Bourtange, Battle AD 1640

The Battle of Bourtange, AD 1640
Slag om Bourtange 1640
10-11.06.2017 (odd years)
Bourtange (Vlagtwedde, Groningen)

The Event

Venue of the event is the fortress of Bourtange, a village part of the municipality of Vlagtwedde which is located in the beautiful Westerwolde region, in the Dutch province of Groningen, about 32 km northeast of Emmen, along the German border. This unique pentagon bastioned fortress had been constructed from 1580 to 1593 on the sand ridge in the Bourtanger moor and withstood many battles over the centuries, until being dismantled in 1851. Between 1967 and 1992 the fortress had been brought back to its glory of the yesteryear between 1740-1750 by the restoring of ramparts, ditches and soldiers’ barracks, and today Bourtange is an open air museum as well as one of the Dutch main tourist attractions featuring numerous sights like the museums, the fortress lodgings, restaurants, shops, guided tours, wedding facilities and spectacular initiatives and reenactments all year long.

Every odd year the fortress hosts a great reenactment of the 1640 Battle of Bourtange (for the Napoleonic reenactment held in the even years please see the relevant page in May Calendar). The fortified town of Bourtange goes back to 17th century at the time of the “Eighty Years War” or “Dutch War of Independence” against the king Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands (the war, started in 1568 AD, was ended only in year 1648 by the Peace of Westphalia which recognized the Dutch Republic as an independent country). Hundreds of reenactors from all over Europe in the encampments and fortifications will gather to relive the atmosphere and the armies of the 17th century through faithfully reconstructed artillery, infantry and cavalry units, with commanders, cannoneers, musketeers, pikemen, flag-bearers, drummers, as well as sutlers and other civilian camp followers. The audience will have a unique chance to travel back in time for a deep insight into the military and civil daily life by experiencing clothing, weapons, camp life, kitchenware and eating habits of the period. The rich programme includes as well military maneuvers and drills, guided tours, music and dance shows, the historical market and a variety of activities held in the fortress and the bivouacs, and culminates in the great battle reenactment between the Dutch and Spanish armies.

The Programme

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Fortress Bourtange / Vesting Bourtange
Address: W. Lodewijkstraat 33, 9545 PA Bourtange
Westerwolde, Groningen, The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0) 599354600
Tel.: +31 (0) 599354554

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