The Liemers is a region in Gelderland, the Netherlands. The region is located between the Dutch-German border and the Rhine, IJssel and Oude IJssel rivers. The region consists of the municipalities of Duiven, Montferland (though not officially), Rijnwaarden, Westervoort and Zevenaar.
The origin of the name of the Liemers region is debated upon, though it is commonly assumed that its name refers to the borders of the Roman Empire (Limes), which used to be the river Rhine, with the Romans living south of the river, and Germanic groups living north and east of the river.
The region itself consists of five municipalities; Duiven, Montferland, Rijnwaarden, Westervoort and Zevenaar. The first one and last two of which are also the names of the three largest cities found within the region. Aside from these cities, other locations include Lobith, 's-Heerenberg and Didam.
Duiven as a region has been part of Prussia and the Netherlands, going back and forth between the two during the first part of the nineteenth century. The municipality has been a part of the Netherlands since 1808, when it was gifted to the country by Prussia. In December of 1813 it was split from Westervoort to create a new municipality that was gifted back to Prussia on the seventeenth of that same month. The Congress of Vienna returned the municipality to the Netherlands on the first of June 1816. Nowadays the city of Duiven isn't much of a tourist-y site with the city functioning more as a regional hub for household-related shopping, with stores such as Makro, IKEA, MediaMarkt and Intratuin.
Montferland is a forested and, compared to the rest of the Netherlands, rather hilly. It has been created on the first of January 2005 by merging the provinces of Bergh and Didam. Bergh, which is most likely named after its most prominent castle, used to be the land of the counts of Bergh. Historically it has been influenced largely by the nearby city of Doetinchem, whereas Didam chose to look up to Arnhem and the rest of the Liemers. Bergh is popular amongst off-road cyclists, hikers and horseback riders for its slanted and forested terrain.
Didam, though it may seem unlikely, is far older than 's-Heerenberg (i.e. Bergh). Where the city now lies has once, in roman times, been a Germanic settlement. Near the city several loose roman coins have been found, as well as a fourth century coin treasure. Until early 1606 the municipality was overseen from the Didam Castle (also known as Berghvrede or Meurse Toren) which would have been built around 1100. Most of the castle would have been gone by 1503 after a fire broke out in the castle. Its tower remained standing until 1606. The moat belonging to the now former castle was filled at the end of the nineteenth century. The castle was found back in 2012, though large portions of the terrain are believed to have been damaged by the construction of a 1944 anti-tank trench by the Nazi Germans. The construction of the southern ring road of Didam destroyed much of the archaeological digs that uncovered Iron age, Roman and Medieval remains. Most of the historical city that was Didam has been destroyed on the 10th of August, 1925, when a cyclone, known as the Stormramp van Borculo destroyed a large amount of the city.
Rijnwaarden, named after the river Rhine (Dutch: Rijn) which enters the Netherlands in this municipality. Rijnwaarden has been created in 1985 by merging former municipalities of Herwen en Aerdt and Pannerden. The municipality has close ties to Zevenaar, Duiven and Westervoort. The municipality is due to be merged again with Zevenaar on the first of January 2018, as the municipality considers itself "too small to cooperate, so therefore it sees no other choice than to merge". The municipality is occasionally casually referred to as Het Gelders Eiland (roughly: The Guelders' Island), as it is on all sides surrounded by rivers, including the Rhine, Old Rhine (or Rijnwaarden) and the Pannerdensch Canal. This large amount of water makes that the region is largely agricultural. The "island" makes for a beloved getaway for many Germans.
- 2 VVV Toeristisch Informatiecentrum Rijnwaarden, Rijnstraat 18, NL-6916 BD Tolkamer, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
Westervoort dates back to the middle ages. As its name has been found in a 726 scroll, Westervoort is assumed to be the oldest settlement of the Liemers. The town has been part of the Bergh region until 1735, when the city of Arnhem purchased it. The town, due to its proximity to Arnhem, was considered rather isolated. The only way across was a veer (ferry) until the first bridge, to be used by only trains, was built in 1855. The first bridge for all other traffic was finished in 1901. On the 10th of May, 1940, the first act of war had been made near Westervoort. The bridge, which now had been standing just short of 40 years, was demolished. This meant a start of the Second World War in the Netherlands. Westervoort itself came through the war without major scars, and by the 1980s, the city knew much growth due to sub-urbanisation.
Zevenaar, together with Duiven, was gifted to the Netherlands in 1808 by Prussia, then returned in 1813 and merged back in after the Congress of Vienna on the first of June, 1816. Zevenaar is mostly a hub for all sorts of traffic. Historically it has been a hub for trains, having multiple lines connecting the Achterhoek with the Netherlands, and the Netherlands with Germany.
- 3 VVV Buitengoed de Panoven, Panovenweg 18, NL-6905 DW Zevenaar.
- 4 VVV Informatiepunt Cafetaria Joosje, Meentsestraat 52, NL-6987 CP Giesbeek.
The north of the Liemers can be easily visited by car. The highway A12 runs straight through the middle of the region, and the A18 starts in the region. As mentioned above, Duiven, Westervoort and Zevenaar are located directly along the A12. 's-Heerenberg can best be reached by following the A12 into Germany, where it becomes Autobahn 3, and using exit 3 (Emmerich). Instead of heading for Emmerich, you should head away from the city. As soon as you enter the Netherlands again, you will be in 's-Heerenberg. Lobith can be reached via exit 29 or 30 on the A12, from which you will have to use the N336 or N812 respectively to get to Babberich, where you turn onto the N811, which will end in Lobith.
To get into the Liemers by train, first make your way to Arnhem, where you need to take the train heading for Doetinchem and/or Winterswijk. This train can take you to 1 Westervoort, 2 Duiven, 3 Zevenaar, 4 Didam and 5 Wehl in that order. At several of these stations you are able to rent a bike (OV-Fiets) or take a bus to get to your destination.
As for all of the Netherlands, bikes can be used for short distance travel. For long distances, a (rental) car or bus is advised. The North of the region can also be travelled by train.
- 1 De Boetselaersborg, Het Kattenburg 6, NL-7041 AS 's-Heerenberg. The Boetselaersborg was built in 1550 by Daem and Hector, two bastard-sons of Willem III of Bergh. It was damaged severely during the Eighty Years War, and it was fully restored by 1632. The settlement was largely expanded upon in 1725 and 1927.
- 2 Kasteel de Kemnade, De Kemnade 1, NL-7048 AC Wijnbergen, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The medieval castle De Kemnade is a small yet picturesque castle by the merging point of the Waalse Water and the river Oude IJssel. The building is privately owned, but its garden some of the building itself can be visited when an appointment is made, which will get you an hour-long private tour organised by the owner himself. Groups have to consist of eight or more people. €5 per person, groups of eight of more required..
- 3 Huize de Byvanck, Melkweg, NL-7037 CN Beek. The Byvanck is a non-accessible, privately owned castle. Though it is privately owned, the surrounding estate can be visited freely.
- 4 Kasteel Huis Bergh (Bergh Castle), Hof van Bergh 8, NL-7041 AC 's-Heerenberg, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The Kasteel Huis Bergh or Bergh Castle is a castle in 's-Heerenberg, and was previously owned by the counts of Bergh. The building dates back to the 13th century, though the then constructed castle burned down in 1735. It was rebuilt shortly after. Nowadays the castle houses many Italian artworks and an extrordenary collection of medieval handwritings. Furthermore, the castle is occasionally used by travelling theatres. Adults: €13,50; Kids (5-13): €8,50.
- Kasteel Huis Bergh (Bergh Castle), see above.
- 5 Muntwal (Bergh Mint), Muntwal 1, NL-7041 AA 's-Heerenberg, ☏ . The counts of Bergh had several minting companies at or near their castles in 's-Heerenberg. The mint, which was built upon medieval privileges given to the counts of Bergh, was blooming mostly in the 16th century. This mint specifically, has been used between 1580 and 1632, after which private minting companies were forbidden by the Dutch state. Groups can request a tour of the mint at any time of year. Individuals can visit the mint and the Bergh Castle at certain times.
- 6 Bergh museum, Marktstraat, NL-7041 AH 's-Heerenberg, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1 Kartbaan Duiven, Nieuwgraaf 5, NL-6921 RJ Duiven, ☏ . The only karting track of the region. It offers an indoor track with many sharp corners and a difference in elevation, as both the ground floor and first floor are part of the track. €14.
- 2 Rhederlaag, NL-6988 Lathum, ☏ . Rhederlaag is a recreational water between Giesbeek and the river IJssel. It has been created artificially to ease the amount of visitors going to the Posbank.
- 3 Stroombroek, Het Stroombroek 1, NL-7047 AS Braamt, ☏ . Stroombroek is a lake created after the area was drained for sand needed for the construction of the A18. After it was competed, the created hole was filled with water to create a recreational beach.
- 4 De Nevelhorst, Nevelhorstpad 2, NL-6941 Didam.
- 1 Restaurant Vlees en Vis, Kerkweg 2, NL-6905 AW Zevenaar, ☏ .
- 2 Ask de Chef Zevenaar, Grietsestraat 51, NL-6901 GS Zevenaar, ☏ .
- 3 Restaurant de Revolutie, Markt 4, NL-6901 Zevenaar, ☏ .
- 4 't Raedthuys, Rijksweg 51, NL-6921 AC Duiven, ☏ .
- 5 Pannenkoekenhuis de Snippenhof, Parallelweg 23, NL-6922 HP Duiven, ☏ .
- 6 Pizza/Steak/Shoarma Hollywood, Dorpstraat 65, NL-6931 BD Westervoort, ☏ .
- 7 Juffrouw Tok, Tolweg 9, NL-6942 HX Didam, ☏ .
- 8 Steak'm, Smallestraat 33, NL-6942 HA Didam, ☏ .
- 9 Gunes, Schoolstraat 8, NL-6942 AK Didam, ☏ .
- 10 Jan&Jan, Lieve Vrouweplein 4, NL-6942 AG Didam, ☏ .
- 11 Het Tolhuis, 's-Heerenbergseweg 42, NL-7038 CD Zeddam, ☏ .
- 12 Smouzen, Molenpoortstraat 35, NL-7041 BE 's-Heerenberg, ☏ .
- 13 Grand-Café Het Schaftlokaal, Hutteweg 24, NL-7071 BV Ulft, ☏ .
- 1 De Tolkamer, Europakade 10, NL-6916 BG Tolkamer, ☏ . €102.
- 2 V.O.F. Wacht am Rhein, Veerstraat 1, NL-6916 BE Tolkamer, ☏ .
- 3 Buitengoed de Panoven, Panovenweg 18, NL-6905 Zevenaar, ☏ . €63.
- 4 Hotel Restaurant Campanile Zevenaar/Arnhem, Hunneveldweg 2A, NL-6903 ZM Zevenaar, ☏ . €50.
- 5 Van der Valk Arnhem/Duiven, Impuls 2, NL-6921 RK Duiven, ☏ . €93.
- 6 Hotel Gieling Duiven, Nieuwgraaf 4, NL-6921 RJ Duiven, ☏ . €93.
- 7 Hotel 't Heuveltje, Sint Jansgildestraat 27, NL-7037 CA Beek, ☏ .
- 8 Hotel Zonneheuvel, Schaapsdrift 12, NL-7037 CJ Beek, ☏ .
- 9 Hotel Restaurant Ruimzicht, Kilderseweg 19, NL-7038 EH Zeddam, ☏ .
- 10 Eureka Hotel, Kilderseweg 2, NL-7038 BW Zeddam, ☏ .
- 11 't Wapen van Zeddam, 's-Heerenbergseweg 3, NL-7038 CA Zeddam, ☏ .
- 12 Hotel Heitkamp, Oudste Poortstraat 2, NL-7041 AR 's-Heerenberg, ☏ .
- 13 Hotel de Lantscroon, Molenpoortstraat 12, NL-7041 AE 's-Heerenberg, ☏ .
Campsites and Bungalowparcs
- 14 Camping De Boschhof, Polderdijk 2a, NL-6914 KJ Herwen, ☏ .
- 15 Camping de Rijnstrangen, Beuningsestraat 4, NL-6913 KH Aerdt, ☏ .
- 16 De Hartjens, Hartjensstraat 7, NL-7045 AH Azewijn, ☏ .
- 17 Het Jagershuis, Loilseweg 3, NL-7031 HA Wehl, ☏ .
- 18 Siebieverden, IJsselweg 5, NL-6998 CD Laag-Keppel, ☏ .
- 19 Landal Stroombroek, Landweerswal 2, NL-7047 CE Braamt, ☏ . Bungalow park right besides the recreational waters of Stroombroek.
From the Liemers, especially the west of the region, you will find that connecting to large cities such as Arnhem and Nijmegen is rather easy. Both have good connections between each other for both transport by car as well as public transit.
The north of the Liemers connects well with the Achterhoek, especially the cities of Doesburg and Doetinchem, of which the latter is partially within the Liemers. Other, somewhat more obscure locations to visit here are Bronckhorst, which is worth visiting for its high density of castles or Oost Gelre, with large events such as the Zwarte Cross.