"Gorcum or Gorinchem, what will it be" Gorinchem by Pavlik_NL
Gorinchem Travel Guide: 62 reviews and 116 photos
Gorinchem thanks it's importance in medieval times especially from it's situation on the river "Merwede" (actually a part of the "Waal", which is the main flow of the Rhine in NL) and the smaller "Linge"-river. Across the Merwede the "Maas" joins the "Waal", making the lines in watertransport reaching almost all over Europe. The river brought prosperous times, as well as disaster. When water's roose high and dikes were weakened, the town was floaded with distastrous concequences. Soon also the strategic importance was recognised by those in power and already in the 13th century, Gorinchem (then known as "Gorcum") was turned into a fortress, to begin with fortified citywalls, that later were extended with eleven bastion works. This is still what specifies the old town's centre and is the main attraction of Gorinchem (especially when taken in combination with the nearby fortress-town "Woudrichem", the castle of "Loevestein" and the fortress "Vuren" (making up the "fortress" triangle of Holland).
With this strategic importance, the historical importance of Gorinchem grew every century. In wars it was a central place, though a main battleground it never was. The town knows also some quite important names within the Dutch and even world history. Above all the stories around "Huge De Groot" and his escape from nearby castle and stateprison "Loevestein" plays a main role in this. On 22 of March 1621 this founder of modern law escaped in a book box and stayed hidden in "Gorcum" for a while (his family lived here).
Another famous name is that of Hendrik Hamel, a VOC-shipper that "discovered" Korea in 1653 and resided here a long time as being the advisor of the local governement. In 2003 (the "Hamelyear") Gorinchem had quite some special occassions and the bound of the town with Korea is warm and strong.
Now-a-days Gorinchem is situated at the South-Eastern outskirts of the "Holland Randstad" and a bridge between this metropolitan Holland and the rest of the Netherlands. It is well connected by several highways and still profiting from it's natural waterways. Gorinchem is also a local centre for shopping and an intresting place for tourists that look further the just Amsterdam and the Keukenhof. The compact old town with it's bastions is surely worth a visit, possibly in combination with "Woudrichem" and the "Loevestein" castle.
This shop is definately from grandmother's time and brings you back a century. these shops always have things that make... more travel advice
Gorinchem's inner town, the old historical part, is easily done on foot. Distances are all relatively small and this way... more travel advice
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