Fortress town Stevensweert
Island in the Meuse
Stevensweert forms together with Ohé and Laak the 'Island in the Meuse', an island formed by two (former) arms of the river Meuse. The main stream of the river Meuse forms here the natural marker of the border with Belgium and is therefore also called Grensmaas.
From April to October you can cross the Meuse from Ohé en Laak with the bicycle and foot ferry 'De President Willy Claes' to the Belgian Ophoven, between bicycle junctions 01 and 22. For the exact crossing times see: rondjemethetpontje.nl
Fortified town and fortifications
The original village of Stevensweert was converted into a fortified town by the Spaniards during the Eighty Years' War in 1633. An earthen rampart with seven bastions and five ravelins was constructed. In 1702 the Battle of Stevensweert brought the fortress back into State hands. Stevensweert has retained its geometric street pattern to this present day. The original rampart no longer exists. In 2007 a start was made on the reconstruction of part of the fortifications on the basis of historical map material on the northern side of Stevensweert. These can now be visited.
A part of Stevensweert has a protected village view. The fortifications are still recognizable in the unique street pattern of the town. TIP: In the Streekmuseum Stevensweert-Ohé en laak you can view a scale model of the complete fortifications and you will learn all about the special history of the Island in the Maas.
Other places of interest
On the Jan van Steffeswert square you will find the R.C. St. Stephanus church, the Protestant church and the regional museum Stevensweert-Ohé and Laak. The main entrance to the fortress, the Maaspoort and the second entrance, the Veldpoort have recently been made visible again in the city center.
Just outside Stevensweert is the Hompesche Molen (Hompesian Mill), this tower mill dating from 1722 is the highest mill in Limburg (NL). At the nearby Molenplas with its fossilized trees you can take a lovely walk.
Right next to the ferry across the Maas between Ophoven (B) and Ohé en Laak (NL) you will find the castle domain Walburg, realized in 2020 in cooperation with the municipality of Maasgouw and Natuurmonumenten. Historic sightlines have been restored and the contours of the former buildings have been made visible again. Site signs tell about the history of this special place. From the 10 meter high viewing tower you have a wonderful view of both the entire domain and the Maas. TIP: In the Streekmuseum Stevensweert-Ohé en laak authentic Walburg objects are on display and you can admire an impressive scale model of the estate in its time of glory.
Walking and cycling on the Island in the Maas
Every first Sunday of the month you can participate in a themed walk led by a VVV guide. There are also tours for groups available throughout the year.
It is also possible to go on a city walk through Stevensweert yourself. This is about 2 km and leads among other things over the reconstruction of the fortifications.
The theme walk Splendid Places on the Island in the Maas is 6, 7 or 13 km.
The Maasstadjesfietsroute also runs across the Maas Island and also makes a side trip to Belgium, total length approx. 47 km.
These routes are for sale for € 1.00 via the webshop or in the VVV stores.
Walking and cycling maps according to the junction system and of the RivierPark Maasvallei are also available in the webshop.
For more information: VVV Stevensweert
Most Beautiful Fortress Town of the Netherlands 2021?
The ANWB has nominated a number of Dutch fortified towns that have a chance of winning the title of Most Beautiful Fortified Town of the Netherlands. The picturesque Stevensweert is also part of this selection. Discover more about this election here and cast your vote on Stevensweert! You can vote until April 15, 2021!