About the villages
Borgharen (referred to as ‘Hare’ in Limburg) and Itteren are two church villages that are part of the municipality of Maastricht. Both villages have a long history, thanks in part to the castles Borharen and Hartelstein which have played an important role in the region since the Middle Ages. In 2010, near ‘Oostelijke Rug’ between Spekstraat and Pasestraat in Borgharen, a unique mass grave with horses from the 16th or 17th century was discovered during excavation works. The remains come from at least 69 horses. It is suspected that the horses were killed during the siege of Maastricht in 1632, or the French siege by Louis XIV of France in 1673.
Both Borgharen and Itteren witnessed and suffered extreme floods in 1926, 1993 and 1995. The Mary Chapel in Itteren could not escape these either, despite the wayside shrine further down the street. Not far from the chapel begins a footpath between the village and ‘Aan de Maas’: Itteren’s best kept secret. Fortified manor house ‘Hartelstein’ is located on the north side of the village. De Geul flows past here and merges with the Meuse at Voulwames. Gravel will be extracted from near this house until 2018. After that, it is nature's turn.
What is there to do?
The area around Borgharen and Itteren is ideal for exploring on foot. You can wander along the Meuse, and the many castles nearby catapult you back to the Middle Ages. For those who like some help to get started, a few tips:
- Discover the hiking region of Borgharen with large grazers, unique nature for strolling in, the horse grave, fortified manor house ‘Hartelstein’ and the charming villages of Itteren and Geulle on the Meuse.
- Set off with a Meuse Explorer in tow.
Thanks to the extensive cycling route network in Belgium and the Netherlands, you can create your own cycling route using junctions that are indicated in both directions. This way, you can decide which direction you want to go and how long your ride will be. Why not, during your bike ride, take a ferry to the other side of the river Meuse? That way, cross-border cycling in the RivierPark Maasvallei becomes hassle-free. Join the cycling route network via junction 14 in Bunde. You can park in Middenstraat in Borgharen or on ‘Kerkplein’ in Geulle a/d Maas. You can map out your cycling route using the cross-border map RivierPark Maasvallei.
- Fortified manor house ‘Hartelstein’: recycling shop ‘Kringwinkel’, living and working community, eateries.
- Maastricht: gastronomy, shopping and lots of culture.
- Castle of Borgharen
For more information and tips, please visit Visit Zuid - Limburg.