Drenthe is very popular with cyclists. It is a province with moors and woods, for a long period inaccessible. Now a friendly place to eat some pancakes and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere.
Where is it?
You will find Drenthe in the Eastern part of the country.
Originally Drenthe was very inaccessible for travellers. From the south you could go there trough the three towns in the south: Meppel, Hoogeveen and Coevorden. In Coevorden you still can recognize the walls used to support the military function of the town.
The province consisted of swamps, moors and woods. In the 19th century development starts. Most swamps were used to gain the peat, which was mainly used to make fires for heating and cooking. Now most peat disappeared. In the south-east region you still can find some remainders.
Stretching from south-east to north-east you can find the Drenthse Heuvelrug (Hill ridge). The hills were laid here by the glaciers from the Ice Age. The glaciers also brought the large stones that were used for the grave monuments we call "Hunebedden" You see one of the on the picture that illustrates this page. Most of them were destroyed in the 18th and 19th century, but about 50 of them remain. You may find them at the most unlikely locations. In the middle of a wood, in a private garden, near the church... Just look for them, you will see some of them.
In the south-east part they found oil. You still can see the remainders of oil pumps at some places.
Towns and villages
There are not many large towns in Drenthe. You may like to visit Hoogeveen and Emmen. Other larger towns are not very interesting. More interesting are the many villages. The characteristic type is a large square, called brink. The brink consists of grass and there a re standing trees. Around the brink you can find some shops and farm houses. A very nice brink village is Aalden, near Zweeloo. It may be a bit difficult to find the brink. It's a real hidden treasure. Orvelte is also a nice brink village. It has the character of an open air museum, but still some people live there.
Very special is Veenhuizen in the North of Drenthe. It is a prison village. You still can see the houses where the employees of the prisons used to live. There also is a small museum.
Westerbork has a memorial centre for the 2nd world war camp. Thousands of Dutch jews spent here some time before they were transported to the German camps like Auswitch. Westerbork also has a large radio telescope.
Emmen has a very nice zoo.