Bourtange, tourist information

Photo 1
Coat of arms of Bourtange
Coat of arms of Bourtange

Number of inhabitants: 688
Number of national monuments: 11

Summary of Bourtange

Karzerne Street in Bourtange
Karzerne Street in Bourtange

Bourtange is a model fortified village in the province of Groningen, it is like a beautiful open-air museum. Read more about fortified towns on our special page, click here. Bourtange is a real model fortress which has been reconstructed. Experience the real atmosphere of a fortified town as it used to be in a fortified village that is virtually car-free. Although it is a fortress, Bourtange has never had city rights and is therefore not a fortified town, but a village.

Interesting history of Bourtange

In an environment with almost nothing but swamps, the Bourtange fortress was created in a place where it was difficult to get through the swamp. This route went over a sandy ridge (also called Tange). During the Dutch revolt in 1580, the Groningen stadtholder had declared allegiance to Spain, the route over the sand ridge was used for supplies to the city from Germany. William of Orange therefore ordered a fortress to be built to block the route. In 1594 the city of Groningen was recaptured and Bourtange continued to exist as a defensive fortress for the three northern provinces.

In the year 1851 Bourtange fortress was lifted, all that remained was an agricultural village. The military buildings were sold and the canals filled in.

The reconstructed fortress, around 1960 the village almost empty and in the early 70s the municipality of Vlagtwedde had the fortress completely reconstructed to the way it was in 1742, using images and maps from the past. As a result, Bourtange is now a real attraction for tourists. The lime trees on the historic market square are really centuries old.

Landmarks in Bourtange

Bourtange . Fortress Mill
Bourtange . Fortress Mill

Bourtange is a small fortified village, the entire fortress is, as it were, a freely accessible open-air museum, or the entire village is worth seeing and each building has its character and historical value. The old market square in particular is very worth seeing and the two mills also give the village extra strength. The hanging toilets above the canal are also special. Events with a historical character regularly take place in the fortress, keep in mind that at an event an entrance fee may be charged for entering the fortress.

Shopping in Bourtange

The Mestre in Bourtange
The Mestre in Bourtange

In Bourtange you will find very nice small (tourist) shops with a very cozy atmosphere. You can't go here for real shopping and you should move to Winschoten or Stadskanaal.

Things to do in Bourtange

The Battle of Bourtange (British)
The Battle of Bourtange (British)

The fortress Bourtange has several museums which are very nice to view.

  •  Terra Mora . About the swamp area. Click here for the site.
  •  Museum De Baracquen. Soldiers' quarters. Click here for the site.
  •  captain's house. This is a captain's house inside. Click here for the site.
  •  synagogue. Church for the Jewish residents. Click here for the site.
  •  The new Powder House. Old gunpowder storage. Click here for the site.
  •  The Days of Rum . Here is a film about the fortress. Click here for the website

You can make your own candles in the Candle Factory in the fortress.


Not Bourtange present, you can divert to Stadskanaal for this

There is also no theater in Bourtange for this you should move to Stadskanaal

Nature & parks in Bourtange

The old city walls of Bourtange
The old city walls of Bourtange

You go to this fortress especially to walk and or have something to eat and drink in the village. The fortress has been reconstructed with canals and ramparts where you can walk and enjoy the greenery.

Steps in Bourtange

the end of the Fortified State at Bourtange
the end of the Fortified State at Bourtange

The fortress has nice cafes and restaurants with cozy terraces, here you can enjoy something delicious and a beautiful view. Furthermore, you do not go to Bourtange for going out.

More photos from Bourtange