Cycle route World Heritage | Colonies of Benevolence
Veenhuizen, Frederiksoord, Appelscha
During this cycle route from the World Heritage Foundation, you will cycle past the UNESCO World Heritage Colonies of Benevolence. Discover what makes the colonies, also called the 'pauper colonies' at the time, so special. The colonies were founded around 1818 to give poor people from the city work and a better life in the countryside. Things were not very gentle: it became a social experiment where structure, coercion and discipline were the order of the day.
From Veenhuizen, you start at the first heritage of the colonies: the National Prison Museum. This interactive museum is also a visitor centre. You can take a tour through Veenhuizen on the old Boevenbus (convict bus). In this bus, prisoners used to be transported between the residential and working institutions.
Via the beautiful countryside of the Drents-Friese Wold National Park, you cycle to Frederiksoord. Take a look at the country estate of the same name with Huis Westerbeek and visit the adjacent Museum De Proefkolonie. Here you will discover how Benevolence's first colony came into being, but also why this history remained hidden for so long.
This cycle route shows you an impressive piece of Dutch history. The beautiful nature reserves of Drenthe provide a nice variety. Along the way, you will come across a number of watchtowers which, after a short climb, treat you to phenomenal views!
Tip: Is 82 kilometres in one day too long for you? Then split the route into two and spend the night halfway. That way you can enjoy the museums and landscapes at your leisure.
Photo: ©Miranda Drenth - via UNESCO World Heritage Colonies of Benevolence
Here you can expand your route with pitstops
No pitstops added yet