Varik – Fat tower
M53
Varik
1300

Varik – Fat tower

Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower

Varik’s history dates back to the 10th century when a property known by the name of Feldrike stood here. Building on the present tower started in approximately 1300. For centuries, the tower has acted as a beacon for shipping on the river Waal. At 35 metres tall, this sturdy tower certainly stands out from its surroundings.

Emperor Otto
Varik has been inhabited since the Early Middle Ages. After breathing new life into Charlemagne’s empire, Emperor Otto I bestowed the Feldrike estate upon one certain Count Widergeld. The estate comprised a church, farmhouses, buildings, serfs, land, fields, meadows, forests, watercourses, fisheries, mills, movable and immovable property. This made Varik an important place even then, with a strategic position on the river Waal. In 1300, the building on the present church tower started and for centuries, it has been referred to by German sailors as ‘Der Alte’ (the old one).

The tower
The church tower was built in various stages. The lower part is made of tuff stone, possibly recycled from Roman materials: this part of the tower is no longer visible, because the ground around it has been raised. The second layer is brick with tuff stone bands the third layer is made entirely of brick. At the end of the 20th century, the tower was nearly demolished because there was not enough money to restore it. Luckily, a private initiative came to the rescue to form the Friends of the Old Tower Foundation (Stichting Vrienden van de Oude Toren).

A considerable climb
The tower is open on Sundays during the summer. The climb to the top of the 35-metre tower provides marvellous views that stretch as far as Zaltbommel, Tiel, Grebbeberg, St John’s Cathedral in ‘s Hertogenbosch and, on a clear day, even as far as the Dom tower in Utrecht. The Veerhuis [ferry house] next to the tower has been converted into a café and restaurant. Varik’s former fire station now houses a distillery where various types of fresh fruit from the Betuwe region are turned into eaux-de-vie brandy using traditional techniques.

Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
Varik – Fat tower
M 53 Dikke Toren Varik 25052013
2:42