Cycling route Forts and Fortresses
Woudrichem, Gorinchem, Rijswijk
The Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (New Dutch Waterline) is a unique fortification from the 19th century that was designed to protect our country from enemy attacks. The idea was to flood large areas of land in case of imminent enemy attacks. But the defence line did not only consist of flooding land, forts, fortresses and other defences were also built.
Fort Altena, Fort Giessen and Fort Vuren are still fine examples. Remarkably, these forts were built in a relatively short time and many innovative techniques were also used to build and defend them.
One of the most important defences of the waterline was the Vesting Gorinchem, a beautiful old town surrounded by ramparts, with many beautiful old buildings and streets. Woudrichem Fortress also has a rich history. In the Middle Ages it was the capital of the Land of Altena and in the 80-year war it was the battleground between the Beggars and the Spanish.
All these fascinating parts of the New Dutch Waterline come together in this instructive cycle route through what is also a beautiful river area. So hop on your bike, get wiser and enjoy!
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