The lookout tower on the Vaalserberg.
Ⓒ Dutch Height
With 322.5 meters above sea level the Vaalserberg the highest point in our country. For people living in countries with real mountains, this is of course a joke, but it may just as well be called a mountain: there is no clear definition for a mountain or hill. Some claim that you can speak of a mountain if it rises 200 or 300 meters above the surrounding landscape, so choose yourself.
The Vaalserberg has another noteworthy fact: it is the three-country point of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Until 1919 it was even a four-country point: the Netherlands, Belgium and Prussia (later Germany) then bordered on the mini-state Neutral Moresnet, which was later added to Belgium.
Incidentally, we can only speak of the highest point in the European Netherlands: when the island of Saba was added to the Dutch Caribbean islands in October 2010, the Vaalserberg had to surrender its status to Mount Scenery, which at 887 meters is now the highest mountain in the Netherlands.
All time low
With 6.76 meters below NAP, the municipality of Zuidplas is the lowest point.
Close to the Zuid-Hollandse Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel (municipality of Zuidplas) lies the Zuidplaspolder, with 6.76 meters below NAP the lowest point of our country. The well of the Randstad and the drain of Europe as it is also called, is located some 330 meters lower than the Vaalserberg.
Until the 19th century you could find the Zuidplas here, a lake created by intensive peat extraction. In 1816, King William I decided to drain the lake, and nine years later, with the help of thirty windmills, the drainage water from the polder was pumped into the Hollandsche IJssel, a job that was completed in 1840. Decades later, the water level was regulated with steam pumping stations, a job that was taken over by electric pumping stations.
In the Zuidplaspolder and adjacent polders you will find the villages of Moordrecht, Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel, Zevenhuizen, Moerkapelle and the hamlets Ver Hitland and Oud Verlaat. All these villages are part of the Zuidplas municipality, which takes its name from the drained lake.
The northernmost point in the Netherlands.
As for it northernmost uninhabited point from our land we arrive at the Groningen island Rottummerplaat, bordering the North Sea in the north and the Wadden Sea to the south. Until 1600 Rottummeroog was located here, which secretly drifted to the east. This is what the Rottummeroog, which was created as a sandy place from 1833, also does, to which the sand town Boschplaat, located more to the south, was attached to it in 1959. Access to the island is prohibited: it is only entered twice a year to clean up litter.
The most northern part of the mainland is located five kilometers above Uithuizermeeden. Appropriately, it is called The North Cape and can be reached on foot or by bicycle. In 2002, the artwork De Hemelpoort by artist René de Boer was placed as a marker.
Spa Bad Nieuweschans is the most easterly place in the Netherlands and also the most northerly border town.
Ⓒ Kees van de Veen
Bad Nieuweschans has two achievements: the health resort in the Groningen municipality of Oldambt is the most easterly place in the Netherlands and the most northerly border town. Until the reconstruction of the area in the 1970s, the place was called the Nieuwe- or Langeakkerschans, which was created in 1628, during the Eighty Years’ War. The word Bath was added after mineral-rich spring water was discovered at a depth of 630 meters. In 1985, the later award-winning wellness and spa town of Fontana opened to promote the advent of wellness tourism.
Boundary 12 near Klein-Kuttingen indicates the southernmost place.
After a good search at the bottom of the trunk of an imposing oak, you will find Grenspaal 12, officially it southernmost point from The Netherlands. The pole is located near Klein-Kuttingen, the southernmost town in our country. Also search well, because only a street name sign refers to it.
The southernmost village is Mesch in Limburg, the southernmost city is Maastricht. Incidentally, it is also said that it is the oldest city in the Netherlands, but opinions are divided on this. Incidentally, we cannot quite speak of the sunny south: last year, Vlissingen was the sunniest municipality with 2,135 hours.
The border crossing at Sint Anna ter Muiden in the Zeeuwse Sluis is the westernmost point.
Ⓒ Marc Ryckaert
The border crossing at Sint Anna ter Muiden in the Zeeland municipality of Sluis is seen as westernmost point from The Netherlands. But with a total of 55 inhabitants, things will not be very wild in Sint Anna ter Muiden, although you never know that of course.
Mude, as it was originally called, has been of historical importance to our country: in the Middle Ages it was an important trading city, so close to Bruges. City? Yes, in 1242 it received city rights. After the harbor silted up, not much of its value remained, and when Mude was burned down by the English in 1405 – only the church survived – certainly not anymore. Sint Anna ter Muiden can also call itself the smallest city in the Netherlands.
With colorful neighborhoods such as the Regenboogbuurt, Almere is the youngest city in our country.
Ⓒ Dutch Height
The youngest city of our country is of course located in the youngest province: Flevoland. In 1976 the first houses in Almere were completed, now the Benjamin has 214,926 inhabitants according to the latest figures. The city is expected to reach 350,000 inhabitants.
Almere-Haven is the oldest part of the young town, the first homes were completed on the Gooimeer. The city borders two more lakes: the IJmeer and the Markermeer. It lies on average 2 to 5 meters below sea level. Incidentally, the working name Zuidweststad was first used on the drawing board. In 1970 the name Almere was chosen. The youngest member of the Dutch cities is known for its striking architecture and funny street names such as Tante Pollewopstraat and Sesamestraat.
Maastricht is said to be one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, along with Nijmegen, among others.
This is a dangerous one. Several cities claim the oldest of our country: Heerlen, Nijmegen, Maastricht and Voorburg. It depends on the definition of the word city. Do you start from the obtained city rights, as was stated in Roman times and the Middle Ages, or from the urban character, size and continuous occupation?
Nijmegen is the loudest cry for the title: in 2005 the city celebrated its 2000th anniversary, established after the discovery of a Roman column from 17 AD that was excavated in 1980. The oldest mention of the city of Maastricht is said to have been made by the Roman historian Tacitus, circa 110 AD. On the other hand, there is no evidence that Maastricht has acquired Roman city rights, while Nijmegen and Voorburg do. In 1963, the Nijmegen archeology professor Jules Bogaers concluded that Voorburg could bear the title of oldest city, after researching a Roman milestone. It was granted Roman city rights around 121 AD, but as it has had no permanent residence, the title is disputable.
Heerlen is competing because of the remains of unique Italian cups that were only made between 20 BC and the year zero. The bathhouse is also estimated to be around 70 AD. In any case, the city is certainly a milestone: the bathhouse is the oldest building in the Netherlands.
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