Zuiderwaterlinie and De Langstraat

| Visit The Langstraat

The Zuiderwaterlinie forms a unique series of historic fortified towns and surrounding areas linked by the authentic story of defending the Netherlands on water. Region De Langstraat is also located with certain areas on this unique line, which you can visit during your stay in De Langstraat. As the oldest, longest and most deployed water line in the Netherlands with areas in the municipalities of Heusden and Waalwijk, it offers a rich historical experience and unparalleled cultural experience for everyone who visits De Langstraat.


Our ancestors used water as an important tool in their defense of the Netherlands during its many wars. To protect their homeland, they created an impressive network of water lines to repel enemy troops. When approaching danger, such as during the time of the Eighty Years' War, or during conflicts against Louis XIV, the land was strategically flooded. A tactic known today as inundation. This took place particularly in the late 17th century, when fortress builder Menno van Coehoorn came into the spotlight. This brilliant builder was behind the impressive system of contiguous water lines, which were enriched and fortified with various fortifications and entrenchments. This marked the birth of the Southern Frontier, now also known as the Zuiderwaterlinie.

  • Baardwijkseoverlaat Waalwijk
  • Bailey Heusden


Heusden Vesting is a true historical gem. This fortified city developed around one of the oldest moated castles in northwestern Europe and was also one of the first cities in the Netherlands to have a city wall. Thanks to careful restorations and meticulous maintenance, much of historic Heusden has been beautifully preserved. With these restorations, Heusden even won the prestigious "Europa Nostra" restoration award in 1978!

The first stones of Heusden's historic city wall were placed in the 14th century. This marked the birth of the fortress as we know it today. Built in 1592 and located in Heusden is also the Governor's House. This beautiful building was built at the time for the governor, and is now used as a museum where you can discover the history of Heusden and Altena, among other things. At the Gouverneurshuis you will also find the Zuiderwaterlinie bakfiets. In this bike, at the entrance of the Gouverneurshuis, you will find all kinds of information with which you can discover the Zuiderwaterlinie in Heusden in a fun way full of culture and history. Think of cycling routes, treasure hunts, brochures and more.


The city with a rich history in the shoe and leather industry, which you can see come to life in the famous Schoenenkwartier. Thanks to the most beautiful walking and cycling routes along the beautiful natural areas, an afternoon walking or cycling through Waalwijk is definitely worthwhile. Waalwijk is part of the Defence Line Breda-Geertruidenberg. At the time, this position was an important part of the military defense of the fortified towns. Around 1765 the Baardwijkse Overlaat was constructed in Waalwijk; an area with several sluices and inundation areas, one of the many pieces of history in this area that you can visit on foot or by bicycle.

For example, nearby you will also find a very striking point where a transition from sand to clay can be clearly seen, the beautiful nature reserve the Western Langstraat. Also known as "the Seam of Brabant. This unique area between Waalwijk and Waspik offers a wealth of special flora and fauna and is of inestimable historical value as a cultural landscape.

  • Zuiderwaterlinie logo
  • Duck decoy Den Dulver Waalwijk


Bordering De Langstraat, you will discover fortified Geertruidenberg, which was granted city rights by the Earldom of Holland in 1213. The fortifications date from the beginning of the Eighty Years' War, when William of Orange conquered the city and had new ramparts and bastions built. In the following centuries, the fortifications were further strengthened, especially during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, again under the leadership of fortress builder Menno van Coehoorn as an important part of the Breda-Geertruidenberg Defense Line. Also called the "Key of Holland," this city played a crucial role in Zuiderwaterlinie to keep out the French during the war against Louis XIV. During the unification of the United Kingdom in 1813, the city officially became part of North Brabant under Louis Napoleon.

Geertruidenberg is known as an oasis of tranquility in North Brabant. Here you can enjoy the beautiful view at the Geertruidskerk, from the cozy terraces on the historic marketplace. For those who want to be a little more active, there are also beautiful biking and hiking trails along nature and farms here for your visit to Geertruidenberg.

Explore the line while walking or biking

Take a variety of routes and discover both region De Langstraat and the area of Zuiderwaterlinie. Below are a number of routes you can walk or bike.

Would you like more information about the line or are you looking for more tours along the line? Then visit the website of the Zuiderwaterlinie: www.zuiderwaterlinie.nl

Experience Zuiderwaterlinie in De Langstraat

Stay tuned for all the news!

There is plenty to see and experience in De Langstraat. Read about it in our inspiration magazine.

The magazine is available for free at numerous hospitality venues in the region and our TIPs.

Subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of the page and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.