"At the start of the Dutch independance march" Bourtange by Pavlik_NL
Bourtange Travel Guide: 56 reviews and 101 photos
Amazing when one is here, in the middle of one of the "emptiest" areas of the Netherlands (anyway full, as it's the densest populated country in the world). This small little village is one monumental place of military history and full of dramatised stories. Bourtange is a definate must see for any lover of European and above all Dutch history. The fortified walls and canals, the smaller details, such as the canons and the "secretes" ... it's all there. Most pictures of this beautiful place are put under the travelogues to give a full impression of this special village in the Groningen landscape.
The conflict that would lead to the independance of the Netherlands started when some noble men opened up about their unsatisfied feelings about the inquisition that the (Spanish) Habsburgian king Philips II pressed upon the people of the Lowlands. The 80 years war started and had it's ups and downs for both the Spanish occupying forces as well as the rebellious Dutch freedom fighters. In the North, the fortress of Bourtange was built in order of Willem of Orange (our father of the Fatherland) to rule over the important (and practically only) road that connected the town Groningen with the rest of the Netherlands. This to put control over the Spanish forces in the North and as support towards the citizens that already had told their hatred against the occupier. Eventually it lead to the freedom of Groningen.
As Bourtange is situated in a furthermore absolutely desolate part of theNetherlands (agricultural land with hardly any towns of importance), the fortress was turned as a whole to a village and preserved to times exactly as it was. Now-a-days the whole village is a monument, though still people live within the fortresses walls and canals. A walk through this little gemstone in the North of the Netherlands is truely a step back in history, so ... experience it for yourself and don't leave it unattended aside the beaten track.
The route as I described it going through the "must see"-activities (now-a-days "to do"-tips) in this VT-page, can be... more travel advice
For those people that are not so easy on foot, people in wheelchairs and ladies that are not so clear in mind that this... more travel advice
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