Favorite thing: Brielle has been the first city which was freed from the Spanish Occupiers in 1572. This event, which took place on April 1st 1572, is still commemorated every year with parades and a festival. Even though the town looks very quiet and small, in the Middle Ages Brielle was an important port, more important than Rotterdam. But the arm of the river Meuse /Maas, which lead to Brielle and brought all the ships to the town was dammed in the beginning of the 20th century. Rotterdamm took over the roll of important harbour and Brielle stayed a lovely old city.
After driving some miles along the Rotterdam Europort with all its factories, harbour cranes and big gas and oil tanks I passed a wall and found myself suddenly hundreds of years in the past: small roads, canals, bridges and tiny neat houses.
The town walls of the Middle ages were replaced in the end of 17th century and completed in 1713. Today you can still see this fortifications with 9 bastions and 5 ravelins. The fortifications have been restored in the 1970s.
There is a special website with more informations about Netherslands Fortified Towns
Fondest memory: I loved the atmosphere of peace and quietness after entering the town
The hanging of the 19 martyrs of Gorcum (19 martelaren van Gorcum) in July 1572. These catholic priests were hung in Brielle. And there are still yearly (modest) pilgrimages and commemorations to and in Brielle. They used to be quite big. Not so these days, though last year I saw the procession from my center-of-town home window, passing by. An interesting sight in this otherwise mostly protestant town :-)
Wikipedia article in Dutch
Wikipedia article in English
Fondest memory: For a photo, look here
I'll have to get on my bike to make my own! :-)
The Brielle Synagoge or "Sjoel" build in 1871 has been restored from 2004 to 2006. From 1947 (after WWII) the building which was the second synagoge build at Brielle, was used as a storage.
In 2006 the restored building was opened and is used for expositions and other activities.
If you are interested hiring the place for a party contact VT-member ATLC.
3231 AR Brielle
The VVV (local tourist office is located in the old City Hall at Markt 1 - 3231 AH Brielle.
City Counsil webpage
This is Brielle
The fifty-metre high tower of SINT CATHERIJNE CHURCH can be seen for miles around and provides a spectacular view of the Brielle star-shaped fortifications. The ancient Church was founded in 1417.
Fondest memory: Hans and I were overwhelmed by the beauty and size of this church. Remember, that Brielle is just a small town and the church is really a dominating presence.
Favorite thing: The HOOFDWACHT was the central post for the defence of the town. Today, it is a cafe' and restaurant with an outdoor cafe'. The terrace is usually filled with locals most times of the day -- morning coffee & newspaper -- afternoon tea/coffee -- evening -- perhaps a cool drink. It sure was a happening place.
Favorite thing: The SEA BEGGARS captured Den Briel on 1 April 1572. It was the first Dutch town to free itself from the Spanish. You can still see the remnants of the town gates, which were rammed by the ships' masts of the Sea Beggars as they entered Den Briel. Fortress works are still in tact centuries later. Bastions, or Ravelijnen, two gates, the armoury, all are still visible.
Favorite thing: Hans' sister and her husband own this awesome boat. It has a kitchenette, bathroom and can sleep up to four people. The floors are teak wood and absolutely beautiful. The captain and first-mate are so proud to own such a beauty.
Favorite thing: The PRINCE ADMIRAEL is used in the celebration on the first of April of each year, where a re-enactment takes place in the town of Brielle. It is a replica of a "Geuzen" (Water Beggar) ship.
Favorite thing: I really like the Dutch boats as they are much different from the ones here in Canada. A lot of them are used as a floating cottage or home away from home. Many with cute curtains and little things in the windows.
Everywhere in Brielle you find gable stones. Sometimes they depict the craft of the owner of the house, sometimes it depicts something completely different. There are many very old ones everywhere in Brielle. But there are also very recent ones.
I for one, like it very much. It adds to the charm of the town.
The gable stone in the picture depicts a classroom whit a teacher and his pupils. It used to be in the gate that gave entrance to the orphanage. Now it is embedded in the wall of the orphanage building (which is now an office space)
17 June 2004: According to recent research by weekmagazine Elsevier, Brielle is 7th on the list of Dutch towns where the living is good. The list, with 50 top places, scored highest on housing, schools, tourism and recreation, safety, medical care, recreation and the average income of the population.
Fondest memory: For Dutch readers more here:
Since Brielle is an old fortified town, it has water all around it. And then a wall. So you can easily defend yourself when need be.. In between the town wall and the opposite wall you can find kazematten. A kazemat is a pointely stretch of land with the point directing away from the town. Kazematten were build for defense purposes..
The ironic part is that nowadays kazematten look mostly very peacefull since no one is allowed on them..
I went to this museum because i already knew a little bit about Brielle and that it had something to do with the Geuzen. But that was the extend of my knowledge... Now, after having visited this museum, my knowledge is much better. It is fun to know that Brielle was the first place liberated of the Spanish in 1572.
But the museum shows much more than that. It gives you an impression of Brielle through the centuries. With all kinds of things. Paintings, diaries, objects and multimedia...
Fondest memory: The museum is opened from april the 1st till the 31st of october:
tuesday -friday 10.00 till 17.00
saturdays 10.00 till 16.00
sundays 12.00 till 16.00
From the 1st of november till 31st of march:
tuesday-friday 10.00 till 16.00
saturdays 10.00 till 16.00
closed on sundays
And then it is closed on the following days: 31st of december, January the 1st, 30th of april, the first and second easter days, 25th and 26th of december,.
Admission fee: 2 euro per adult. 1 euro for children (info 2003)