Along Lek and Line
Along this cycling route you will explore part of the Nieuwe Hollandse Water Defence Lines, located southeast of the historic city of Utrecht. The New Dutch Water Defence Lines formed an impressive line of defence stretching from Muiden to the Biesbosch. Water, ingeniously deployed as a defensive weapon, played a crucial role here. In case of approaching danger, strategically chosen strips of meadows could be flooded, a tactic known as inundation. This inundation made the surrounding terrain practically inaccessible, severely hampering potential enemies. This ingenious line proved its service over a considerable period, from 1815 to around 1940.
The character of the landscape, with elevations formed by rivers and dykes, largely determined which areas remained dry and thus accessible. However, the vulnerable sections of the Water Line, which were prone to attack, were closely watched from imposing forts. However, during World War II, when hostile aircraft flew over the flooded areas, it was found that the defensive value of the line was significantly reduced.
Today, the New Dutch Water Defence Lines is considered the largest national monument in the Netherlands, steeped in historical significance and architectural splendour. The area offers breathtaking surroundings where you can experience its rich history up close. Explore for yourself and be enchanted by the unique charm and cultural heritage of this impressive piece of the Netherlands!
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