The old firing lines of Zeeland-Flanders are the topic of this cycle route (61,8 km). Earthen forts, redoubts and defence-line dikes speak to the border region’s tempestuous past.
The Eighty Years’ War of 1568-1648 prompted the construction of a series of defensive lines, by both sides, the Northern Netherlands and the Spanish crown. Called the State-Spanish Lines, head for the Museum ‘Het Bolwerk’ in IJzendijke to find out more.
Former fortress towns include Sluis, Aardenburg and Retranchement, the latter named for the French word for ‘ensconcing’. Now a serene village in the polder, it was once a military mainstay for the State troops. Ultimately, nature won the most battles here: rare tree frogs and little owls have settled between the stone walls.
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