Fort Bourtange

With your feet in the grass, 350 years ago this is where Bommen Berend’s mercenaries waited for the signal to attack. Berend (Bernhard von Galen, bishop of Münster’s nickname) harboured a desire to conquer the fortified town of Bourtange, preferably without spilling blood. He offered Captain Prott 200,000 guilders and an attractive nobility title. According to history, Prott’s answer was: “There’ll be 200,000 bullets awaiting you if you don’t end this siege now.” Suddenly bullets and grenades were flying in and out of Bourtange, forcing Bommen Berend to beat the retreat. But he did manage to hold on to his money. Prott was the hero of the day, and the fortified town was saved.

These days it’s a bit easier to get into Bourtange. In the 1960’s, Vlagtwedde local council decided to restore the fortification to its former glory. Cross the bridge into history.

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And if you plan things correctly, you can even witness the Battle of Bourtange played out in front of you. But even on days when there is no one historically attired, history is always just around the corner. The barracks, the Captain’s house, the synagogue and the new powder house are all well worth a visit. Spending the night? Try a Captain’s or a Soldier’s billet. To book, have a look at Bourtange.nl/overnachten.


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