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Dates of visit:
April 27, 2005 -
May 12, 2005

We rate this trip a:

Trip Highlights:
 Many windmills
 Fortresses
 Manor houses
 Tulip Gardens
 North Sea coast
 Queen's Day
 Canal festivals
 The Hague
 Historic Churches
 Small Country
 Very Crowded
 

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Gelderland, North Brabant,
and Zeeland Regions
Go to first page - City of Amsterdam
Go to second page - North Holland, Groningen and Overijssel Regions
Go to fourth page - South Holland Region
Go to fifth page - Keukenhof Gardens (South Holland Region)
        Map of Holland
        Travel route in Holland
        Introduction to Gelderland Region
            Paleis Het Loo
            Location of Paleis Het Loo
            Kroller-Muller Museum
            Location of Kroller-Muller Museum
        Introduction to North Brabant Region
        
    Town of Heusden
            Location of Heusden
        Introduction to Zeeland Region
            Town of Domburg
            Location of Domburg
            City of Middelburg
            Location of Middelburg
GELDERLAND

National Park De Hoge VelumeGelderland is Hollandís largest province. Its name derives from the 11th-century county of Gelre, which was linked with the town of Geldern, just over the border in Germany. The town was the fiefdom of Gerard de Rossige, whose grandson Gerard IIl of Wassenberg pronounced himself Count of Gelre in 1104.

Succeeding counts skillfully expanded their territory to include the Veluwe region to the north, the Betuwe in the southwest and the county of Zutphen. When in 1248 the imperial town of Nijmegen was annexed, Gelre became a power to be reckoned with. A number of its towns joined the Hanseatic League, and in 1339 the county was promoted to a duchy by the German emperor. The increasing power of the Burgundians threatened the independence of the Gelders, eventually leading to the duke having to cede the territory in 1543 to Charles V. Gelderland thus became part of the Netherlands.

This colourful history is manifest today in the number of medieval buildings, churches, castles and fortified towns that welcome visitors throughout the province. In more recent times, the region, and especially the strategically located towns of Arnhem and Nijmegen, saw heavy fighting towards the end of World War II. The heroic action at Arnhem is remembered in the town's Airborne Museum, while the museum in Nijmegen recalls this town's long history from pre-Roman times to the tyranny of the Holy Roman Empire.

Paleis Het Loo

Paleis Het LooThe Stadholder William III built the elegant palace of Het Loo in 1692 as a hunting lodge. For generations, the Orange family used it as a summer residence. Its pomp and splendor have led to its being dubbed the "Versailles of the Netherlands". Its main architect was Jacob Roman (1640-1716); the interior and the gardens were designed by Daniel Marot (1661-1752). The severe Classical facade belies the ornate interior. After intensive restoration work was carried out, the palace is now open as a museum. It is located just outside of the City of Apeldoorn

Paleis Het Loo
Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo
Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo
Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo
Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo
Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo
Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo Paleis Het Loo

Kroller-Muller Museum

Kroller-MullerThis museum owes its existence above all to one person: Helen Kroller-Muller (1869-1939). In 1908, with the support of her industrialist husband Anton Kroller, Helene Kroller-Muller started to collect modern art. In 1935, she donated her entire collection to the state, and a special museum was built to house it. As well as its large collection of modem art, which includes 278 works by Vincent van Gogh, the museum is renowned for its unique sculpture garden, the Beeldenpark. The museum is located in the National Park De Hoge Velume near the Town of Otterlo.

Kroller-Muller Museum Art
Kroller-Muller Museum Kroller-Muller Museum Kroller-Muller Museum
Kroller-Muller Museum Kroller-Muller Museum Kroller-Muller Museum
Kroller-Muller Museum Kroller-Muller Museum Kroller-Muller Museum
Kroller-Muller Museum Sculptures
Kroller-Muller Museum Kroller-Muller Museum Kroller-Muller Museum
Kroller-Muller Museum Kroller-Muller Museum Kroller-Muller Museum

NORTH BRABANT

HeusdenHollandís second largest province is distinguished primarily by its natural beauty. In the south and southeast are the relatively high elevations of Kempen and the Peel; in the northwest, the watery Biesbosch. Here, arms of the Waal and Maas rivers converge through a wilderness of sand banks.

North Brabant has been inhabited by humans since the earliest times. The Celts settled here in the 7th-century BC and stayed for many centuries. They were defeated by Julius Caesar, who describes them as the "Belgae" in his writings. The Rhine became the northern frontier of the Roman Empire and Roman remains have been found in the area. When the Romans left, the Franks took charge of Toxandria, as the region was known in those days. Under Charlemagne, this region grew in importance as new towns expanded at points along trade routes, and in the 12th century became part of the Duchy of Brabant. The Dukes of Brabant, among them Godfried III and Henry I, expanded their territory and founded towns such as Breda and 's-Hertogenbosch. The Duchy flourished until the 16th century, when the 80 Years War left the south of Brabant under Spanish rule and the north under the rule of the Netherlands.

Although North Brabant has its fair share of commerce and industry, and Eindhoven is a major manufacturing centre, tourism has become increasingly important. The region's colourful history is evident from the medieval buildings and bastions in many of the towns, and the castles dotted around the countryside, with a range of fine exhibits in churches and museums.

Heusden

After a thorough refurbishment that started in 1968 and lasted for decades, the picturesque ancient fortified town of Heusden on the river Maas has been restored to its former glory. That Heusden fell victim to the redevelopment craze of the 1960s matters little. Walls, houses, moats, the Veerpoort (ferry gate) and the Waterpoort have all been restored in the old style. As advertising is banned in Heusden, it is easy to imagine that time has stood still here, save for the fact that motor vehicles are allowed into the fortress.

Town of Heusden
Heusden Heusden Heusden

ZEELAND

North SeaThe tiny province of Zeeland, as its name implies, is inextricably linked with water and the sea. From earliest times, the power of the North Sea and the flooding deltas of the Maas and Schelde rivers have shaped the landscape, encouraging resilience in the inhabitants and the desire to control the elements.

From earliest times, storms and floods have taken their toll here. In the last century, the devastation of two world wars was followed by the disastrous floods and storm surges of 1953. Although there are a number of fine churches and public buildings dating as far back as the 14th century, in places near the coast there are very few houses more than 50 years old. As a result, determination to keep the waters at bay has spawned massive construction and canal building, with giant dams and land reclamation schemes offering a level of security that has changed the landscape forever.

The storms were not all bad news. Traces of Roman settlements were uncovered, and lakes and inland waterways have become a haven for wildlife and a playground for lovers of waterspouts. Towns such as Middelburg, Zierikzee and Veere and villages such as Nisse, St Anna-ter-Muiden and Dreischor have lots of old buildings, some of which have been restored to their 17th-century grandeur, with attractive features such as bell towers and frescoes.

The close relationship with water and the sea is well documented in a variety of small museums. The tangible benefits are perhaps twofold: an abundance of seafood for the province's restaurants, and marvelous opportunities for water sports. Few regions in Europe offer as much scope for sailing, windsurfing, water skiing and diving, as does little Zeeland.

Domburg

Domburg was one of the first seaside resorts in the Netherlands. In the 19th century, this little town on Walcheren was popular among prominent Europeans, who came here to relax and recuperate in the chic seaside hotels on the dunes. It has now given way to mass tourism.

Nearby is the village of Westkapelle. The most impressive sight in Westkapelle is its sea wall, the history of which is fascinating. In former times, this town lay securely behind the dunes, but these were washed away in the 15th century. This meant that the access route to the island shifted. A dyke was built, which was completed in 1560. The lighthouse also dates from this time; it was once a church tower, until the demolition of the church in 1831. In 1944, the Allies bombed the dyke in order to flood Walcheren so it could be liberated. In 1987 the dyke was built to the height of the delta.

Town of Domburg
Domburg Domburg Domburg

Middelburg

Middelburg suffered heavy German bombing in 1940. A lot of what is to be seen in the town today has been rebuilt, including the Stadhuis (town hall) and the abbey. The town is still redolent with the atmosphere of the Golden Age, an era during which the Dutch East India Company thrived in the port area along the quay. Middelburg is a pretty town and there is plenty to be seen on a walk around the centre.

City of Middelburg
Middelburg Middelburg Middelburg
Middelburg Middelburg Middelburg

Text extracted from guide book "Holland" published by Eyewitness Travel Guides,
DK Publishing, New York, Copyright 2005, Web site ... www.dk.com
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