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Virtual Earth map of Bourtange Star Fort

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Bourtange is a star fort and village in the Westerwolde region of the Dutch province of Groningen. It is a part of the municipality of Vlagtwedde, and lies about 32 km northeast of Emmen.

The fortifications were initially built during the Eighty Years' War when William of Orange wanted to control the only road between Germany and the city of Groningen which was controlled by the Spaniards. This road followed a sandy ridge (tange) through the marshes.

Later, around 1594, Bourtange became part of the fortifications on the border between the northern provinces (Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe) and Germany.

Bourtange was a separate municipality until 1822, when it was merged with Vlagtwedde.

In 1851 the fort was given up and Bourtange became a normal village.

Around 1960 living conditions in the village deteriorated and it was decided that Bourtange would be rebuilt to its state of 1742. Today it is an open air museum.


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