Experience, enjoy and relax

Are you interested in special events that offer you a new experience and are just that little bit different from anything else? Do you enjoy arts and culture, a nice dinner, being with friends and an unexpected surprise? The Defence Line of Amsterdam is the place to visit if you’re looking for enjoyment and relaxation at special locations in the vicinity of Amsterdam.
© Cultuurcompagnie NH

The Defence Line of Amsterdam (Stelling van Amsterdam)

A remarkable defensive ring made up of 46 forts and batteries as well as a multitude of dikes and sluices encircles the Dutch capital of Amsterdam at only 15 to 20 kilometres distance (approximately 9 to 12 miles). It’s the Defence Line (or ‘Stelling’) of Amsterdam. The Defense Line is an extraordinary Dutch monument that is listed by UNESCO as one of only a few World Heritage sites in the Netherlands, as are the Rietveld Schröder House, the Beemster Polder and 17th century canal ring area of Amsterdam, for instance.

A special day out at the Defence Line

The Defence Line of Amsterdam is a monument that should be experienced. Let yourself be surprised and immerse yourself in an exclusive mix of arts and culture, breathtaking scenery, organic food and relaxing wellness treatments at unique locations. The Defense Line of Amsterdam is perfectly suited for anyone who is looking to get away from it all for a day or weekend without having to travel far from the Dutch capital. In the vicinity of the ‘Stelling’ you’ll find a multitude of extraordinary possibilities to spend the night, ranging from a comfortable farmhouse room to a luxurious overnight stay in a picturesque North Holland town.
In other words: the Defence Line of Amsterdam offers all that you need for a comfortable experience in which enjoyment and relaxation take centre stage. It’s the ideal outing for anyone who likes things just that little bit different.

Other things to do

  • At the cultural festival ‘Op de Bres’, held every year during the Whitsun (Pentecost) period, you can enjoy theatre productions at special locations, exhibitions, swinging music and good food,
  • Haarlem is close by and a visit to this beautiful historic city can be combined with a trip to the Fort near Vijfhuizen, where you can enjoy great art and top off your day with a nice dinner,
  • The Fort at the Ossenmarkt is known for its ‘sound walk’ to Uitermeer; you can also make a bike tour from the town of Bakkum to the forts in the northwestern part of the Defence Line.
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Passable part of an inundation in the form of elevated terrain, a road, (railway) embankment or waterway.

Collective term for projectile weapons.

Also called bulwark. An outward-projecting pentagonal structure, suitable for delivering flanking fire.

A storage site for military equipment. The parks in the Defence Line are spread out over sectors (sector parks) and groups (group parks).

A battery that is positioned behind armour plates.

A fort with one or more armoured artillery positions.

A number of artillery pieces combined into one group.

Shielded position from which defenders can harass the enemy.

A (low) defensive structure that extends into the moat and can be used to give flanking fire.

A space that is protected against enemy fire and is outfitted with a gun port, behind which a piece of artillery is placed.

An army division whose tasks include, amongst other things, the construction of temporary and permanent defensive structures. The term ‘engineer’ is derived from the French word ‘ingenieur’.

Also called covert way. A pathway that is protected from enemy fire by an earthen wall and can be used for transporting soldiers and military equipment.

Also called stop-log sluice. A temporary dam that stops the inundation water when beams are stacked up in its recesses.

Water purification system that improves the quality of drinking water by extracting iron.

Earthen elevation surrounding a defensive structure, featuring a breastwork.

A (wooden) shed where artillery and military engineering equipment were stored.

The part of a terrain that can be fired at.

Long-range flanking fire: fire support for the secondary forts. Short-range flanking fire: fire that covers the surroundings of the defensive structure itself.

Known in Dutch as ‘Vestingwet’. The act of the 18th of April 1874 that stipulated which forts would become part of the Dutch national defence system.

The side of a defensive structure that is facing away from the enemy.

In the Defence Line forts this is a casemate giving short-range and long-range flanking fire.

Undercarriage for a cannon or other heavy firearm.

Shell that is filled with highly explosive material.

The flooding of land to keep the enemy at bay.

Also called inlet sluice. A sluice that is constructed with the aim of letting water into a certain area.

An independent system of connected defensive structures.

Artillery that gives frontal fire over large distances, directly aimed at enemy positions.

A simple (temporary) defensive structure manned by a small number of soldiers.

An underground connecting passageway that is shellproof.

Known in Dutch as ‘Kringenwet’. Act of January 1853 that stipulates restrictions with regard to the construction of buildings in the vicinity of defensive structures, the so-called forbidden zones (‘kringen’), in order to guarantee a free field of fire.

A chart that is installed next to the gun port to give the operators of the artillery insight into the distances of targets and the corresponding firing angles.

A place of last refuge for the defenders of a fort, which can be defended independently.

A turret that is lifted up to give fire and is retracted and thus made almost invisible once the firing has stopped.

Position that provides shelter to retreating troops.

Battery that is situated in close proximity to a fort and performs some of the tasks that have been assigned to that fort.

The ability of a building to withstand gunfire thanks to brickwork, concrete or a bottom layer.

A shellproof depot for storing artillery and other essential military equipment.

A fort’s courtyard.

Ground-plan.

A turnable armoured artillery position.