The (cycling) route of Hein
Hellevoetsluis, Rockanje, Brielle
Many people are not aware of it, but Hellevoetsluis served as the most important naval port in the Netherlands for many years. It was an important strategic location for the Dutch navy and provided protection against attacks from the sea. This is where Piet Hein landed his famous silver fleet in 1628, after successfully attacking the Spanish fleet. The silver fleet was an important booty for the Dutch, enabling them to significantly strengthen their financial position. In the 1930s, the navy finally moved permanently to Den Helder.
Incidentally, the town of Rockanje also has a connection with the Hein family, although it is not clear whether they are related to the naval hero. In fact, since the early nineteenth century, the Hein family has been the owner of the seigniory of Rockanje, a former amt fiefdom that originated in the Middle Ages. North of Rockanje is the small lake de Waal, where one of the few growing stones (a type of coral) in the Netherlands can be found. It is a special natural phenomenon that only occurs in a few places in the Netherlands.
If you cycle through Oostvoorne, you will notice something: the village does not have a single street, only roads, lanes, paths and dikes. In this village you could still drive your car onto the beach until 2004, after that it became a bird area.
During the trip you also pass Brielle, a historic fortified town with a rich history. On April 1, 1572, the Water Beggars, led by William of Orange, managed to conquer Brielle from the Spanish occupiers, laying the foundation for the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish. The capture of Brielle is still celebrated every year during the annual "April 1 celebration." Many historical buildings and monuments can still be found in Brielle that remind of the city's turbulent history.
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