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Prehistory

About 3000 burial mounds are known to exist in the Netherlands. Most of these can be found in Gelderland, particularly in the Veluwe. Grave mounds appeal to the imagination: they are the first tangible remains of our distant ancestors. Later inhabitants had no idea where the mounds came from and often made up all sorts of exciting stories.

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Romans and Batavians

For more than 400 years, the south of the Netherlands was part of one of the greatest civilizations in history: the Roman Empire. We have learned a lot from the Romans, such as writing and the administration of justice. In addition, the Romans brought prosperity and also the longest period of peace in Western European history.

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Middle Ages and the Dukedom of Gelre

Gelderland, or Gelre as the province was called in the Middle Ages, was the most important principality in the Northern Netherlands. Gelre was a dukedom from 1339 to 1671 and was always mentioned first in the list of principalities/provinces. All periods from the early to the late Middle Ages have left their traces in Gelderland. Gelderland not only has the most medieval cities, but also the most castles in the Netherlands.

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Estates and Country Houses

After the Middle Ages, the nobility was given away to a new elite. This elite emerged from the urban bourgeoisie and became very rich through trade. The ‘new rich’ made it to the best jobs in politics. Outside the cities, they converted their wealth into large estates with beautiful country houses.

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Industrial Heritage

The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century had a major impact on society. It resulted in an enormous increase in prosperity, which made consumer goods available to everyone. There are still many striking monuments scattered throughout Gelderland from the industrial era.

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Life along the Waterline

The New Dutch Waterline (De Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie) dates from the 19th century and runs across the country from the IJsselmeer to the Biesbosch. The purpose of the line was to protect the major cities of Holland against possible invasions from the east. Many forts are still there, some are now being reused in surprising ways.

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Liberation Route

The Liberation Route follows the path of the Allies during the liberation of West Europe in 1944 and 1945. The route starts in Normandy and runs via Nijmegen and Arnhem towards Berlin. The route is marked with audio points in the shape of boulders. At each audio point you can listen to radio stories with impressive experiences told by one or more people in 1944 and 1945.

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Cold War

The Cold War is a special time layer in Exciting History. It represents a period of time when people were preparing for a war that never came: World War III. Between 1950 and 1960, numerous installations and shelters were built in the deepest secrecy. Many of them are still hidden in the landscape and even in crowded cities.

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Discover the Exciting History of Gelderland

The province of Gelderland has a rich history. A history that goes back thousands of years and has left its traces in the landscape. We would like to take you on a journey through Gelderland’s history. Based on the timelines, you will get to know burial mounds, marching soldiers, murder crosses and imposing castles.

Audio and video

Get to know Exciting History

We do not only provide written information about historical sites, but also sound and images. Of each location a video or audio story is made, bringing history to life. Often these stories tell you something you wouldn’t expect.

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Dive into the industrial past

The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century had a major impact on society. It resulted in an enormous increase in prosperity, which made consumer goods available to everyone. Scattered throughout Gelderland are still many striking monuments to its industrial past.

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Historic locations

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Ermelo – Roman marching camp

Ermelo – Roman marching camp

Ermelo
Heumen – Roman watchtower

Heumen – Roman watchtower

Malden
Doornenburg – Doornenburg Castle

Doornenburg – Doornenburg Castle

Doornenburg
Voorstonden – Brummen

Voorstonden – Brummen

Brummen
Winterswijk – Willink knitting mill

Winterswijk – Willink knitting mill

Winterswijk
Maalvliet and Acquoy inundation polder

Maalvliet and Acquoy inundation polder

Acquoy
Beek – The Diary of Rose Jakobs

Beek – The Diary of Rose Jakobs

Beek-ubbergen
Meinerswijk – The Ijssel Line

Meinerswijk – The Ijssel Line

Arnhem