W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie
W24
Doesburg
2017

W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie

W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie
W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie
W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie
W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie
W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie
W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie

The Doesburg defensive lines are some of the best preserved defences in the Netherlands, designed by military engineer Menno van Coehoorn. Doesburg was an important part of the plan for a defensive line along the river IJssel (IJssellinie), which was intended to protect the country’s eastern flank. Nowadays, the lines are a stunning and unique area in which nature and culture flourish.

Fortified town

Doesburg lies at the point where the Oude IJssel and Gelderse IJssel rivers converge. It is not only a favourable location for trade, but also from a military and strategic perspective. During the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648), Doesburg changed from being a trading town into a garrison. This restricted the town’s future development. The French demolished Doesburg’s fortifications after they captured and occupied the town in 1672. For thirty years, the town had no protection at all. It acquired the official status of fortified town when Menno van Coehoorn was commissioned to construct the new defences. He set to work with great enthusiasm. Doesburg remained enclosed by its ramparts until 1923.

New Netherlands System

The famous military engineer, Menno van Coehoorn, devised the New Netherlands System in around 1700. This system consisted of clever fortifications in zigzag formation with impregnable forts, lunettes, batteries, moats and open spaces, from which the enemy could be shot at. These fortified towns and cities became nodes in the defensive lines which had to protect the Republic from invasion. The most famous of these was the IJssel Defence Line (IJssellinie), which extended from Zwolle to Arnhem. Doesburg played a pivotal role in this.

Nature
The construction of the defensive lines around Doesburg started in 1703 and was intended to last thirty years. However, since their completion, the defences have never actually been used in a war. The fact that Doesburg maintained its status as fortified town until the 20th century, meant that the defensive lines were never demolished. They quickly became regarded as part of the town’s heritage. These days, the thirty-hectare site is a spectacular combination of military history and unspoiled nature. The High Line (Hoge Linie) to the east is a protected nature area which can only be visited by appointment. The Low Line (Lage Linie) to the south of the town is very close to the old town centre of Doesburg and is more accessible. It is an exceptional experience.

W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie
W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie
W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie
W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie
W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie
W24 – Doesburg – De Hoge Linie

Verdedigingswerken

7-doesburg-verdedigingswerken (1)
4:54