ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Bocholtz, the Netherlands: Border Definitions, and Echoes of a Strongly Religious Past

Updated on September 14, 2017
Flag of The Netherlands
Flag of The Netherlands | Source
Church of Bocholtz, Simpelveld, The Netherlands
Church of Bocholtz, Simpelveld, The Netherlands | Source
Church, Bocholtz, Limburg, The Netherlands
Church, Bocholtz, Limburg, The Netherlands | Source
Dutch architect P.J.H. Cuypers (1827-1921), by H J Haverman in 1897
Dutch architect P.J.H. Cuypers (1827-1921), by H J Haverman in 1897 | Source
The Schneeberg, viewed from Holset
The Schneeberg, viewed from Holset | Source
Map location of Bocholtz, The Netherlands
Map location of Bocholtz, The Netherlands | Source

Deeply rooted in the past and in territory of transition

Bocholtz is located in the Dutch province of Limburg (1), The Netherlands. This village lies close to the border with Germany. Interestingly, the other side of the border are the localities of Vetschau and Orsbach, both of which are within the city limits of Aachen.

Thus, Bocholtz is virtually a suburb of Aachen, though it is in The Netherlands. In this respect, Bocholtz resembles the Dutch town of Vaals, which is also physically contiguous to Aachen, but, significantly there are also some differences. While the Downtown area of Vaals contains the main road between Aachen and Maastricht, the centre of Bocholtz is altogether more quiet. Although a freeway passes close to Bocholtz, the vicinity of its main, parish church in the actual village itself exudes a curious stillness and monumentality.

This church, with its huge tower, was the responsibility of Architect P.J.H. Cuypers (1827-1921)(2), who was also noted for many outstanding works. This building, known as the Jacobus de Meerderekerk , was built between 1869 and 1873, and further expanded in 1953; H. Koene, and other architects, also assisted. Its style is neo-Gothic, and among its striking features is its huge tower. A chapel dating from 1373 formerly stood on the site of the current building.

From a geographical perspective, Bocholtz gives its name to the Bocholtz Plateau.

"Plateau?" the alert reader might ask. "I thought The Netherlands is flat!"

Well, much of The Netherlands is indeed flat, but Bocholtz is in Limburg, a Dutch province characterized by rolling hill country, especially in its southern part. What is also interesting is that the Bocholtz Plateau extends into Germany, encompassing the territory on which Orsbach and the Schneeberg rest (see photo, right, of the Schneeberg).

The main photo, above, was taken on a road named Orsbacherweg . As can be seen, the skyline at Bocholtz is dominated by the tower of the parish church. Thus, interestingly, this road leads to, and is named for, a German locality the other side of the border.

So it is that Bocholtz, as a locality and as a geographical expression, somewhat defines and is defined by the Dutch-German border and territories lying each side of it.

The Jacobus de Meerderekerk is located at Pastoor Neujeanstraat 6, Bocholtz, in the Simpleveld municipality of Limburg province, The Netherlands.

December 17, 2012

Note

(1) There is also a Belgian province by the name of Limburg.

(2) Architect Cuypers also designed Amsterdam's Central Railroad Station and the Rijksmuseum building, and a huge number of church buildings, including the Catharinakerk in Eindhoven; he was strongly influenced by Medieval, religious themes and even his secular design work has a religious 'feel' to it. He was a Dutch Limburger, thus, from a province which has for many centuries been identified with a strongly conservative, Roman Catholic persuasion. (Architect Cuypers was member of the Dominican order and opted to be buried in a monastic habit.)

Also worth seeing

In Bocholz itself, De Bongard castle dates from the 16th century.

Holset (distance: 8.7 kilometres) has an ancient church building, the origins of which are reputed to go back to the year 360.

...

How to get there: The nearest large international airport to Bocholtz is at Duesseldorf. Lufthansa flies from New York Newark to Duesseldorf, where car rental is available. A46/A61/A44/A4 lead to the Aachen-Vetschau / Bocholtz border crossing. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MJFenn profile imageAUTHOR

      MJFenn 

      5 years ago

      Claudia Tello: De Bongaard castle (mentioned in 'Also worth seeing', above) is in Bocholtz; re. the name: the stranger 'Bocholtzerheide' is a neighbouring village. Thank-you for your comment.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 

      5 years ago from Mexico

      What else is there to see in Bocholtz? What a strange name by the way!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)