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Ways to discover the depth of a very rich Dutch heritage

Reconnection through castles, monasteries and barges

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

In an age of global village concepts and intercontinental travel, numerous villages and small towns in the Netherlands are begging rediscovery and integration into both travel itineraries and family history books and journals. Will those whose ancestry can be traced to someplace in the Netherlands fully appreciate the depth of Dutch heritage without an in-depth effort at exploring those roots? Instead of, or in addition to, following paper trails, the country's other trails have much to offer those wanting the visit of a lifetime.

Local historical societies and heritage promoting groups in the Netherlands are continually active in laying out historical routes, heritage trails, preserving old crafts and rehearsing cultural traditions. Heritage groups have created all sorts of routes, but a real experience demands more than sightseeing by car or bus. Below follow some options to consider:

Many castles and manors have been restored and put to use as hotels, restaurants, museums or as office facilities. Other such buildings may be open regularly or by special arrangement. By staying at a castle for a couple of days allows visitors to explore the area around it on foot or by bicycle, adds to the experience and a deeper appreciation for its history.

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