ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting De Wellsche Hut and De Maasduinen, Well, The Netherlands: asserting a jurisdiction since the Middle Ages

Updated on April 24, 2014
Flag of The Netherlands
Flag of The Netherlands | Source
Arms of Well, Limburg, The Netherlands
Arms of Well, Limburg, The Netherlands | Source
De Maasduinen National Park in the province of Limburg
De Maasduinen National Park in the province of Limburg | Source
Map location of Bergen, Limburg
Map location of Bergen, Limburg | Source

A constant and a microcosm

I visited De Wellsche Hut, Well (on the edge of De Maasduinen National Park) in the Dutch province of Limburg, and my attention was drawn to Well's distinctive arms, in places visible. These arms consist of an upward pointing broad arrow, on a blue background.

Interestingly, the arms of Well have been used since 1449. This Medieval design depicts an upward facing broad arrow on a blue background.

Traditionally, in heraldry, an upward facing broad arrow has variously served as a sign of government jurisdiction and property and even ordnance for hundreds of years.

Well as a jurisdiction dates from 1363, with a body of aldermen having been established in 1368. Now part of the municipality of Bergen, this unit was described as Well-Bergen until the end of the 18th century.

I crossed into Well from the international part of its boundaries, actually. Walking in from Weeze-Wemb, in Germany's state of North Rhine- Westphalia (German: Nordrhein-Westfalen; Dutch; Noordrijn-Westfalen)(1), I was later to learn that Well in fact regarded as 'German' for about a century (it is problematic to say, 'part of Germany' here because in the century prior to the end of the Napoleonic period, when the area became part of The Netherlands, there was yet no united Germany). Well was officially a Prussian territory during much of the 18th century.

Then there is the matter that Limburg, the Dutch province in which Well is situated, today encompasses part of what used to be Gelderland (still the name of a Dutch province today). The former, greater Gelderland is today partly in The Netherlands, and partly in Germany; and some of its territory was also ceded administratively to the Dutch province of Limburg (there is also a Belgian province of that name). It can also be useful to remember that what is now the Dutch province of Limburg was formally incorporated into The Netherlands in the early 19th century.

This means that for several hundreds of years of Well's existence, it was jurisdictionally in a complex situation.

Linguistically, also, it has been multi-faceted. Today, standard Dutch is official. During its period of Prussian sovereignty (like elsewhere in Prussian Gelderland), laws and edicts came from Berlin in German, but local courts would still administer through the medium of Dutch. What is called Limburgs, the Limburg dialect of Dutch (especially associated with the south of the province) is as akin to German as it is to standard Dutch, but is actually not very identified with the part of the province where Well is situated. So (as many Limburgers will say), Limburg is different, but the part of Limburg where Well is, is different again!

Well was actually caught up in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) and interestingly the border between Well and neighbouring Germany, from where I entered, consists of a feature still known as the De Spanische Ley (The Spanish ditch).

So, yes, Well's juristiction has been asserted since the Middle Ages. But this jurisdiction has really been somewhat of a kaleidoscope of European history.

May 22, 2013


(1) Sometimes written Noord-Rijnland-Westfalen in Dutch.

Some sourcing: wikipedia

Also worth seeing

In Well itself, The Netherlands, (distance from Wemb: 11 kilometres) there is a castle, dating from the 14th century, now used by an American college; De Maasduinen National Park is popular with nature lovers, hikers and cyclists.

Wemb (or: Weeze-Wemb ; distance; 11 kilometres), Germany, has a Royal Air Force Museum at Airport-Weeze.


How to get there: Lufthansa flies from New York Newark to Duesseldorf, where car rental is available. For North American travellers making London, England, their base, Ryanair flies directly to Airport-Weeze , Germany (close to the Dutch border at De Wellsche Hut , Well, Bergen), where car rental is also available. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please 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.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, 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:

    Show Details
    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 or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    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)
    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.
    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)