Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fort Vuren on the Dutch Waterline


So, remember when we took grandson Nicholas to see Fort Vuren (and the Loevestein Castle and the Woudrichem windmill) in July?

Well, that reminded me that I had never found a "round tuit" to make a post on Fort Vuren when Astrid and I were there alone in April.  That visit, actually, was the main reason why we wanted to take Nicholas.

So, for the record, here's what we saw 5 months ago.  And it's only 1.5 km from home (Gorinchem)!

Every time we passed the sign while driving along the dijk of the Merwede river,
we said we needed to stop and visit this fort, part of the Dutch waterline.
Now we plan to take all our guests there, if possible.

The fort dates back to 1844 as a fortress on the river against any enemy.
Today, since 2013, you can use it as a B&B.  How ironic.
They even hold weekend concerts there.

And as we often do, we first stopped for a nice break in the cozy café...

...where we both had a delightful uitsmijter, accompanied by the café's own beer:
De Drie Mutsen = The Three Hats.

Fully satisfied, we then took our own self-tour of the underground fort.

I don't know how to adequately express our shock/surprise at what we saw.
I've decided it's one of the best-kept secrets of the Netherlands!

There are TWO levels that keep going and going, from room to room.
You'd need a map to figure it out, though I suppose the soldiers were quick learners.
Talk about a photo-op...and it's all free.

As we left over the moat, we saw the Loevestein castle across the river.
A fort and a castle opposite each other!
I bet they were always saying to each other, "We've got your back."

As we drove away on the dijk, we looked back on the fort, surrounded by its moat,
with the Merwede river on the other side.
I wonder if the cows are old enough to tell the stories hanging in the air?

In this day and age...

which is why I needed to add this for the record!


18 comments:

  1. Well that is fascinating! Something about all those brick rooms, isn't there? Will be fun to see it. :)

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    1. Oh, yes, Ruth. You and Don will definitely see it!

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  2. I LOVE to explore fortresses and fortified towns. For some reason, I feel they speak of history in a way nothing else can. What a gem you have found so close to home. Such a picturesque place. I would have been in my glory. And to find it now with a cozy diner and B&B. Amazing. Thanks for this tour Ginnie.

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    1. I LOVE this kind of history, Susie, and am amazed by imagining what life was like during such a time of need. When you come to visit us, we will definitely take you there!

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  3. Oh, I just remembered something else I found fascinating: that the Dutch released WATER in defense of the fortress in times of war....what a perfect strategy given their landscape. History is endlessly interesting and a key to Darwinian methods of survival....use what you have!

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    1. I learn something fascinating every time I see such places and how the Dutch did/do things, Susie. The Dutch are so ingenious!

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  4. Sucha charming place, I'd love to stay at that B&B. Maybe one day.....

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    1. You never know about these things, Sham. The world gets smaller and smaller every day! :)

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  5. Hi Ginnie,
    Terrific post and my kind of place. Yes, lots more pictures to be taken there. This time I had to magnify each montage.

    Sorry for the delay in looking at these but it has been a hectic week preparing for the exhibition and an indeterminate number of guests back home after the opening. I’m still waiting on another shipment of books and very much worrying that I will have book-talk engagements and no books to sell. Retirement was much simpler.

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    1. This is a place many people, especially from America, would love, Ted. We just don't see things like this! I always get my education, specifically on how "intimate" Europeans have been with war.

      I have thought about you a lot in relation to your exhibition and wish like the dickens I could be there one time. You are so gifted! I hope the books came through for you.

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    2. The opening last night was wonderfully crowded, and people took their time to look at the images and then stayed and chatted on the terrace beside the Art Association. All the commentsI heard were enthusiastic. Afterward people came back to our house where Jane and Melissa had prepared a buffet. Thanks for the good wishes. I wish you could have been there too.

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    3. YAY for a great experience, Ted! Well deserved, I might add.

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  6. Many times I passed this place and never took time to visit. What an incredible place and so fascinating. I am glad that now I take time with you to 'hunt down' places like these.
    Great pictures :) IHVJ

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    1. Yes, indeedy! And to think that now we've seen it, we will probably take all our guests there. Who would have known!

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  7. This is just wonderful. I recently spent two nights at Presidio La Bahia in Goliad, Texas -- which dates back to 1749, when its third incarnation was built by the Spanish on the San Antonio river. It's much smaller and less complex, but the old quarters also serve as lodging -- but only one suite, so you have the fort all to yourself after the caretakers turn the key and go home!

    Something else of interest for you, perhaps. I came across this about some pieces of Escher's work in Leiden, and thought of you. You may have seen it, but if not, it surely deserves to go on a to-do list!

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    1. I bet your Presidio is equally as magnificent, Linda, beating Fort Vuren by a hundred years. WOW. Seeing that in America would really make the jaw drop!

      And thanks for the tip on Escher's work in Leiden. Escher is one of Astrid's favorite artists and Leiden is on our To Go list (I was there years ago in my past life). This past weekend was Open Monument Day (once a year) and we were in nearby Dordrecht. But we can always put Leiden on the list for next year. City hall is a government building where all rooms are not accessible throughout the year...just on Open Monument Day. Thanks for the tip!

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  8. I love that you have so much beauty and history so close....fabulous!

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    1. I do, too, Donna. I can't begin to tell you how lucky I feel! Thank you for knowing.

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