Utrecht, Nijmegen, Arnhem and Deventer
On Monday Charlotte and René made a little flight from Hilversum. We first flew south to Utrecht, and from there across the Betuwe (Batavia) region – a strip of land between two branches of Rhine-Meuse Delta, the Nederrijn in the north and the Waal in the south – to Nijmegen.
Charlotte and René
We passed the town of Buren that has close ties with the House of Orange-Nassau. William of Orange was married there and many members of the Dutch Orange-Nassau family would have lived there.
The Dutch revolt against Spanish rule (1568-1648) led to an independent Dutch state. However, in 1815, after a long period as a republic, the Netherlands became a monarchy under the House of Orange-Nassau in the aftermath of Napoléon's fall. It had been arranged by Britain, the Kingdom of Prussia, the Austrian Empire, and the Russian Empire in the secret London Protocol of June 1814.
The eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren, is said to have traced his ancestry to inhabitants of Buren, who had taken the surname Van Buren after relocating to the Dutch colony of New Netherland in what is now the state of New York.
Castle Soelen, near the village of Zoelen, is a beautiful castle in the Betuwe, surrounded by a beautiful and large estate. The castle is privately owned and not open to visitors, but the estate around the castle is open to the public.
At Nijmegen we made an orbit over the city, where we also had a good view of the St. Stevens church. The first mention of Nijmegen in history is in the 1st century BC, when the Romans built a military camp on the place where Nijmegen was to appear. In 98, Nijmegen was the first settlement in what is now the Netherlands to receive Roman city rights.
We then continued to Arnhem with the Rijnbrug (Rhine bridge) over the Lower Rhine. The bridge is known for its role during the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944. See also this trip report from November.
Castle Biljoen lies between the Veluwe and the River IJssel near Velp. The castle in its current state and the design of the gardens date from the end of the 18th century. The landscaped gardens fan out in all directions from the waterways and ponds surrounding the castle.
We continued further along the River IJssel to Zutphen and then to Deventer. The city of Deventer is largely situated on the east bank of the river IJssel, but also has a small part of its territory on the west bank.
During the production of the 1977 film A Bridge Too Far, the scenes around the
Arnhem bridge were actually shot in Deventer at a similar bridge.
Arnhem itself had lost its historic centre and could not be used to portray the 1940s city.
History Of Deventer
The first indication of people living near Deventer was discovered by an archaeological dig just outside the city. This indicated that the area was inhabited in the Bronze Age. The first church to be built in the area, was built by the English missionary Lebuinus in 768. It did not last long and was burned by marauding Saxons 4 years later.
The sack and burning of this church was the cause for the first punitive war waged by Charlemagne to the Saxons, in which, in retribution, the Irminsul (the Saxon sacred tree, probably near modern Paderborn) was destroyed.
The village that was on the shores of the river did well in trade because of the nearby river crossing. Unfortunately it was also burned, this time by the Vikings.
But the town was quickly rebuilt and was fortified by means of an earth wall. The town was so successful that it was granted a charter to become a city in 956. After this the original earth wall was supplemented by stone walls, that provided for better defence. The time after this was more peaceful for the people of the new city, and thanks to its advantageous position on the river and by the harbour, trade flourished.
The city grew and prospered and carried on increasing its wealth through trade. In around the turn of the 13th century it built a Latin school, that acquired a good reputation amongst scholars and kept going in one form or another until the 1970's. Around the late 15th century it had one of the very few printing presses of the day. At this time the city also had a mint that made coins for Deventer, Kampen and Zwolle. Around, or after 1500, Deventer joined The Hanseatic League. This helped it to gain allies for defense and more trading partners.
However between the 16th and 19th centuries, the river flow slowed and became shallow and this had a great effect on the level of trade that Deventer could conduct. Also at this time, trade was increasing in other areas of the Netherlands and this as well as the war that was fought in the middle of the 16th century, up until the mid 17th century, also played a role in the decline of the wealth of the city.
In the 1800's Deventer was the site of many heavy industries starting up, such as an iron foundry, heavy machinery production, bicycle and can production as well as textile industries. The harbor and factory area were the scene of much devastation during the Second World War, although the old town came through the war largely unscathed. Deventer still plays host to some light industry and trade is still an important part of the economy.
text from en.wikipedia.org and www.netherlands-tourism.com/deventer
After Deventer we followed the highway A1 to Amersfoort, where we made an orbit over the northern part of the city. We then continued back to Hilversum, passing the former palace Soestdijk. Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard lived there from 1937 until they died in 2004. In 1971 the palace became state property.
Hilversum airfield had still runway 25 in use. After landing and filling-in the journal of the aircraft, we walked to the clubhouse of the local Glider Club GOZC where we had a coffee before we went home.
Soestdijk former palace