History - The Battle of Heiligerlee


In the spring of 1568, the Orange army, lead by count Lodewijk van Nassau, tried to free the future Netherlands of the yoke of the Spanish/Roman oppression. Their opponents were the troops of count Aremberg, the governor of the Spanish inclined city of Groningen. The battle, at the place then known as Hilligerlee, is the most important in the history of the Netherlands. On this webpage a little taster.




Head Slag bij Heiligerlee



In the village Heiligerlee, two kilometres south-east of Scheemda, in the province of Groningen, you can find the Museum Battle of Heiligerlee (Dutch: Slag bij Heiligerlee). In this museum you will make trip through a time-tunnel towards the restless Europe of the past. You are a witness to the Iconoclasm and will come face to face with Fernando Alvarez Toledo, the duke of Alva. You will get an eye-witness account from the battlefield and of the murder of William of Orange. And everything life-like!
Information: Museum Battle of Heiligerlee, Provincialeweg 55, 9677 PB Heiligerlee, Phone./fax. +31 597-418199
Opening hours:
1st of April until 1st of May, Tuesday till Sunday; 13.00-17.00 hours;
1st of May until 16st of September, Tuesday till Saturday, 10.00-17.00 hours,
Sunday 13.00-17.00 hours;
16st of September until 1 of November, Tuesday till Sunday, 13.00-17.00 hours, closed on Sunday
Groups: from 1st of November till 1st of April on appointment;
Route: Take exit 46 on the motorway A7 Groningen-Nieuweschans.



Museum Battle of Heiligerlee In this farm the Museum Battle of Heiligerlee is situated. Also located in the museum is a Brasserie where, whilst enjoying some food and drink, you can talk about everything you have seen in the museum.



This statue was placed in memory of the Battle of Heiligerlee (Dutch: Slag bij Heiligerlee) on May 23th, 1568. During this battle, count Adolf van Nassau was killed. This event proved to be the beginning of the Eighty Years War between on one side the Netherlands and on the other side the Spain of Philip II. From 1648 onwards, when both parties have signed the Peace Treaty of Munster, more peaceful times arrive. Statue of Count Adolf



Map from the 16th century On this map from the 16th century you can see that the Dollard sea used to come much further inland than nowadays. The Dollard reached almost to the village of Midwolda (see frame). This village has been flooded many times. After the dramatic flooding of 1708, the whole village was moved to a sandy ridge two kilometres further south.



In the museum many object are shown that were used during the battle, among which this bronze harnesses and helmets. Bronze harnesses and helmets.



Documents of the Battle of Heiligerlee In this showcase you can see antiquities like these old documents of the Battle of Heiligerlee



The runaway Spanish army was dealt a defeating blow. Thousands of people died on the ennemy side, among whom the count Aremberg. The Orange army "only" suffered dozens of casualties. The victory was however overshadowed by the death of the 28-year old count Adolf, the younger brother of count Lodewijk van Nassau. Timeline of the Battle of Heiligerlee.





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Last modified: januari 22, 2016.