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Boat excursion in the Eilandspolder

In close proximity to the Fort near Spijkerboor you’ll find the typical Dutch landscape of the Eilandspolder. Here you can take a boat excursion to enjoy tranquillity, space and meadow birds. In the spring the reeds along the shore are still short, as is the grass. This makes it easy to see the meadow birds’ breeding spots from the excursion boat. The boat departs from the town centre of De Rijp and will take you on an excursion that lasts about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Boat tours on the river Vecht

Boat company Tisset offers mini cruises on the river Vecht. The saloon boat Moby Queen, which is completely wheelchair friendly, takes you on a beautiful trip along the Fort at the Ossenmarkt, the windmills De Vriendschap and De Eendracht and the Fort Uitermeer to the towns of Nederhorst den Berg and Nigtevecht. After having crossed under the two bridges of the town of Vreeland you head back along the Nes towards the sluice of the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal in Nigtevecht, while enjoying a lunch buffet. After a quick crossing of the canal, which will take about 10 minutes, you’ll wind up at the canalised stream the Smal Weesp right across from the town of Driemond. Via the Smal Weesp and waterway the Kom van Weesp, passing by windmill ’t Haantje, you’ll return to the river Vecht.

Fort excursion Weesp including boat trip to Muiden

Departing from the Fort at the Ossenmarkt you can join an excursion to forts in and around the fortified town of Weesp. Included is a boat trip along the river Vecht, from the Fort at the Ossenmarkt to the Muizenfort in the town of Muiden. The excursion programme consists, amongst other things, of a walk across 17th century ‘sconces’ (small protective fortifications made of earth) and a guided tour of both forts.
The boat trip along the river Vecht will take you past the monumental Vechthoeve farm. Built in 1899, it is one of several farms that were purposely constructed close to forts of the Defence Line (so-called Kringenwetboerderijen) in order to ensure a constant food supply for the troops in the event of an invasion. During your visit to the fortified town of Muiden and the Muider Muizenfort Museum you’ll also get to see group shelters made of concrete and reconstructed trenches from May 1940.

Boating excursion Botshol nature reserve

Starting in mid June, boating excursions are organized in the Botshol nature reserve. You’ll pass peat meadows, reed fields and swampy forests, travelling through narrow ditches and over vast lakes. Don’t forget to put on warm clothes and/or rainwear and bring along your binoculars. The Fort in the Botshol is only open to the public during the Stellingmaand (Defence Line Month). The Fort along the Winkel is situated close to the nature reserve and now serves as a campsite. The landscape in between the Fort near Waver- Amstel and the Fort along the Winkel has remained virtually unchanged since the construction of these fortresses. In this area the Defence Line follows two small rivers, the Oude Waver and Winkel.
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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.


A turnable armoured artillery position.