The Munsterkerk (Munster Church) is located in the Roermond city center. It is the most important example of late-Romanesque architecture in the Netherlands, and it is the last big Romanesque church that was ever built in the country.
The church design was changed several times, and much of its current appearance is the result of extensive restorations and reconstructions by architect P.J.H. Cuypers, a Roermond native, from 1863 until 1890. Cuypers' biggest change, and most controversial, was the addition of two towers in Romanesque style.
In the Netherlands, tourist information offices are called the VVV. The Roermond VVV is in the city center -- a few blocks from the central train station. They can provide you with helpful information about Roermond and the surrounding area.
Built in the 15th Century, the St. Christoffel Cathedral is one of the landmarks of Roermond. Unfortunately, it was largely destroyed in World War II. It has subsequently been restored with a modern spire in Baroque style. I did not view the interior, but I hear that it is quite stunning.
The Stationsplein (station square) is across the street from the central train station and my hotel (Hotel Roermond). Surrounding the square, there are a bunch of cafés and pubs. On the Monday that I was there in May 2008, the city of Roermond was turned into a fairgrounds -- and, by nighttime, the Stationsplein was full of rides and other amusements.
Operation Blackcock was the code name for a military mission by Allied forces in World War II. It was conducted by the 2nd British Army in January 1945. The operation, named after the Scottish black male grouse, took place throughout the Roer River area including Roermond. The website link contains more information about this event in World War II military history.
It is difficult to believe that this idyllic area was the site of a fierce military engagement in the not-so-distant past. During my visit to Roermond, I did not see any evidence of this tragic period.
There is a small harbor near where the Roer River meets the Maas River. In this harbor, there are lots of boats. On the day of my trip, I took a pleasant walk near the harbor. If you want to sit and enjoy great views of the harbor, you can stop at a restaurant named the Nautilus.
The Rattentoren ('Rat's tower') is Roermond's last surviving tower that was part of the city wall from the medieval period. As was common in medieval times, the city of Roermond was surrounded by a wall with lookout towers as part of its fortification system.
P.J.H. (Pierre) Cuypers was a famous architect who lived from 1827 to 1921. He was born in Roermond, but he is most famous for buildings that he designed elsewhere such as the Amsterdam Central Train Station.
In Roermond, Cuypers, re-designed and restored the Munsterkerk. In a controversial move, he added two new Romanesque style towers. Some believe that the controversy over the re-design of the Munsterkerk may have led Cuypers to leave Roermond and move to Amsterdam.
In the Munsterplein (Munster square), there is a statue paying tribute to Cuypers.
The facade of the Roermond town hall is in the Baroque style. Since they were having a fair throughout the city center during my visit, I saw the town hall surrounded by rides, games, and other amusements.
At McArthurGlen Designer Outlet you can buy overproduction or rest-production of internationally renowned brands and designer labels at lower prices. They say -30 to -50%.
120 brands are represented at McArthurGlen in Roermond: clothes, shoes, household, cosmetics, sports, jewelry, ...
It's an outlet centre, though and much of what you will see there in terms of fashion items is from previous years.
In the centre you will also find a few lunch rooms and a McDo. The coffee at Segafreddo is delicious.
Roermond lies next to the river Maas. As a lot of gravel has been mined over here, there are lot of articial lakes created. These are called the "Maasplassen". They are all connected to each other and the Maas river. It's the largest site for water recreation in the Netherlands. In summer many people go windsurfing, take a boat or just wander/cycle around the area.
In late winter havy rainfall causes the Maas to rise and turn this area into 1 giant lake of washing water. Dykes protect tthe towns from flooding.
Roermond has several squares the most important ones:
Market Square: Not very pretty, but the Basilique and the Town Hall can be found here. Every saturday the market is kept here.
MunsterSquare: Bumpy square, but with a nice athmosphere. Main sight is the Munsterchurch.
Kloosterwandplein: Modern Square where you can find hotel & theatre De Oranjerie. The fanciest place to stay for the night in Roermond.
Stationsplein. The station is on one side of the square, separated by a busy street though. No, the part leaning towards the center is more interesting, here you'll find a good range of bars and cafe's.
Thirteenth century church, most important remain of the late roman architecture.
This church is the only remainder of a convent for Cistercien nuns, founded in 1218 by count Gerard VI of Gelre.
This count wanted to give a major impuls to the cultural and economic development of the city of Roermond in order to make it the capital of Opper-Gelre.
He also wanted to be buried in this abbey church and nowadays one can visit their impressive grave tomb in the church, right below the festive dome.
The rich charactere of this royal grave is in sharp contrast with the soberness of the galeries.
The influencial Cistercien convent reigned for almost 6 centuries in this Munster abbey but after 1789 they disappeared due to French occupation.
Buildings that once belonged to the monastries were since then in use as barracks. After the French moved out they stood vacant and most of them were demolished in 1924.
Fortunately the church was not touched by these demolitions. '
Major restaurations took places in the years 1863-1890 under P.J.H. Cuypers.
This famous architect took down the 18th century bell tower and added two towers with gothic windows to the west side of the church. The eastern towers were leveled with the towers at the west side.
This was a real metamorfose and lots of people weren t happy with the changes.
An earthquake in 1992 brought that many harm to the towers at the eastern side that they had to be rebuild.
Once every year, the center of Roermond transfers into a fairground. The Catholic south of the Netherlands always sees a fair in every place as large as 1horse villages.
Roermond has a rather large fair spreading over all squares and some streets in the center.
The largest fair starts in the weekend after withsundays (around may/june) and lasts for a small week. During carnival (february/march) a smaller fair is held at the Market Square only.
Not particulary pretty, but this stone bridge (which is exactly the name of this bridge "Stenen brug") is the oldest bridge in Roermond. It crosses the river Roer and connects the old citycenter to the "voorstad", an old (and quiet) part of the city.