Cultural history landscape

"Thousands of years of history have left many traces in the northern Meuse Valley on the border between North Brabant and Limburg. The area offers an exciting journey of discovery through time. The river, hedges, river terraces, open fields and a beaded string of villages provide tangible testimony to how man and landscape have managed to adapt to each other in the past."

The Maasheggen form the oldest cultural landscape in the Netherlands. In a relatively small area, thousands of years of history are concentrated. There is no area in Europe where nature, landscape, economy and culture are so visibly and long-term intertwined as in this very area. Various historical periods are still visibly present in the landscape. Like the Roman road in Cuijk or an abandoned 19th century railroad line in Boxmeer. Most characteristic of the landscape are the braided hedges, which line a large number of pasture plots. This mosaic of hedges, together with meadows, drinking pools and old pollarded trees, has provided a safe haven for a special variety of plants and animals for centuries. Once, this amazing maze of hedges and meadows covered an area of 15,000 hectares. About 2,000 acres of it is still preserved.

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