Dwingeloo, Netherlands


Dwingeloo (Drents: Dwingel) is a village in the municipality of Westerveld in the Dutch province of Drenthe. On January 1, 2020, the village had 2425 inhabitants, excluding surrounding hamlets.

It is located northwest of Hoogeveen between Diever / Dieverbrug and Lhee / Lheebroek. Until the municipal reorganization of January 1, 1998, it was an independent municipality, which also included the neighborhoods Westeinde, Eemster, Leggeloo, Lhee and Lheebroek and parts of Geeuwenbrug and Dieverbrug.

The large green brink in the center of the village is a protected village view. Dwingeloo was voted 'greenest village in Europe' in September 2011.



The first mention of the village dates from a deed from 1181, from the archives of the monastery of Ruinen, describing the purchase of a tenth of land in Twingelo. The name comes from Old Saxon. The name could thus be some sources or derived from thingan (restraint) and lauha / loo (forest) or from thwangi (belt) or from force (district of law). The first possibility then refers to a clearing in the forest. The second possibility refers to a narrow piece of land covered with forest. The third possibility refers to a compulsion forest.

Initially Lhee was the largest village in the schultambt, but due to the presence of nobility in Dwingeloo, it slowly became the main town in the 11th-12th century. In the French era, the Dwingeloo schultambt was transformed into a municipality, to which the hamlets Eemster and Leggeloo were added, which previously belonged to the diever schultambt. The new municipality existed unchanged until 1998.

The St. Nicholas Church
The St. Nicholas Church dates from the early 15th century, replacing a single-aisled church with a separate tower. After the collapse of the previous spire, the current spire was placed in 1631 on the initiative of Rutger van den Boetzelaer, resident of the manor Batinge and drost of Drenthe. A large part of the church interior went up in flames in the village fire of 1923. Portraits of Van den Boetzelaer and his third wife Batina van Lohn are in the church. The chapel at the church is privately owned.

The damsel of Batinge
The saga of the damsel of Batinge is linked to the construction of the Sint-Nicolaaskerk in Dwingeloo. This lady drove past every day during the construction of the church, because she would have an eye on the builder of the church. This builder was not insensitive to her beauty and became so confused that he could no longer perform his work properly. By intervention of the drost of Drenthe and her father, Mr. van Batinge, the lady was sent on a journey, but not after she had told her lover what shape the spire of the new church should take in her opinion. The architect was then able to realize her dream image. This is the reason for the different architectural style. After completion of the church, both would still be married.


Guild of Saint Anthony

Every year on January 17, the name day of Saint Anthony, the twelve brothers of the Saint Anthony guild gather in Hotel Wesseling on the brink. The guild was a charity that collected rent (partly in kind) from the chiefs in the village and thus supported the needy residents. Nowadays the guild also supports social projects. One lease in kind still exists: for example, the occupant of the former debt house in the village of Dwingeloo has to pay sixteen packages (eight pounds) of butter to the guild every year on 17 January.



To the south of the village is the Dwingelderveld National Park, a large woodland and heathland area where a flock of sheep is still present. Here is also a large radio telescope and the Planetron on the edge of the area. More focused on tourism, this area also has a forest pool and a number of campsites.

Southwest of Dwingeloo is the estate of the Oldengaerde house, a well-preserved Drenthe manor from the fifteenth century (renovated in 1717). The avenue and canal system also dates from that time. In the garden behind the manor is a 'Grand Canal', a narrow rectangular pond.

Just west of the village are the houses of the manors Batinge (demolished in 1832) and Entinge (demolished in the 18th century). The seventeenth-century canal and avenue systems are still recognizable in the landscape. The manor Westrup is located on the north side of Dwingeloo. From 1843 to 2019 it had the function of a notary's residence. Westrup's estate was moved in 1783 to a farm on the other side of the street (Entingheweg 8), so that Dwingeloo had five manors.

A characteristic building on the Brink is the Schultehuis (Brink 12). This official residence of the schulte (mayor) of Dwingeloo was built around 1675 by order of Jan Coerts Prins.