Top Historic Sights in Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands

Explore the historic highlights of Bergen op Zoom

Gertrudiskerk

According the legend, the Gertrudiskerk was founded the church in 654 by Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, abbess of the abbey in Nivelles. The older part of the church consisting of the towers, dates to around 1370. These were later incorporated in probably the 14th and 15th century when changes were made to the church. The current church building, completed in 1477 was designed by Evert Spoorwater. He devised a new chancel wi ...
Founded: c. 1370 | Location: Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands

Markiezenhof

The Marquises Palace (Het Markiezenhof) is one of the most beautiful examples of a late Gothic city palace to be found anywhere in Western Europe. It was built in the late 15th century by the famous Flemish master builders Anthonie and Rombout Keldermans as the residential palace of the Lords and Marquises of Bergen op Zoom.
Founded: 1485 | Location: Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands

Fort de Roovere

Fort De Roovere was part of the West Brabant Dutch Water Line. It is an earthen fort that goes through a wall (the Ligneweg) and is connected to Fort Pinssen. The fort is open from the ‘back’, and the ‘front’ consists of two bastions. The fort has a dry moat and the banks are overgrown with trees. In 1747, during the Austrian War of Succession (1740–1748) the fort was under siege by the Frenc ...
Founded: 1628 | Location: Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands

Ravelijn op den Zoom

The 'Ravelijn op den Zoom' (ravelin) is the last remnant of the fortifications designed by Menno van Coehoorn. The ravelin consists of a island with earthen and stone walls, surrounded by a wide moat. The ravelin is one of the few remaining parts of the extensive fortification system around the city. The fortress was so ingeniously designed that it was assumed that it could not be taken and therefore got the nic ...
Founded: 1702 | Location: Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Klis Fortress

From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.

Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.

In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.

Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.