Trips / St Hubert
From Hilversum to St Hubert
Early Saturday morning, 20 April 2019, Veleda and Maurits went on their way to La Motte-du-Caire (see first part). While en-route, they decided to first go to St.Hubert in the Belgian Ardennes because of bad weather in the south of France for the days to come. St. Hubert is a well known airfield for sailplanes. Veleda and René had visited St. Hubert before in 2012. On Sunday morning René flew to St. Hubert for a day trip to visit Veleda and Maurits.
Piper Archer at Hilversum
Loonse en Drunense Duinen
On the way to St. Hubert, René passed St. Truiden, a city located in the province of Limburg, Flemish Region, of Belgium. Sint Truiden's historical centre includes the town hall (Stadhuis), with a 17th-century tower classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999. During World War II, its airfield was the base of one of the most famous Luftwaffe Night Fighter squadrons. The highest scoring German night fighter pilot was referred to as "The spook of St. Trond" by British Bomber crews that were to bomb centres of population at night in Germany.
Tihange nuclear power plants
Schnaufer pointing to his 47th victory
Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer was a German Luftwaffe night fighter pilot and is the highest scoring night fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare. All of his 121 victories were claimed during World War II at night, mostly against British four-engine bombers. He was nicknamed "The Spook of St. Trond", from the location of his unit's base at Sint Truiden in occupied Belgium.
St Truiden during the war
Heinz Schnaufer was born in 1922 in Stuttgart. In 1939 he was trained as a pilot in the German Air Force. In 1941 he got his first position as a lieutenant in a night fighter squadron near Hamburg. He was later transferred to a night fighter squadron based in the small Belgian town of Sint-Truiden. The squadron was to intercept British bombers attacking targets at night in Germany controlled Europe.
Messerschmitt Bf 110
To stop these nightly bombings the Germans developed the ability to attack bombers in the dark. These air units came to be called night hunters. Schnaufer was flying a Messerschmitt Bf 110. It was a heavily armed twin-engined fighter. During the war the night hunting technique evolved both tactically and technically.
A tail fin of Schnaufer's Bf 110 displaying his 121 victories (Imperial War Museum)
Schnaufer became the leading night fighter pilot on 9 November 1944. On 9th of April 1945 Schnaufer flew his last mission of the war. After the war Schnaufer took over the family wine business. In July 1950, Schnaufer was on a wine buying visit to France, where he died in the aftermath of a road accident. See also Wikipedia
Abbey of Saint-Hubert
René arriving at St Hubert airfield
Upon arrival at St.Hubert, René was welcomed by Veleda and Maurits. We helped Maurits to bring the glider to the launch point. As it was not clear at what time the launch would take place, Veleda and René first went to town to have a look there and for lunch, while Maurits waited for the glider launch and ate something at the airfield. When we returned at the airfield, Maurits was already airborne. We enjoyed the glider launches in the sum. After Maurits landed in the second half of the afternoon, we helped him to tow the glider to the parking, and to store the plane in the sailplane trailer.
To tow the plane to the launch point
Pushing the glider in sequence
Minor basilica in St Hubert
Veleda and René having lunch in St Hubert
Church of Saint-Gilles-au-Pré
Interior of the Church of Saint-Gilles
Aerotow launches behind a PA-25 Pawnee
René and Veleda relaxing
Maurits has landed
Glider in the sailplane trailer
From St Hubert to Hilversum
At the end of the afternoon, René flew back to Hilversum. Veleda and Maurits would continue the next day in the direction of La Motte-du-Caire.
Rene taxiing out to runway 05R
Take-off from St Hubert
Albert canal, Diesel-Kwaadmechelen canal
Hagestein weir in the River Lek
The area around Vianen was for centuries a peat bog. In 944 the German Emperor Otto I gave these peatlands to the bishop of Utrecht. Under his leadership, the reclamation and extraction of the peat soils began. After the damming of the River Kromme Rijn near Wijk bij Duurstede early in the 12th century, more water flowed through the River Lek. Good drainage and dikes were vital for the drained soils. To manage this, an agreement was signed in 1284 by the lords of Vianen and Arkel. Vianen received city rights in 1337.
14th century map of Vianen
Willem van Duivenvoorde built the city of Vianen. He designed a bastide city map according to a geometric plan. A fortified city could be built with a castle, defenses, towers, canals and gates. The location of Vianen on the border of Holland and Utrecht was of great economic importance. Sources of income from the River Lek area were taxes on fishing, bird catching and ferries. Around 1370 the lords of Vianen built castle Batestein along the Lek.
Veleda at the Lekpoort
The Van Brederode family is linked to the history of Vianen by the marriage of Johanna van Vianen to Walraven van Brederode in 1414. The possessions, including the Batestein castle, were transferred to the Van Brederode family. Hendrik van Brederode was the oldest son of Reinoud III van Brederode. He became a convert to the Reformed faith and placed himself at the side of the prince of Orange and Count of Egmont in resisting the introduction of the Spanish inquisition and Spanish despotism into the Netherlands.
Van Brederode petition
In 1564 Van Brederode joined the league of great nobles that successfully petitioned Philip II of Spain to remove Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, virtual head of the government, from the Netherlands. Angered at monarchical infringement on his traditional noble privileges, Brederode in December 1565 became a leader of the league of lesser nobles (Geuzen), who had taken the initiative from the divided higher nobility. He led a delegation to the regent Margaret of Parma in April 1566 to petition for relaxation of edicts against Protestants.
Hendrik van Brederode
Although an accord was reached, the Calvinist attacks on Roman Catholic churches in August 1566 provoked Margaret to organize a military repression of dissident Calvinists and to demand an oath of allegiance from the nobility. Brederode became the chief military leader of the rebels when William, Prince of Orange, wavered. The rebel movement was then temporarily halted when William and several other stadtholders held Calvinist uprisings in check and when Margaret's armies gained key victories. Brederode died before he could raise the necessary funds to assemble an army.Like Vianen, the Grote Kerk has an eventful history. A history that began with the building of a small chapel at the site of the current church; a history of building, fire, reconstruction, decline and repeated restorations. The Grote Kerk was built in Vianen by the Brederode family as a building in which to worship and to illustrate the grandeur of their power.
Weirs in the rivers Nederrijn and LekThe Nederrijn and Lek are dammed by three near identical weirs. The weirs are located at Hagestein (1960), Amerongen (1965) and Driel (1970), and regulate the distribution of water over the rivers Nederrijn and the IJssel, and regulate the water levels in the Nederrijn and the river Lek.
Location of the weirs at Hagestein, Amerongen and Driel