Located in the southeast of Groningen, Bourtange village is truly a hidden gem with cobbled roads, historic cannons and wooden drawbridges that will allow your imagination to wander. Nature, culture and history come together here. This lovely secluded spot withstood the ravages of war with Spain. Narrow streets, small cafes, Kerstmarkt bourtange and especially a pentagon form of the fortified museum are going to be well worth a visit.
Overview of Bourtange village
In the north of Holland, near the German border, lies a Bourtange village with a population of only 430 inhabitants. It has a rich history that begins in 1580 when Willem van Oranje ordered the construction of an entrenchment close to the present-day boundary between the Netherlands and Germany. The star fort was gradually brought back to its mid-18th-century appearance between 1967 and 1992. Tourists now come to this hamlet from all over the Netherlands because of its charming atmosphere.
Replicas of the original walls, moats, and red-painted drawbridges have been reconstructed to fully recreate the setting from that era. There is an annual fight commemorating Prott’s valorous deed. What a true journey back in time!
Things to do in Bourtange village
There’s a lot to see at the Bourtange Museum; in fact, you might spend a whole day here. A canal with a skinny bridge over it, a windmill in the countryside, a simple chapel with whitewashed walls, and a falconer decked up in historical garb. Guests are free to roam the fort at their own pace, although tickets are required to enter the structures housing the museums’ exhibits. In addition, the fort’s star-shaped layout can only be appreciated on its whole by going around the outside walls. Therefore, an observation tower would be a welcome addition to the site.
The Standerd mill in Bourtagne is a near-exact replica of the mill in Ter Haar. Although the mill site is historic, the replica of the Standerd mill is relatively modern. Only in 1980 was the structure finished as part of a restoration of the whole castle. The municipality of Vlagtwedde owns the standerd mill in Bourtagne nowadays. There are still a few millstones around, including one that was formerly used to husk barley grains. However, they are no longer used.
Re-enactment of the Battle of Bourtange
Be sure not to miss out the re-enactments of battle of Bourtange where hundreds of volunteers fulfill their roles as commanders, gunners, flag-beares, musketeers, pike men and camp guards,… Especially a cannon shot every Sunday in high season (March–October).
Don’t forget Christmas market (Kerstmarkt Bourtange)
Visiting the Christmas market may not be something that visitors consider when visiting The Netherlands during the winter and holidays. However, your experience at a Kerstmarkt will be unlike any you’ve ever had before. On top of the fortifications are Christmas trees. Each bridge and roadway is adorned with thousands of lights. What’s more, almost 100 stalls placed throughout the fortified city might capture all your attention.
Other villages and towns in Groningen:
If you’re about to get back to modern times, you might find out about other popular destinations in Groningen:
– Sellingen is a little municipality, but the scenery in the area can wow its visitors.
– Haren is a small town that is found to the south of Groningen. It is consistently voted as one of the best places to live in the Netherlands due to its space, plenty of amenities, friendly neighbors, and lush surroundings.
– In a forested region close to the border with the province of Drenthe, there is a small town of Glimmen.
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