(land area 265,568 hectares/655,953acres)The province of Drenthe is a region of mainly flat land lying between 10 and20m (35 and 70ft) above sea level in the extreme northeast of the Netherlands' great expanses of sandy heathland.
The most conspicuous heights in Drenthe are the moraines, rising to 32m/105ft, of the Hondsrug, a range of hills formed during the second-last ice age (the Saale/Riss glacial) which extends for 50km/30mi from Emmen in the southeast to Groningen in the northwest. From here the land slopes almost imperceptibly down towards the west. It consists of marls laid down during the Saale/Riss glacial with deep overlying layers of sand deposited in later phases of the ice age.There were formerly great expanses of heath between the traditional farming villages of Drenthe outside the moorland area, but over the last 80 years these have been replaced partly by plantations of pines but mainly by fields of rye, oats and potatoes. Most of the holdings are of less than 20 hectares/50 acres, but in the high moorland areas holdings of 50 hectares/125 acres are by no means rare.In Drenthe industry takes second place to agriculture. Only in the southeast of the province is there any significant amount of industry, for after the cutting of peat was abandoned in this area a large labor force became available for employment. In addition the extraction of oil around Schoonebeek and Meppel has become of increasing importance in recent years.
During the ice ages large expanses of low moorland were formed over the layers of sand at the lowest points in Drenthe. In depressions in the higher parts of the region there came into being extensive tracts of high moorland, which have now been completely drained and brought into cultivation as veen settlements. This applies particularly to the Groningen veen settlements. Most of the moorland settlements in Drenthe are situated around Beilen and Hoogeveen, in the south of the province.
A special feature of Drenthe is the large number of the prehistoric megalithic tombs known as hunebedden. These are constructed of huge slabs of stone carried from Scandinavia by glaciers during the Saale/Riss glacial and deposited here, particularly in the Hondsrug area. The best known hunebedden are to be found north of the village of Havelte, close to the road to Frederiksoord.
Coevorden, situated on a strategically important site in southeastern Drenthe, became a fortified town in the 16th century, and part of the town walls and the fortified castle (the only one in Drenthe; now occupied by the Town Hall) have been preserved. Around 1700 the circuit of walls was extended.The streets of Coevorden were laid out in a radial pattern within polygonals and extensive outer earthworks.
An annual goose market is held in Coevorden, at which the "goose-girl of the year" is chosen - the one who brings the first 10 geese to market on the morning of market day.
The Reformed church in Coevorden is on a Greek cross plan with a dome over the crossing.
Borger, southeast of Assen, is famed for its megalithic tombs (hunebedden, "giants' beds") and for its traditional Drenthe weddings in local costume (wasschups). On the road to Bronneger, at No. 27, is the largest hunebed in the Netherlands, the Onbesuisde Steenhoop (the "reckless heap of stones"), 22m/72ft long. There are 47 surviving stones.
Eelde - International Museum of Wooden Shoes
The International Museum of Wooden Shoes looks at the development of the wooden shoe. There is an extensive collection of wooden shoes from the Netherlands and other countries.
Address: Wolfhorn 1a, Eelde, Drenthe 9761 BA, Netherlands
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Oct 1: 2pm-5pm; Closed: Mon
Entrance fee: Adult Admission Cost, Child 6-12 Discount, Child 5 & under Free
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Gift shop
Sivo-Festival, Odoorn, Netherlands
The Sivo Festival takes place every year in late July and early August and showcases folk dancers, singers and musicians.A conference an expositions are also held within the framework of the festival.