Length: 40 km. Enjoy the beautiful Leudal during the cross-border cycle route Groot Buggenum. A special castle is located in the village of Grathem.
Castle Groot Buggenum, also known as Oud-Buggenum, has white-painted walls and the appearance of a neo-Gothic hunting lodge. Around the castle is a fairytale garden with several garden rooms and fountains. The garden is separated by stone walls.
The cycling route leads you further along the famous Maasplassen, through the white town of Thorn and through Kessenich in Belgium with its disappeared city, now called Vijverbroek.
You can start this route at Eetcafé de Prairie (Ell) and at the parking places between intersection 21 and 53 (Thorn).
Just before the village of Grathem lies castle Groot Buggenum. The castle was first mentioned in 1419. During the Second World War, the castle was damaged to such an extent that it seriously deteriorated in the following years. In 1971 it was bought by a German professor who restored it. After that, the castle was donated to the province of Limburg.
The Maasplassen are situated around intersection 34. This is the largest interconnected watersports area in the Netherlands. The lakes were created by the extraction of gravel. The area measures 3000 hectares.
The white town & the disappeared city
The houses in the centre of Thorn are white. These unique white houses have inspired many artists. The Sint-Michaël church or Stiftskerk is also located in the centre. This chruch dates from the fourteenth century and belonged to the Benedictine imperial abbey. You cycle out of Thorn and head for Kessenich. Legend has it that between Thorn and Kessenich there used to be a town called Vijver (Pond). It was said to have sunk as a punishment of God. The city has disappeared and on that spot now lies the swamp Vijverbroek.