Fortified!

12 05 2008

Yesterday Frank I headed to a little town called Naarden.  This star fort with a moat and fortified walls, formally was the capital of Holland before Amsterdam took over the role.  The area was first colonized around 800/900AD and was at one point owned by the power Bishops of Utrecht.  The fort saw battle during the 80-Spanish war and again during the Napoleonic War by the French and the Prussians.  When the fort was rebuilt in the 1400s it was moved 20 kilometers north, for defense reasons. Today, Naarden is one of the remaining bastions in the Netherlands and is the only fortification in Europe that has unique double walls and moats.  There are some other walled cities still in the Netherlands but none are this extravagant, in fact Amersfoort where I live now is a walled city… I’ll write more about Amersfoort another day. 

We took a boat tour while we were in Naarden, and for 6 euros each for an hour ride it was well worth the money.  The trip took us through the inner moat and then to the out moat into the marshy areas where the water fowl are everywhere. The boat ride gives you a great perspective on how massive the walls really are.  The tour guide was informative, from what I was told since he only spoke Dutch during the trip.  He was very nice though and slowed down enough so that you were able to take pictures of the walls and area or even the animals.  Besides the ducks and herons, we also saw a turtle sunning itself on a log who was looking very comfortable.

We also went to the Nederlands Vestingmuseum  (The Netherlands Fortress Museum) and were able to walk around one of the points of the star.  Also they had areas set up so you could go into the bunkers and see the items they had inside, or take a walk down a creepy tunnel that was barely lit.  It didn’t lead anywhere but regardless it was cold, damp, dark and a little spooky.  The museum gave you a good idea on how the fortress was armed and gave it’s history right up to it’s use during World War II.  The fort stopped being used  in 1926. 

 

 

 The day was a nice one, with the sun shining (a Dutch rare occurrence) and I managed to burn my shoulders even though I have a great base tan happening.  After we did our little tour of Naarden, we decided to head to the small city of Weesp, located on the river it is an adorable little place to visit and have nice meal or drink watching the boats go by.  That will be another blog later.. right now I’m sitting outside in the sun and slowly being cooked to death.  I think it’s nearly time to go inside and find the SPF 100 sunscreen!  OY!

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2 responses

20 03 2009
Melissa

The funny thing is no one comments on this blog, yet it is the most viewed! LOL!!

16 03 2010
Angela

Hi Melissa,

I just read your blog about Naarden and it’s very nice! I’m making a website about Holland (www.dutchlocal.com) and I’ve added a link to this blog of yours (yeah, I still have to write a lot of copy for it) – I hope you like it. Have you visited Almere (my hometown) already? I couldn’t find a blog about it here, but in case there is, I’d like to read it (?). I’ve also made a website about Almere (www.visitalmere.com) but it’s still available in Dutch only. I hope you like living in Holland.
Best wishes,
Angela

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