Sightseeing flight from Hilversum
Saturday morning 16 May 2020, René called Marco to ask if he felt to join flying in the afternoon. Marco said yes, and in the afternoon we took-off for a sightseeing flight. After passing Breukelen, Maarssen, Castle De Haar and Utrecht, we set course to the south in the direction of Heusden, passing a few points of interest on the way. We rounded Heusden, and then Marco took the controls for the flight back to Hilversum.
Around 1446 the waterway Nieuwe Wetering was dug to connect the rivers Vecht and Angstel for inland shipping between Amsterdam, Muiden and Utrecht. Due to the difference in water level between the two rivers, a new sluice (Nieuwe Sluis) was necessary. In 1629 Nieuwersluis was fortified to defend the lock, the Vecht and the road between Utrecht and Amsterdam. The sluice also gained military importance as an inundation lock for the Old Dutch Waterline.
In the 19th century, Fort Nieuwersluis became part of the New Dutch Waterline. This line protected the cities in Utrecht and Holland in the 19th century. A tower fortress was built on Fort Nieuwersluis in the mid-nineteenth century. Around 1880, earthen ramparts, gun emplacements, a bombproof barracks and three depots were added.
On the other side of the River Vecht in Nieuwersluis is a military penitentiary and a penitentiary for women.
West of Hilversum airfield
The history of Nyenrode Castle goes back to the thirteenth century. At the time, the area was disputed by the Counts of Holland and the Bishops of Utrecht. The waters that surrounded the castle were often used to defend the structure, which was dedicated to the Count of Holland. The castle would be destroyed in 1481 and then again in 1511. The French set up their headquarters in Nyenrode during 1672, but would set it afire in 1673. The damages were repaired, and further restored and expanded in the 19th century. After World War II, the castle became an educational institute in 1946.
Castle De Haar is the largest castle of Holland and is located just outside Utrecht. Castle De Haar may look Medieval, but was actually built in the early twentieth century. It was built between 1892 and 1912 on the ruins of the old, derelict castle that stood there, on commission from Baron Etienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt. In the 60s, it became a place where the Van Zuylen van Nijevelt family received the international jet set, from Brigitte Bardot and Coco Chanel to Maria Callas and Roger Moore.
Castle De Haar
We flew over the old city center of Utrecht, and then over the FC Utrecht football stadium to the Beneluxlaan, to have a peek at the office building.
From Utrecht we flew south to Heusden, passing the towns of Vianen, Gorinchem, Woudrichen and the Castle Loevestein on the way.
FC Utrecht football stadium
Heusden is a fortification surrounded by sturdy earthwork ramparts with bastions, moats and ravelins. Heusden's history began around the year 1200 with the establishment of an urban settlement beside the River Maas. Its heyday was the construction of the fortifications. From the end of the 16th century Heusden was a garrison town accommodating thousands of soldiers. The Second World War inflicted much damage. After the war the town was fully restored.
After we rounded Heusden, Marco took the controls for the flight back to Hilversum.
Marco at the controls
Utrecht De Uithof
Marco at Hilversum airfield