Border Cities of Holland

The country of the Netherlands is frequented by people from around the world. People often are flocking to Amsterdam, but this country has more than just this famed city to offer. Some of it's best kept secrets and places to go are right on the edges where most just breeze past. Before you leave the Netherlands too quickly be sure to make at least a pitstop at any of its interesting, historical, beautiful, and unique border towns.

Middelburg

A bit divided by water, but still close enough to the Belgian border is Middelburg. Here you will find a spacious abbatial complex called Addij (abbey) and in here are three churches; Koorkerk, Nieuwe kerk, and Wandelkerk all built between the 14-17th century respectively. At the southern area of the complex there is a tall 91 meter tower that provides some spectacular views of Walcheren, and at the north the Zeeuws Museum. The northeast holds a Baroque structure that's adorned with a  dome. The town hall, Stadhuis, is a Gothic style building and Spaniards Street and Single Street provide some interesting and beautiful buildings. There are canals that snake through the city and this makes for a great walk or bike ride.

Maastricht

This city is on the border with Belgium and Germany.  Belgium is actually walking distance away, and just a quick cycle over to the other side, is Germany. This is a popular tourist spot for all the rich history and culture that this city exudes. The town square is a good spot to stop first. It's a pleasant stroll that runs into a few churches like the large Vrijthof which holds the St Servaas Church and St Jan's Cathedral. There is Town Hall (Stadhuis) as well as the weekly markets. There are festivals and events that are held in  Vrijthof throughout the year.

If you are in for some more history, there a number of museums to visit. Contemporary art can be found at Bonnefantenmuseum. For Roman remains and other archaeological interests check out the Derlon Museum Cellar. For some insights on some natural history you can go to Natuurhistorisch Museum and there a few more to choose from depending on your interests.

Arnhem

On the fringes of the country and close to Germany is Arnhem. It's the capital of the province Gelderland and is located along the Rhine river. For nature lovers, you can go to Meinerswijk where you can have a nice stroll or bike ride along the river or on the small 'beaches.'

There are plenty of places to go shopping here. There are four main shopping streets that can accommodate all kinds of shoppers. You will find a large variety of shops in the shopping mall and at the big market. During the year you will find fun festivals and events such as free concerts, Kings day party, and local fashion shows.

Enschede

A mere 15 minutes from the border of Germany is Enschede. Dating back to the Middle Ages is the oldest building in the city, Grote Kerk, “central church.” There is a beautiful constructed synagogue, perhaps the prettiest in the country that's worth a look, Synagogue Enschede, as the second oldest building of Elderinkshuis which has been remarkably surviving even after so many disasters. Take a break at the Volkspark. This park is pretty and pleasant and is a hot-spot for cultural activities during the year.

Groningen

The city of Groningen is set along side a canal and around half an hour away from the border of Germany. One of the must-see's in the area is the Groninger Museum. Here you will find contemporary and modern art, and some of the best collections on earth. There are a number of beautiful buildings and religious sites. The Rijksuniversiteit Groningen is the second oldest university and holds the Academiegebouw which is an appealing structure. There is the Synagogue, a WWII restored building, and Aa-kerk, an attractive Middle Ages church. Enjoy the late-medieval houses as you stroll around the streets and check out the two large markets in the centre of the city.

Delft

Another city on the fringes near Germany is Delft. The Oostpoort is a reminder of the only gate that remains from the old city walls that were built back in 1400. The Princes' court (Prinsenhof) is a museum, City Hall, numerous statues and the Odue Kerk (Old Church) are all points of interest. The city is set on network of canals is known for it's history and is Delft pottery ceramic products.

Delft_city.jpg