Welcome to Wednesday Wanderings! Last week, we ventured to Arlington Cour in Devon, England and Queen Emma’s Summer Palace outside Honolulu, Hawaii. Commenter Sarah has won the tote bag with Hawaiian treats!
Today the Netherlands celebrates Bevrijdingsdag, “Liberation Day”, commemorating when the Allied troops freed the Lowlands from Nazi occupation. From 2002-2005, I lived in Sittard, a hilly region that slips down between Belgium and Germany. The Nederlanders continue to show their gratitude to the Allied Forces with Liberation Day celebrations.
My research indicated that the liberating troops were mostly Canadians. Canadian historical romance author Ann Lethbridge, http://www.annlethbridge.com/,
sent me a link to the Canadian Tulip Festival. From its website, http://www.tulipfestival.ca/,
“The Festival, now in its 58th year, preserves the local heritage of Canada’s role in freeing the Dutch people during World War II and the gift in perpetuity of the tulip to the City of Ottawa for providing a safe harbour for the Dutch Royal Family at that time.The tulips have become an important symbol of international friendship and the beauty of spring. They also have special meaning to people of Canada's Capital Region. During the war, the Dutch royal family was hosted at Government House in Ottawa. Princess Margriet was born at the Ottawa Civic Hospital; her hospital room declared "Dutch soil" and the flag of the Netherlands flew on Parliament's Peace Tower.”
In honor of Liberation Day, let’s visit some historic places in Limburg:
- Kasteel Hoensbroek (Castle Hoesnbroek) is a moated castle with a round tower, square tower, fortified manor, and Renaissance interior, demonstrating how the castle adapted over 700 years of history. It became the largest stronghold between the Meuse and Rhine Rivers to protect the trade routes. For more information about Kasteel Hoensbroek, log onto:
http://www.castles.nl/ (which features many European castles)
(Belgium Barb travels to many fabulous places in the Benelux on her blog)
- Nearby is the Roman City of Maastricht. It developed into an important Medieval city, serving both Flemish speaking and French speaking traders. In 1993, members of the European Union signed the Maastricht treaty, creating the Euro monetary system. As an ancient city, it holds many secrets, including the Caves of St. Pieter. From the website, http://www.maastrichtunderground.nl/en/index2.html
”Over the centuries, the mining of marl in the Caves of St. Pieter has resulted in the formation of a labyrinth with over 20,000 tunnels. The so-called block breakers as well as various artists have left their marks behind in the form of various texts on the walls, some of which are very old. The caves were not only a source of marl; they also served as a place of refuge for residents of the city during the many sieges which Maastricht has endured over the centuries as well as during World War II. Some of the facilities that were put in place for those who sought shelter here are still visible. “
I’ve toured the caves to see the unique carvings. I also attended a Christmas Eve Service in honor of the American Soldiers who also celebrated Christmas in the caves before the Battle of the Bulge.
Hmm, I’m now hungry for a stroopwafel (syrup waffle) before we return to Hawaii.
We don’t have any castles in Hawaii, but we do have the US’s only Royal Palace, ‘Iolani Palace. From its website, http://www.iolanipalace.org/,
‘Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii’s monarchy, is a marvel of opulence, innovation, and political intrigue. Meticulously restored to its former grandeur, this National Historic Landmark in downtown Honolulu tells of a time when their Majesties, King Kalākaua, who built it in 1882, and his sister and successor, Queen Lili‘uokalani, walked its celebrated halls.
I invite you to leave a comment about Liberation Day, The Netherlands, or Hawaii. One randomly selected commenter will a special treat from ‘Iolani Palace.
Dank U Vel!