Favorite thing: There is one room in the municpal caves that is now an art gallery. There are lots of sculptures there made by the students of the arts academy. One of the students was Jan Wolkers, a famous Dutch author.
Favorite thing: There aren't only drawings inside the municipal caves, but also a lot of carvings. One of the most prominent ones is a sculpture of a mosasaurus. This was a dinosaur that lived in the river Maas. Imagine how long it would have taken you to make this.
Favorite thing: In the municipal cave you will find a lot of drawings on the walls. Most of the time they are made from charcoal. It's amazing that they have lasted for so mant years. The miners used to draw the paintings to prevent boredom.
To see what Valkenburg has to offer it is nice to have a map of the surroundings.
A map like this can be obtained at the local VVV (touristinfo), or can be found online:
This online map is interactive.
Xmas market in the Gemeentegrot
Favorite thing: Although they advertise with posters that there is a theme of knights in this cave, it really is not much more than a few statues of knights. But if you like Xmas markets: just visit this market and enjoy .
More info at: http://www.gemeentegrot.nl
More pics in the travelogue.
Favorite thing: In and near Valkenburg you will find many signs of the strong roman catholic religion that is traditional to this region.
Statues of holy persons on buildings and crosses along the road sides.
We encountered this cross just outside of Valkenburg, leaving it via the Steenstraat. It gave us something to think about.
The insription says:
Geis te links of geis te rechs,
keeze mos te zellef.
Miech kens te euveral taegekomme.
Although this Limburgs dialect it is easy to translate for dutch people:
Go left or go right,
you have to choose for yourself.
You can encounter Me everywhere.
Just for the record: we did go to the left on one day and on an other day to the right.
Southern hospitality and atmosphere
Favorite thing: Limburg (and as well Brabant in a slightly different way) are well-known for it's hospitality. The people welcome you with warm hearts and embrace you with their happy lifestyles of "no worries". They love to chat during an exquisit Bourgondian dinner with a good glass of local brewed and deliscious beer. This, in combination with a hilly environment, makes Valkenburg attractive enough for the most Dutch, always seeking for a holiday or shortbreak, preferably in another country or ... something that at least looks like being in another country.
More about "Mergel" (chalk-sand-stone)
Favorite thing: "Mergel", a Limburgian name for chalk-sand-stone, is a soft kind of stone that can be cut out of the rocks by large blocks with some patience and a metal device. One can even draw lines in it with the nails or scratch names or drawings with a key or other little sharp object (favourite business of many visitors, according to the lists with names and pictures everywhere throughout the town. In the hills of Southern Limburg there is a thick layer of this material available and has been used for many centuries as buildingblocks for housing, walls and other constructions.
Favorite thing: In the early days Valkenburg was known for its mergel. It is a kind of sandstone. It is used to built houses in south Limburg.
Today you can visit the mines they got it from.
For instance the Gemeentegrot.
Get your info here!
The local VVV (tourist info) is housed in a special building. It dates back to 1661, when the spanish court was housed here. The Geul was the border between the Spanish empire and the united dutch republic. So the spanish needed an official court on the border.
The touristinfo is housed here since 1964.
adress : Th. Dorrenplein 5
fax : 043-6098608
opening hours :
mon / fri 09.00 – 17.30 uur
sat. 9.00 – 17.00 uur
sun. 10.00 - 15.00 uur
in winter (nov-april) closed on saturday afternoon and sunday.
Sit and watch people go by
Favorite thing: Buy a beer, or whatever other drink you like, and sit down at one of the many bars or restaurants. Just watch the crowd go by.
You can sit outside in summer or in winter because there big heaters on the walls.
shayghc's General Tip
Fondest memory: The funniest thing I can recall is a room full of grown men trying to figure out how the plumbers had managed to fit the toilets back to front! Apparently in the Netherlands and Germany they like to inspect their 'product' before flushing! That may well be but we opted for spraying the bowl with baby oil and laying down a layer of toilet paper before the event: whatever it took to get a clean flush!
Favorite thing: The other gate that still stands is called Berkelpoort. These gates were probably built somewhere in the 14th century.
Favorite thing: The 'Grendelpoort' is one of the remaining gate of the city walls. The otherone is the Berkelpoort. Here and there around the town you will still see parts of the medieval townwalls.
Valkenburg Castle Ruïns!
Favorite thing: This castle was built somewhere around the 11th century and is hollands only castle on top of a hill. It was built with marlstone! You can visit the ruïns as well as some grotto's.