Background information & nbsp;
Starting point fortress town Gorinchem
Around the old city center on the Linge and Merwede lies the city wall, which is crossed by so-called denominations and the preserved Dalem Gate from 1597. Small bastions (protruding parts) in the wall are characteristic. Information panels at the city wall provide explanations. A walk on the high wall is recommended.
On the east side is a defensive moat with a few ravelins (islands) and a second wall with large bastions from the time of the Old Dutch Water Line (OHWL). The Korenbrug lock with bulkhead barriers in the Lingehaven and a few stone bears (retaining walls between inner and outer water) also date from the time of the old water line (1672-1816).
The French attackers were not able to do much around Gorinchem in the year of disaster of 1672. The so-called fortification triangle of Loevestein Castle and the fortified towns of Woudrichem and Gorinchem - on both sides of the Merwede - had been made strong enough.
Later, at the end of Napoleon's reign, Gorinchem came into the winter months of
1814 to be under heavy and prolonged fire. After the retreat of the French, the
fortified city restored and converted into a cornerstone of the New Dutch Water Line (1815-1963).
Heukelum and Asperen
The first part of the route follows the dike along the natural curves of the Linge from Gorinchem to Leerdam. This part - in the border area with Gelderland - became part of the OHWL in the second half of the eighteenth century.
In the vicinity of Leerdam are the old towns of Heukelum and Asperen on the south side of the Linge. Parts of the fortifications that have been survived or restored include an earthen wall with a moat in Heukelum and a city wall and wall in Asperen. About a kilometer east of Heukelum, Merckenburg Castle stands within a wide moat. It was blown up by the enemy in 1672, but rebuilt decades later. A fort of the NHWL near Asperen is known today as 'het kunstfort' because of all kinds of cultural events.
Leerdam is also a historic city with a complete wall. Remnants and restored parts of the city or wall wall and (inhabited) wall towers can be found along the Linge. Mrs van Aerden's monumental Hofje is located on the site of the former castle. The city is widely known as 'The City of Glass'.
In 1672-1673 Leerdam and the entire area to the east of the OHWL was occupied and burnt treasure by the French. The nearby village of Schoonrewoerd was visited by looters. Invasions from Prussia (Germany) and France in the eighteenth century led to a lot of local discomfort and damage in Leerdam and the surrounding area.
To the east of Leerdam, the Devendijk begins, which forms the cross connection between the high dikes of the Linge and the Lek. In 1672-1673 the inundation area of the OHWL was located west of the D Liefdeijk, in the Dutch area. More than a century later, this was definitively moved to the east, in Gelderland.
The landscape around the Devendijk is varied and predominantly rural and quiet, except for the passage with the A2. Not so long ago, the opening in the transverse dike was widened considerably. If necessary, the motorway cut can be closed.
Some wheels (puddles) at the D dyke dike mark old dyke breaches. The centuries-old location of the transverse dike is evidenced by historic buildings and farms, while concrete casemates and group shelters accentuate the later military significance. The D Liefijk ends on the north side in front of a large nineteenth-century fort.
Torenfort Everdingen with embankment, canal, drawbridge, inundation locks, entrance gate and various buildings is completely built into the Lekdijk and is hidden behind shrubs and under trees. The river Lek with its high dikes has always been regarded by the military as a well defensible part of the water line.
On the route from Fort Everdingen to Vianen there are mostly floodplains on the river side and inside the dike mainly agricultural land, fruit and willow trees, farms and houses. A weir has been built in the river at Hagestein. After the underpass of the A27, the new construction of Vianen begins and the historic center is reached via a drawbridge over the lock complex of the Merwedekanaal.
Modern Vianen is completely surrounded and dominated by the large scale
traffic infrastructure of the A2 and A27. The old entrance to the city is perpendicular to the Lek. The monumental Lekpoort and wide Voorstraat indicate this. The Vrevia foot and / or bicycle ferry keeps the connection with the lock village of Vreeswijk (still) honored. The lock on the other side was of great importance to the OHWL north of the Lek.
In Vianen you can also find canals, parts of city walls and the Hofpoort. It was not a fortified town of the OHWL, but later in the eighteenth century it was part of the so-called Cordon van Holland. Then there was a battery outside the dykes.
Former redoubt on the dike at Ameide-Sluis
After Vianen, the Lekdijk is followed further to the west and to the OHWL from 1672-1673. The river villages of Lexmond and Jaarsveld then had a hard time in the front area. In the last village, the canal pattern of the Veldenstein castle, which was blown up in 1672, has been preserved.
Behind the Ameide-Sluis discharge complex, a redoubt had been constructed for the OHWL on the high Lekdijk. The enemy was not allowed to come further west. But in vain in November 1672. Many watermills, houses and farms were then set on fire by French soldiers. There were also dozens of victims. A supply of ammunition in the church of Ameide, strangely enough, remained untouched.
Zouwendijk / Bazeldijk
The Zouwendijk starts at Ameide-Sluis, which is called Bazeldijk further on at Meerkerk, and connects again with the Lingedijk to Gorinchem in Arkel. This transverse dike, on the border of the Vijfheerenlanden in the east and the Alblasserwaard in the west, was built along the old river Zederik or Zouwe. In the time of the OHWL, it formed the main connection between the dike ramp at Sluis aan de Lek and the fortified town of Gorinchem on the Merwede. In 1672, the inundated land stretched on both sides of this compound. Now there are mainly meadows, pilot whales
(willow cultivation) and reed beds; there are also farms and houses. After the underpass of the A27
the village of Meerkerk is reached. On the east side of the Bazeldijk, the Merwede canal then flows in the direction of Gorinchem.
Some options to have a drink and / or eat on the way:
Eat & Drink House 't Oude Stadthuys, Grote Markt 17
Restaurant Lingehaven, Langendijk 90
Tea-Pouring House Woonark Duo, Rietveld 14a
Tasting de Heerlijckheid, Kerkstraat 91
Pancake restaurant t Veerhuys, Kerkstraat 93
Café-Restaurant at Recreation Center Everstein, Lekdijk 34
Restaurant De Graaf van Brederode and De Vrijstad, Voorstraat 26 and 101
Tea house de Ponthoeve, Buitenstad 69
Café-Restaurant De Drie Snoeken, Dorpsstraat 67
Café-Restaurant De Gouden Leeuw, Kortenhoevenseweg 12
Eetcafe-Restaurant "In 't Wapen van Ameide", Benedendamsestraat 3.
Café d 'n Dijk, Lekdijk 30.
Eeterij Het Kleine Brughuis, Dorpsplein 2.
Café Petit Restaurant De Gouden Leeuw, Dorpsplein 4.