Bourtange was born slowly - over 150 years. Today, this small Dutch town located in the immediate vicinity of the German border is a huge tourist attraction, and attracts with its history and architecture. It is a fortress city.
Bourtange is located in the eastern part of the Netherlands, in the province of Groningen. They are built on a star plan, which makes them exceptionally beautiful from a bird's eye view. In the past, his main task was to control the route leading from the provinces to the western border of Germany, then under Spanish rule. The trail ran along a sand embankment that had been built between the swamps.
The city-fortress witnessed bloody fights - attacks of Spanish troops were repulsed there. Later, part of the fortifications was demolished, creating a village in their place. It had to wait patiently for the restoration of its former glory, the reconstruction of the buildings and the respect it deserved. A historical museum has been established on its premises, and tourists who visit the walls of the fortress today can get to know the interior of the powder magazine, officers 'houses and soldiers' barracks, as well as the guardhouse, the garrison church and the mill.
In the low season, which lasts in Bourtange from early April to late October, the town sleeps lazily stretching only on weekends. Both restaurants, shops and all museums are open during the tourist season. The only hotel in the city also becomes populated during this period. On the other hand, in November it is almost empty, so you can come then without fear of noisy neighborhood. People who avoid crowds and noise will surely like the option of visiting a place that has been through a lot, and is now resting.
During the season, reconstructions of battles take place here. The fort defended itself several times - first the Spaniards were fought, then the city was attacked by the bishop of German Münster, allied with France, and then attempts were made to recapture the fortress from the French hands.
It is worth mentioning that Bourtange also has a Polish episode. On the wall of one of the houses in the town there is a memorial plaque in memory of the soldiers who died here in 1945. It was the 1st Armored Division of General Maczek , fighting for the freedom of the Netherlands.
Campsite in Bourtange
In summer, Bourtange hosts a number of different types of events. In addition to the mentioned reconstructions of battles, there are also performances, performances and festivities. The beautiful surroundings also encourage you to come to the fortress city. If you want to spend your vacation here, consider staying at Camping 't Plathuis . As the owners describe it, it is within walking distance of the fort, which makes it a great starting point. Not only for excursions to Bourtange - at the reception desk you can get descriptions of cycling and walking routes starting just there. There are about 20 of them, so nature lovers will not complain about the lack of activities. Two people who come with a camper will spend the night at the campsite for 15-18.50 euros, depending on the season.
It is worth spending more time exploring the charms of the area. Unlike the rest of the Groningen province, the Westerwolde region is hilly, with old oak forests and numerous small streams flowing slowly through the agricultural land. Campsite guests can also visit the charming town of Sellingen with its Gothic temple and Ter Apel with its well-preserved 15th-century monastery.
As you can see, although small, Bourtange deserves a stop on the way to vacation or just a trip. It is located 120 km from the German city of Bremen and 60 km from the Dutch city of Groningen. It is also easy to reach from airports with airports: Maastricht, Eindhoven or Amsterdam. It is an ideal base for visiting nearby cities including Drenthe. It is really worth visiting them because they are inhabited by hospitable, cordial people.
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