Bourtange, Netherlands, Europe
Year1580latitude: 53° 0'
longitude: 7° 11'
Initiator(s)Willem van Oranje/ Willem Lodewijk van Nassau
Planning organization
Nationality initiator(s)Netherlands
Designer(s) / Architect(s)Diederik Sonoy
Design organization
Inhabitants780 (2020)
Target population
Town website
Town related links

type of New Town: > scale of autonomy
New Town
Company Town
> client
Private Corporation
Public Corporation
> policy

source: wiki/Bourtange

The centre of the fort is a pentagonal square lined with trees.
source: wiki/Bourtange

Map of Bourtange in the year 1742.

Bourtange is a fortress with a pentagonal shape, built at the end of the 16th century as part of the Eight Years war (1568-1648).
The fortress was built on a strategically important location, in the middle of the mashes blocking the only road which Groningen and the Spanish army used for transport. Willem van Oranje (Willem I of Orange) ordered to built the fort. In 1594 Groningen was reconquered and Bourtange became part of the northern defence line.
Until the middle of the 19th century the small fortress was a special kind of city in which soldiers, army and civilians lived together, and daily life was intertwined with military customs.
When the marshes started drying out and weapons became more developed and long range, the functionality of the fortress diminished.
In the 1960s the fort was deteriorating and it was decided to restore it to its 18th century state. Today, Bourtange is an open air museum.


2008 - 2024 disclaimer