Cycle route along the Winterswijk quarry
There are two places in the Netherlands where you can find geological deposits from the Triassic Period: Zuid-Limburg and Winterswijk. The limestone in the Winterswijk quarry was formed between 240 and 236 million years ago, when there was a kind of Wadden Sea here. Due to ebb and flow, the inland sea at this location was regularly dry. This made it the ideal habitat for both land and sea creatures. The sea has dried up, but various fossils have been found here. Shells, insects, fish and even traces of saurians from the Triassic period have been found between the limestone of WInterswijk. These are stored in a depot. In the geological layers also the Winterswijk 'gold' (pyrite) is found.
Since 1932 people have been digging for Muschelkalk here. There are three quarries, two of which are now protected nature reserves and one of which is still in use as an open-cast mine. During the summer holidays of the company that quarries the limestone, the quarry is transformed into a theatre that attracts many people every year. The high rock walls, illuminated by moonlight, form a unique backdrop. Not to be missed!
The quarry is a special area. Not only because of the geological soil types, but also because it is one of the few places in the Netherlands where the eagle owl lives. Since a number of years, a couple of this imposing owl have been nesting here. With a bit of luck, you may spot one!
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