Holland history started here.

Trip Start Jan 01, 2014
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Trip End Dec 31, 2014


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MS River Rhapsody

Flag of Netherlands  , North Brabant,
Saturday, October 26, 2013

Oct 25, Fri: WILLEMSTAD has a magnificent fortress that was invaded by the French, but Napoleon captured Willemstad after watching its defense works.  Napoleon ordered the building of the arsenal and gun powder house, and the fortifications were strengthened and new bastions were added.  It still retains the visual appearance of a large fortress. 
 
 
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One of the prominent sites in Willemstad is the Belgium War Cemetery.  On May 30, 1940, a Nazi ship carrying 200 prisoners ran into a mine that killed all of them. 
 
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Willemstad is named for Willem of Orange.  Maurits founded the reformed protestant church in 1607 that was the driving force of the fight for independence of the Netherlands. 
 
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The earliest history of Willemstad goes back to the end of the middle ages when the Bergen op Zoom ordered be "taken from the water" and a village was created.  It was called "Ruigenhil", but some decades later (1582), Willem of Orange got this part of the new country called "Holland." Realizing the strategic importance of this location, he started to build a fortress.  It's name "Willem's Stad" turned into Willemstad in 1583. 

 

 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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