spring in Zuid-Limburg
It is the most southern part of our country and spring always arives here first. The blossoms are just a few days earlier as where we live, near Amsterdam.
In this picture you can see two swans nesting. The one on the left just shows one egg under it.
Not far east of Valkenburg is the village of Oud-Valkenburg. It is a very small village but has some monuments worth seeing.
First there is the Genhoes.
Genhoes means the fortified house, and is probably started as a living tower in the 11th or 12th century. The eldest part is gotic, the bridge is roman and the other buildings are Limburg baroque.
During the 80-year war the castle was destroyed by fire (1577). It was restored in the beginning of the 17th century. The farmhouse part dates from the 18th century. It is now owned by the natureconservation organisation Natuurmonumenten and is NOT open to the public.
I don't often visit graveyards, except when they give me a nice view at an otherwise hardly visible side of a church. But I couldn't resist seeing this one a bit closer. There's a nice neo-Romanesque chapel as well as a group of neo-Gothic family tombs. And all made of marlstone, which always looks attractive, especially when the sun shines on it. Evidence that graveyards do not always have to be depressing and spooky places. This one definitely wasn't meant to be one!
- Historical Travel
An old monastery at the edge of the village is now a provincial monument. The church of the former Franciscanessenklooster is still in use by the protestant church. It is not open for visitors other then during services every sunday.
The monastery was built in 1863.
Details ... don't forget the wonderful details
Valkenburg, and Limburg as well, is a very special province and you will find out about that when you watch the details. For example the little chaples down the landscapes little backroads and in the villages and towns the sometimes tiny little statues of "our dear lady Mary" inside the walls, are the living proove of a still quite religious population and that's the truth. Roman Catholism, doesn't live anywehere stronger within the people then in Limburg. Something that is to be discovered in these details as well as in the hearts of most Limburgians.
De Leeuw brewery
Valkenburg still has a brewery, De Leeuw, although it's now part of a Belgian firm. It produces an excellent wheat beer, Valkenburgs Wit, among other beers that I have yet to taste. I believe the brewery can be visited, I'll look up the details soon.
Oh, the building is a watermill that used to belong to a gunpowder factory.
- Beer Tasting
There's a lot of fake stuff in Valkenburg. The coal-mine is fake. The Roman catacombs are fake. The caves in the hill aren't really caves. And this of course isn't the real cave of Lourdes. You will find that one in Lourdes.
It is an exact copy though, and is used as an open-air chapel regularly.
- Religious Travel
Another path that is great to take starts at the end of the Plenkert . This footpath is also following the Geul. The river is left to its natural state and if it wants to turn another way they will let it do so. No human interference here. There are herds of animals put there by a nature conservation organisation. The animals are mostly on the other side of the river.
- Hiking and Walking
Kasteeltuin Oud Valkenburg
The last stop before heading back to Valkenburg can be Kasteeltuin Oud Valkenburg, a garden owned by a nature eduction company.
There is also a watermill on the premisses.
The garden is open from april 28th to september 29th from 10:00 - 16:00
To the left of the wooded lane you see a white building: het Genhoes.
It is also is a former castle, now owned by Natuurmonumenten (nature conservation).
There was castle there around the year 1000, the buildings you see now date from the 16 and 17 hundreds.
Cafe Het Koetshuis
Not really up to a hike yet?
Stop at Cafe Het Koetshuis next door. You can sit outside and enjoy a drink and / or snack and the kids can play in the garden were you can watch them on the swing or other things
French Mill looking like new
During our visit in march 2007 we were surprised by the progress of the restoration. THe entire building is looking brandnew now. It is not open to the public, but that can't take long anymore.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
The roof is ready
In april 2005 it was absolutely clear they did a lot of work. The roof was ready, new tiles and it looked waterproof..
Looking forward to see the french mill in mint condition!
Along the Geul
Now and then there are some beautifull views of the river. But because the river Geul is not tamed here it can be you don't see this bend anymore next year. It can be completely different.
- Hiking and Walking
A footpath along the Geul.
And then you realy have to go walking!
The path leads you along the Geul, with beautifull views of this river.
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