Colonies of Benevolence added to Canon of the Netherlands

The Colonies of Benevolence will be in the Canon of the Netherlands from Thursday, an overview of important moments and places in the national past. They are part of the story about King Willem I. The addition was celebrated on Thursday at Museum de Proefkolonie in Frederiksoord.

The Colonies of Benevolence were built around 1818 by the Society of Benevolence. The aim was to give poor families, beggars and tramps from the big cities a better life in the countryside. They got a house and a piece of land.

UNESCO World Heritage List

There were seven colonies in total: Frederiksoord, Veenhuizen and Wilhelminaoord in Drenthe, Willemsoord and Ommerschans in Overijssel and Wortel and Merksplas in Belgium, which was then still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Drenthe colonies will be placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2021.

Canon of the Netherlands

The Canon of the Netherlands consists of fifty so-called windows. In the eyes of the compilers, every Dutch person should know it. They are taught in history classes in primary and secondary schools. The overview starts with Trijntje, the oldest human skeleton found in the Netherlands, and ends with the Orange feeling since 1974. The list includes Willem van Oranje, the VOC, Rembrandt, slavery, Napoleon Bonaparte and the Second World War.