Vesting towns were originally fortified towns, encircled by protective walls and ramparts and other sorts of defensive systems. They were designed to protect the inhabitants from outside attack. Throughout the centuries, the Netherlands has suffered numerous invasions. These unwanted threats and domination by others has left an indelible mark on our country, particularly in the towns that played an important role in protecting the rest of the country - the so-called Dutch Vesting Towns.

The days of closed town gates or ‘ports’ are far behind us, as is the smell of gunpowder smoke from the battlefield, which means that nowadays we can enjoy the charm and beauty of those lovely old fortified towns, exploring their protective walls and ramparts. Each town has its own story to tell, creating its own particular atmosphere for your enjoyment. You can almost relive history in some corners while in sight of the ramparts and walls in their full medieval glory.

They are really worth a visit, allowing you to experience a little bit of Dutch history. The entrances to the Dutch vesting towns welcome you with wide open doors. The past really comes to life during the Dutch Vesting Town Open Days. This event takes place each year in a different vesting town which takes on a dazzling, festival ambience and where you will find historical costumes and mock battles acted out in the atmosphere of days gone by. Would you like to know where Dutch Vesting Town Open Days are taking place this year? Contact the Secretary’s Office of the Vereniging Nederlandse Vestingsteden.

We hope to see you there!