From the village of Oldeberkoop you can see the fortifications of the Frisian Water Line. The fortifications were built shortly after 1580 to flood the land and halt the advance of enemy troops.
The Frisian Water Line began at the Zuiderzee inlet, followed the River Linde to De Blessebrug then led northeast to Bakkeveen. The east end of the Frisian Water Line connected to the Groningen Water Line, which continued to Delfzijl.
The land near the strategically located fortifications, barrages and dams was flooded to protect Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland, when danger threatened. The Amsterdam trade route, which ran across the Zuiderzee, could also be protected from foreign attack in the same way.
This part of southeast Friesland was flooded during the Eighty Years’ War against the Spanish. The Water Line was also used in 1672, which is referred to as a ‘disaster year’ in Dutch history, when the Prince-Bishop of Münster, also known as ‘Bombing Bernhard’, laid siege to the northern Netherlands.
Several of the old forts on the Frisian Water Line have been restored in recent years. Sadly, the Tolbrugschans fort that could once be seen from the Turf Boating Route has disappeared, but a bit further on, just past the village of Oldeberkoop, you can see the Bekhofschans fort. The De Uutwiek marina at Olderbekoop offers mooring facilities.
Throughout the summer season, from May to the end of October, there is a local market in Oldeberkoop on the first Saturday of the month. The stalls sell a wide range of local and artisan produce.
Besides the Bekhofschans fort, it is also possible to see:
* The Blessebrugschans fort near Wolvega
* The Bakkeveenseschans fort near Bakkeveen
* The Zwartendijksterschans star fort just across the border in Drenthe
Sail more of the Turf Boating Route...