Nijmegen, a town with Roman origins.
Nijmegen is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, dating from at least the very first days of Roman conquest.
Located on the main branch of the river Rhine, not far from the German border. Strategically on a hill. Very un-Dutch having to climb up and down the streets when visiting.
Left : Carolingian chapel on Valkhof hill, 8th / 9th century.
Middle : Nijmegen and Valkhof hill as painted by Jan van Goyen 1641 (painting now in Valkhof museum)
Right : narrow winding streets around St. Stephen's church.
Left : Nijmegen, as painted by Lieve Pietersz. Verschuier in 1670.
Right : in February 1944, the old centre was largely destroyed. A not too well known bombardment, although it was comparable to Rotterdam 1940. Both in magnitude and casualties. But then, these were friendly American air planes, carpet bombing.
Later the same year, more damage during Operation Market Garden, aimed to capture the Rhine bridges.
After that lost battle of Arnhem, German shelling for about five months, as the frontline remained right here for all that time.
Roman soldiers display at the Valkhof museum. A substantial Roman army camp was located here for a couple of centuries, bringing rich archeological finds. Like this Roman horse soldier's iron mask, first century AD.
Roman building materials. In the centre, clay pottery sewer segments.
Left and right : Roman bricks with foot prints. One barefoot, another of soldier's sandals with tacks.
The Valkhof museum has also an interesting collection of pre-Roman and Medieval objects.
As a city full of history, various other museums and places of interest, Nijmegen is certainly worth the voyage.
By train about 2 hours from Amsterdam.
External links :
More on the city of Nijmegen : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nijmegen
Website of the fabulous archeological Valkhof museum
Bicycle museum with the largest collection of bikes in Western Europe : Velorama museum. (internal link)
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