There are many interesting stories to tell about the history of Zoetermeer. For example, about the Zoetermeer sneak route, which played a major role in Dutch history. This is the story!

    Eighty Years’ War

    When we look at the history of the Netherlands, we quickly talk about the Eighty Years’ War. This war lasted from 1568 to 1648. The Netherlands tried to free itself from the Spaniards, and of course this battle did not leave Zoetermeer untouched. In September 1574, by order of the Prince of Orange, the Maas dikes were breached. For example, the area between the Meuse and the Rhine was flooded. The Watergeuzen, who came to help liberate the Netherlands, sailed towards Zoetermeer.

    Spanish sconce

    Between Delfland and Rijnland was an age-old separation dike, on which the Spaniards had entrenched themselves. The Geuzen army managed to defeat the Spaniards there. The dikes were breached and the Watergeuzen could sail through the Zoetermeer polder to the rest of the country.

    Short cut route Zoetermeer

    However, the Waterguizen encountered a new obstacle: the Voorweg. This was occupied by the Spaniards. and the Voorweg was too high to be flooded. Fortunately there was Wolfert Adriaanszoon. This ship’s carpenter from Zoetermeer pointed out a shortcut to the Watergeuzen. They managed to reach the Zoetermeer lake by means of an encircling movement. From here the Watergeuzen could sail to Leiden to liberate the key city. The Spaniards could no longer offer any resistance there.

    The rest is history! Leidens Ontzet, on October 3, is still celebrated annually in the city! And all thanks to the route advice of Wolfert Adriaanszoon from Zoetermeer.

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