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Stevensweert - fortified town on the island in the Maas

The island in the Meuse

Stevensweert, in combination with Ohé en Laak, forms the ‘Island in the Meuse’, an island that is positioned between the two (former) branches of the River Meuse. 

The main stretch of the river, which Stevensweert is situated on, forms the natural boundary with Belgium and is therefore also known as the ‘Border Meuse’ (Grensmaas).

Looking across the Meuse from Stevensweert, you can see Belgium on the other side. From Ohé en Laak you can take the bike/pedestrian ferry across the Meuse to visit Ophoven in Belgium.

The town and its fortifications

The original village was converted into a fortified town by the Spanish during the Eighty Years’ War.

An earthen rampart was built around Stevensweert with seven bastions and five ravelins. Stevensweert retains its heptagonal perimeter and geometric pattern of streets to this day, although the original rampart no longer exists. In 2007 work began to reconstruct a small section of the fortifications based on historical maps of a bastion, ravelin and the associated moat on the north side of Stevensweert. These have since been finished and can now be seen.

Other highlights

Part of Stevensweert falls under heritage protection rules. Echoes of the fortifications can still be seen in the town’s street pattern. 

The town hall, designed in 1858 by the famous architect Pierre Cuypers, now houses the local museum for Stevensweert / Ohé en Laak. 

Just outside of Stevensweert stands the ‘Hompesche Molen’ tower mill. The windmill dates from 1722 and is the tallest in Limburg. 

You can go for some lovely walks in the nearby Molenplas lake area with its petrified trees. Or why not take a guided tour of Stevensweert with a VVV guide.

A VVV-authorised guide organises a themed walk on every first Sunday of the month. In addition, groups can pre-arrange guided tours all year round. For more information, contact VVV Stevensweert.