one of the farmhouses (dating from 1842) has been made a huge glass construction for the lunchroom.
But we preferred to sit outside on the terrace with views of the landscape of the ‘Ruiten A’, a small river which meanders through the area.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Bourtange fortress – back into the year...
Although the first fortress of Bourtange dates back till 1580, when Prince William of Orange ordered to build the fortress along the road from Groningen to Hannover. It played an important role in the Eighty Years' War between the ‘Netherlands and the Spanish occupiers. Later the fortress was extended till it reached its maximum size in 1742.
The fortress was dismantled in 1851and became more or less a normal rural village, but around 1960 people left, shops were closed and there was almost nothing left of the fortress. On that moment the municipality of Vlagtwedde decided to rebuild the fortress to its state of 1742.
Next to the car park is the Information Centre, which provides general information about Bourtange. We bought a map of the fortress and got also a brochure. If you are interested to visit one or more museums you have to buy your ticket in this centre.
Visitors have to walk (or bike) to the village and on our way we had the first views of the impressive fortifications, moats and earthen walls. Through a wooden bridge and a gate we entered ‘the year 1742’. The village is really well restored and it is nice to walk between houses, barracks, cannons, old horse mill, to take look at the mill’s bastion or to see the ‘secreets’ (more or less open air toilets above the moats).
The five museums tell more about the history, restoration and life in Bourtange.
Bourtange is also a normal village with people who have their houses here. The central square is lined with (tourist) shops and two restaurants. It is nice to sit in the shadow of old trees and having a coffee or lunch.
Bourtange lies about 10 km's northeast of Sellingen and is easy accessible by car and bike.
Fortress: every day and free of admission
Museums: there is a entrance fee
March 15 - October 31, every day: 10.00 - 17.00 hours
November 1 - March 15, Saturday and Sunday: 12.00 - 17.00 hours
(see website for exact dates/times)Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Ter Apel Monastery Domus Novae Lucis
In 1464 Jacobus Wilthingh donated his rural estate ‘Apell’ to the Order of the Holy Cross. To build the monastery of Ter Apel, they used almost 100 years till 1561. After the reformation in the Netherlands (1594) the latest prior of the monastery of the Holy Cross Brothers became the first Protestant clergyman.
Between 1600 and 1930 the monastery deteriorated more and more and the remaining parts were restored by the city of Groningen. Since 1992 it is one of ‘the top 100 Unesco monumental buildings’ in the Netherlands. It houses nowadays a museum of religious art and the history of the monastery.
The monastery of Ter Apel is not oo far away from Sellingen and worth to visit. The building stands in the middle of lawns and is surrounded by old trees and woods. It is fantastic to walk around and just to look at this impressive building, to indulge the serenity of this peaceful place.
Of course we did take a look at the interior, walked through the cloister and looked and smelled the herbs in the garden. The church is divided by the ‘Doksaal’ in two parts; the ‘Kanunniken Church’, which still has the original priest seats and wooden choir stalls and a part which was used by the average citizens.
Other rooms provide information about the history or do have expositions of religious art. There was just one fireplace in the monastery; it must have been cold for the Brothers in that days.
I really can recommend a visit to this hidden gem.
Opening hours and entrance fee: see website
The monastery has a small shop (in the reception room) and a restaurant located in the former dining room for the Brothers of the Holy Cross.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel