Arcen (in Arcens Árse) is the northernmost core of the municipality of Venlo in Dutch Limburg, about 12 kilometers north of the city of Venlo. Arcen is located on the easternmost bend of the Maas.



In the early Middle Ages Arcen belonged to the territory of Straelen and it was donated by Countess Irmentrudis to the Abbey of Siegburg in 1064. In 1330 Arcen seceded from Straelen and became a separate manor that was a fief from Gelre. Arcen then already claimed a staple right on the Maas. The glory was allotted to the Van Buren brothers. In the 14th century, Arcen already had a wall with three gates, although it did not have city rights. The wall was supposed to ward off punitive expeditions from competing cities, such as Venlo. In 1503 Arcen obtained the market right. In 1586 Arcen was burned down by the people of Venlo, despite the walls, including the St. Barbara Monastery outside the walls. In 1635 and 1646 Arcen was destroyed by war and in 1681 a city fire raged.

After 1648 Arcen belonged to Spanish Upper Gelre. During the War of the Spanish Succession it was occupied by Prussian troops, and as part of Prussian Upper Guelders it remained German for about a century (until 1814).

The current core was formed during the 19th century, and in the second half of the 20th century some residential areas were added on the north side.

Arcen traditionally belonged to the municipality of Arcen en Velden. In 2010 it was absorbed into the municipality of Venlo.



Castle Arcen with the castle gardens.
Petrus and Pauluskerk, from 1958.
Saint Anne Chapel, near Maasstraat 63, from 1791.
Ruin of the Schans Tower, at Schans 18.
Former town hall, Raadhuisplein 1, from 1950, by Alexander Kropholler.
Residence Raadhuisplein 8, originally from 1666.
House Schans 1, from 1737, with pivoted gable.
Wymarse Molen, watermill on Lingsforterbeek, at Schans 20a.
Kloosterhof farm, closed farm from 1883, at Rijksstraatweg 1.
Remains of the Fossa Eugeniana, a Rhine-Meuse canal built under Spanish rule in the seventeenth century. In the hamlet of Lingsfort, near Lingsforterweg 140, lie the enormous earthen walls of Fort Lingsfort, also known as Fort Hazepoot, which was to protect the canal and the lock complex.
Near the Castle Gardens, but to the east of the provincial road, there is an ice cellar and an enormous wall maze in the forest, the Grote Doolgaard.

Nature and landscape
Arcen is located on the Maas, at an altitude of approximately 16 meters. To the east of Arcen lies an extensive forest belt on a river dune. Here, from north to south, are a series of estates, such as Klein Vink, the Boerenheide and the Roode Vennen. Further south is the Arcen Estate (413 ha) and the Leermarkse Heide (31 ha), near Lingsfort. The Lingsforterbeek also runs here.

Further to the east lies a heavily excavated area - due to sand and gravel extraction - and even further to the east there are new estates, albeit partly dug into puddles. This concerns Walbeckerheide and Dorperheide (together 170 ha), Uvelderheide (10 ha) and Uvelderbos (9 ha).