Weerterland / Kempen~Broek
Land of mills
When you think of mills, you don’t immediately think of Central Limburg, or of Weerterland, or the cross-border landscape of Kempenbroek.
The area round Weert is truly the land of mills. They take a predominant place in the landscape and belong to our hamlets, villages and cities. And it has been so for at least a hundred years, sometimes much more.
Our windmills and watermills testify to the agricultural past of the region. The were, and still are, places where people like to meet.
Most of the time, the first question which is posed is: “Would you like to see the mill?”
When thinking about mills, one does not immediately think about the central region in the province of Limburg. Nevertheless the area between Cranendonck situated in the province of Noord Brabant, Nederweert and Leudal situated in the province of Limburg and the Belgian towns Maaseik, Kinrooi, Bocholt and Hamont with Weert as its center, can certainly be called “Mill Country”. Mills take a prominent role in the landscape, our neighborhoods, towns and cities…
Windmills and watermills
Weert, Nederweert, Budel and some parts of the municipality of Leudal form Weerterland. The Belgian municipalities of Bocholt, Bree, Hamont, Kinrooi form the Kempenbroek. In this area, you can find 19 windmills and watermills. Right across the Belgian border, some 20 watermills and six more windmills are to be found, which are still run, turn and grind flour regularly, and whose flour is made traditionally, or whose oil is pressed and offered for sale. Moreover, some of the mills are used for training the new voluntary millers.
A great variety
What characterizes Weerterland between the Peel, the Meuse and the Kempen, is the diversity of the types of mills that you come across there. Most typical of the region are the mills erected on an articial mound, which are called “bergmolens” locally.
The sandy and peety soil around Weert has always proved to be rather barren. The most you could manage to do was to grow rye and buckweat, which is why you find above all grain grinding mills around the city.
Plenty of unusual mills
In and around Weert, you come across a few unusual mills, in particular the octogonal windmill of Swartbroek and the sixteen-sided one of Horn, as well as the two central post windmills which Baexem and Stamproy pride themselves on.
In Swartbroek and Stevensweert, two circular platform windmills are the highlights of the respective villages. Near the Meuse River, across the border, the watermills Sevensmolen and Napoleonsmolen are the attractions of Kaulille and Hamont.
All of our mills are little jewels which liven up the nicest parts of the Limburgian landscape.
Walks, bicycle and car tours
A nice trip to see the mills, on foot, by bicycle or by car, is something easy to do in the Weert area. Enjoy the mills and the lush greenery in the Greenest Region in the World, Kempenbroek.
On the website of Molenstichting Weerterland, www.molensinweert.nl, you’ll find numerous suggestions for visiting the mills on foot, by bicycle, by car, and even by rickshaw!
Visiting the mills of Weert has got an extra edge to it; Weert is not only a Mill-city. The area of Weert is also very rich in nature. ‘Entente Florale’ considered it to be the ‘Greenest City of the Netherlands’ in 2012 and ‘Greenest city of Europe’ in 2013. In the year 2014 Weert was utmost proud to be announced ‘Greenest region of the World’. Amongst all this beautiful nature that is where you can find our windmills and watermills turning.
The society Molenstichting Weerterland
In Weert, Molenstichting Weerterland preserves four windmills and cooperates with the owners of three more. The non-profit society makes sure that those windmills run regularly and that flour is ground, and organises guided visits and activities such as the mill days.
Besides, the society ensures the maintenance of the mills, seven of which are listed protected heritage, preserves their environment. It also cares for the public relations concerning the mills and cooperates with Molennetwerk Kempenbroek.
The society Molenstichting Weerterland organises activities for schoolchildren and students every month, mostly on Wednesday afternoons. Every mill has its regular Wednesday afternoon activities. Schoolchildren learn to know and like the mills. Moreover, activities are also organised during the holidays.
The importance of mills in our history is proven by an old written charter stated on the 12th of may 1295 by the chapter of ‘Sint (Saint) Servaes’ from Maastricht concerning the regulation of mill rights and ownership of a wind- and a watermill in Weert.
Come and visit us
The society Molenstichting Weerterland and the voluntary millers and guides like it when you show your interest for the mills that they are so proud of.
Our volunteers invite you to visit the mills. They will show you round the premises and speak of them with enthusiasm.
To know what activities are organized, or what mills are open on a particular day and what the opening times are, consult our website www.molensinweert.nl or follow us on Twitter via @OpenMolensWeert.
Where are the windmills and watermills in Limburg?
In Weerterland, between Limburg and the Belgian border, you will find plenty of watermills and windmills in action, as well as the remains of many others. All these mills are indicated on the map.
In Weert, the city tour includes the sites of eight mills that are now lost.
The description of that city tour, dubbed “Kollergang”, is available at the Weert tourist office (VVV) as well as in the Tourist Information Center.
- From the town of Grathem to Stevensweert you will be able to follow the Maasgouw Plus route which is 52 kilometers.
- At the NS railway station in Roermond a car mill route can be started trough the central area of the province of Limburg and the Leudal area.
- The ANWB cycling guide “Molens; routes, historie en achtergronden” also comprehends different local mill cycling tours, history and background information.
- Extraordinary Cabrio TukTuk mill tours can be booked at “Hoeve Sam Sam” in Nederweert.
- More information and tips on beautiful mill tours per bicycle, car or by foot can be found at our website: http://molensinweert.com/molenroutes/