Arcen is a small village in the province of Limburg. The eastern edge of Arcen sits on the Dutch/German border, with the northern edge giving direct access to the Maasduinen National Park. The western side of the village is situated on the Maas River, It is a popular tourist attraction both for its historic and natural beauty.
Some interesting facts:
- The remnants of the Fossa Eugeniana, a canal which spanned thirty-one miles and was built between 1626 and 1629, can be seen in Arcen. Twenty-four bastions and sconces were supposed to be built, but the Fossa Eugeniana was never completed. Arcen is home to the only remaining fortifications built to protect the canal.
- The town hall is one of the village’s main attractions. It was built by Dutch architect Alexander Jacobus Kropholler in 1949 and is an example of 20th-century Traditionalist architecture.
- The Hertog Jan brewery is located just outside of Arcen’s center. A two-hour tour explains the brewing process and ends with a tasting.
- De IJsvogel distillery, housed in a historic watermill (the Wymarse Molen), is nearby. There, you can sample liqueurs and jenever (Dutch gin) and see how they are made. Or, you can enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of vlaai (Limburg pie) at their café.
- Each year on Ascension Day, Arcen is home to a traditional asparagus market. The market is held in the center of the village and provides opportunities for visitors to learn more about the history and importance of asparagus to the area.
For more in-depth coverage of Arcen and its Asparagus Festival, read Issue 41 of Dutch the magazine.
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