Kerkrade Tourist Attractions
The industrial town of Kerkrade lies near the German frontier, a few miles from Aachen. The coal mines which were originally opened up by the monks of Rolduc Abbey in 1742 were closed down in the 1960s.The oldest building in the town is Oud Ehrenstein, a castle from the 14th century.
To the east of Kerkrade is the Augustinian abbey of Rolduc, founded in 1104, which is now the largest monastery in the Netherlands. Since the mid 19th century it has been occupied by a Roman Catholic seminary for the training of priests. Nothing remains of the medieval monastic buildings, but the 12th century church, a magnificent example of Romanesque architecture, has been preserved.
The oldest part of Rolduc's aisled cruciform basilica is the trilobate (clover-shaped) crypt. The interior of the church, which had suffered much damage over the centuries, was restored by P. J. H. Cuypers from 1853 onwards. In the nave is the grave-slab of Duke Walram III of Limburg (d. 1226), who fought in the Third Crusade under Richard Coeur de Lion (1183) and was one of the ancestors of the house of Orange.
Rolduc - Mining Museum
Part of the abbey of Rolduc is now occupied by the Mining Museum (Mijnmuseum), commemorating the 18th century mine which brought the abbey prosperity.
Near Kerkrade are the beautifully situated Anstel reservoir and the Baalsburger- or Bolsbreuchermolen, a watermill rebuilt in 1743 following an older model.