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Discover traditions, heritage and scenery of Limburg’s Roerdal

Dutch with a difference

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

It is no longer a ‘hidden’ pearl of the Netherlands: the Roerdal, but do explore it more closely when visiting the Netherlands next time. The Roerdal or the Roer Valley is quite different from, let’s say, Het Groene Hart, the Green Heart with its low-lying, flat as a pancake meadows that are lined with waterways, wide and narrow. If the Green Heart rates as typically Dutch, the Roerdal merits as Dutch with a difference, and be still more interesting.

Named after a minor river originating in Belgium, the Roerdal is not a very long stretch of Dutch territory. On its meandering path down to the Netherlands, the river first enters Germany and continues on its downward way past the Dutch border for its final leg of just a bit over 21 kilometres. It then empties itself in the Meuse near the central Limburg city of Roermond, after an elevation drop of over 640 metres.

Much more could be added about the Roer River, with its many tributaries, creeks and other small streams, along its 160 kilometres-route. In Germany, the Roer passes through an artificial lake created by the Roerdam, Germany’s second largest. Dutch with a difference is also the Roerdal terrain and history.

The Roer enters the Netherlands near the village of Vlodrop and meanders past neighbouring villages Herkenbosch, Melick and Sint Odiliënberg before reaching the Meuse. The Roerdal is interesting too as it is the habitat of kingfishers, beavers en rare libelles, and, as far as cultural manifestations are concerned, militia and various marching bands may be included.

To obtain the entire 3-page illustrated article on the Roerdal, request a copy of the January 27, 2012 issue of The Windmill Herald (as long as supply lasts).