Nederweert, Netherlands


Nederweert is a village in and the capital of the Dutch municipality of Nederweert of the same name. Nederweert was originally called Merefelt, which would mean 'in the middle of lakes'. Later it became 'Weert van den nedersten eynde'. From there 'Nederweert' arose, in relation to (Over) weert (or Weert).



Nederweert was originally called Meervelt (Meerfelt, Merefelt), which means 'field at the pond'. Later it became Weert van den lower eynde. The latter has been shortened to 'Nederweert'.



Nederweert was originally connected to the aldermen's bench of Weert. Somewhere in the course of the 14th century, Nederweert was separated from Weert. In 1419, for the first time, mention was made of its own bench of aldermen and seigneury.

In the Middle Ages, Nederweert belonged to the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, part of the Holy Roman Empire. In the sixteenth century, the lordship was owned by the county of Horn, which was actually an independent mini-state. After the last count of Horn, Philip van Montmorency, was beheaded in 1568, Nederweert was again included in the prince-bishopric of Liège. In the meantime, this prince-bishopric had come under the authority of King Philip II of Spain. Even after the Peace of Münster in 1648, Nederweert remained part of the Spanish Empire. In 1703, during the War of the Spanish Succession, the seigneury was taken over by the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. At the peace of Utrecht in 1713, Nederweert was awarded to the Austrian Netherlands. After the French Revolution, the Austrian Netherlands were conquered in 1794 by the First French Republic. One year later, the seigneury of Nederweert was abolished as an administrative unit and replaced by the municipality of Nederweert. This municipality was part of the new French department of Nedermaas. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the municipality of Nederweert had 3688 inhabitants. After the fall of the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, the municipality was assigned to Limburg in 1815, a province in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

During the Belgian Revolution in 1830, Nederweert sided with Belgium. Nevertheless, in 1839, after the recognition of Belgium by the Dutch king Willem I, the municipality was classified with the Netherlands. This happened amid much protest from the inhabitants. In the 19th century, the water board Het Land van Weert was established to curb the flooding in the area.

The municipality suffered war damage during the Second World War. The village of Nederweert was liberated on September 21, 1944, but until November 14, the front line lay along the Zuid-Willemsvaart and the Wessem-Nederweert canal. The church of Ospel was destroyed by German troops on September 27. Then, on November 15, the church of Leveroy was also blown up. It was not until the 1950s that both churches could be restored. In the second half of the twentieth century, the population increased rapidly, partly due to the construction of new residential areas near the village of Nederweert and the hamlet of Budschop.



Saint Lambert's Church, with a striking tower.
Neo-Gothic cemetery chapel from 1892, by Johannes Kayser.
Old rectory, at Schoolstraat 5, from 1883, by Johannes Kayser.
Sacred Heart statue, from 1920.
Former town hall, at 65 Kerkstraat, from 1921, by Louis Kooken.

The center of Nederweert is attractive, there are some old houses:
Kerkstraat 56, from 1659.
Kerkstraat 64, probably from 1672, with a tilted facade from 1700, renovated in 1905.
Kerkstraat 41, with Art Nouveau features.
See also the hamlets of Roeven, Schoor, Strateris, Bouet for some other details.




The municipality of Nederweert has five church villages: Nederweert, Ospel, Ospeldijk, Nederweert-Eind and Leveroy. In addition, there are a large number of hamlets and hamlets. Centrally in the municipality, west of the Zuid-Willemsvaart, lies the village of Nederweert with approximately 6800 inhabitants. Immediately north of the village are several small hamlets, including Boeket, Strateris and Bosserstraat. On the other side of the Zuid-Willemsvaart is the hamlet of Budschop, which in the second half of the twentieth century has grown into a residential area with 1500 inhabitants. Two kilometers northeast of Nederweert is the neighboring village of Ospel with 4036 inhabitants. This village is surrounded by a few hamlets, namely Waatskamp, Kreijel, Klaarstraat, Nieuw- en Winnerstraat, De Nieuwe Hoeven, Horick and Horickheide. Southeast of the village of Nederweert, just south of the Noordervaart, lies the village of Nederweert-Eind, which has 1300 inhabitants. South of Nederweert, the hamlets of Schoor and Roeven are sandwiched between the Zuid-Willemsvaart, the Wessem-Nederweert Canal and the A2 national road. In the southern end of the commune is the village of Leveroy with a population of 900.

The municipality of Nederweert borders three Limburg municipalities and three Brabant municipalities. In the southwest, the A2 motorway forms the border with the municipality of Weert. In the south, the border with the municipality of Leudal runs through the Tungelroyse Beek around the village of Leveroy. The border with the municipality of Leudal then runs along the eastern outskirts of Nederweert to the municipality of Peel en Maas. In the north, the municipality of Nederweert borders with a dead straight line on the municipalities of Cranendonck, Someren and Asten. This line also forms the provincial border between Limburg and North Brabant.



The village of Nederweert is located at a crossroads of canals: the Zuid-Willemsvaart, the Noordervaart and the Wessem-Nederweert canal meet near the town of Nederweert. In 1808 work also started on the construction of a fourth canal between Lozen and 's-Hertogenbosch. However, they did not get further than Beringe. Later the canal was included in the Zuid-Willemsvaart. In earlier times, the canals ensured the drainage of the peat from the Peel. Traditionally (1826) these canals were the connection between Maastricht and 's-Hertogenbosch.


Natural areas

The sparsely populated municipality of Nederweert offers a lot of space for nature and landscape by Dutch standards. A significant part of De Groote Peel National Park is located on the territory of the municipality of Nederweert. This high moor area contains a varied landscape of peat bog, fens and heathland. In addition, the municipality of Nederweert also contains two large nature reserves: the Weerterbos and the fen area Sarsven and De Banen. Both areas fall under the so-called Habitats Directive, which means that the habitats of certain plants and animals in these areas must be protected.

The Weerterbos is located in the northwest of the municipality of Nederweert and connects to the Hugterheide forest area in North Brabant. Characteristic of the area are the many rebates: a system of ditches that were constructed in the past for forestry. Since 1969, the Het Limburgs Landschap foundation has been purchasing land in the Weerterbos. In 2008, this foundation manages an area of 615 hectares here. A watchtower has been placed centrally in the Weerterbos, with which the red deer released in the area can be observed.

Sarsven en de Banen is a fen area near the village of Nederweert-Eind. The Limburgs Landschap manages 173 hectares here. The area contains three fens: the Sarsven, De Banen and the Schoorkuilen, along with land areas, forests and grasslands.



The influence of Roman Catholicism in the municipality of Nederweert is still clearly visible in the form of many church buildings. Each of the four villages in the municipality has its own church. In addition to the four church villages, the Budschop district and the hamlet of Schoor have a small hall church. Finally, in the hamlet of Boeket, there is a chapel from 1992 and in the hamlet of Klaarstraat, the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Assistance from 1907.

The Sint-Lambertus church in the village of Nederweert was built in Brabant Gothic style. Thanks to the high church tower, which has a spire with flanking turrets, this church is visible from far outside the village. The first stone of this tower was laid on July 13, 1467. In 1607, the church had to be rebuilt after it was destroyed by a lightning strike. The nave was enlarged in 1841 and provided with two aisles.

The records of baptism (from 1569), marriage (from 1632) and death (from 1647) of Nederweert are housed in the State Archives in Maastricht. The neo-Gothic church Our Lady Immaculate Conception in Ospel dates from 1866-1867 and was designed by P.J.H. Cuypers. The spire was destroyed by a German unit on 27 September 1944 and restored in 1954. In the hamlet of Schoor is the church Our Lady of Lourdes. This church consists of a neo-Gothic chapel from 1916, which was expanded in 1951 and 1958 into the current hall church. In the original chapel, which now serves as an entrance, there is a small Lourdes Grotto.

The border church monument is located in the Weerterbos, against the provincial border with North Brabant. This open-air church was founded around 1649, when the Catholic faith was banned from the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. Catholic residents of the then Meierij van 's-Hertogenbosch could practice their faith at this border church, as it was located directly across the border in Spanish Upper Guelders. After 1672, the border church fell out of use. As a reminder, the current border church monument was built in the twentieth century. The Limburg Landscape Foundation has owned this monument since 1981.

In the village of Nederweert is an honorary cemetery for 363 Allied soldiers, including 317 British. These soldiers all died during the Second World War, after the liberation of Nederweert on September 21, 1944, when the village came to lie near the front line. It was not until November 14 that the British army crossed the Zuid-Willemsvaart and the Wessem-Nederweert canal and the fallen soldiers could be buried in the cemetery. Near the graves is a large Portland stone cross with a bronze sword.

There are three windmills in the municipality. De Korenbloem, a flour mill from 1870, is located on the Korenbloemstraat in Ospel. This mill is of the belt mill type. In 1948 the Korenbloem was taken out of operation. After the mill was purchased by the municipality, it was restored in 1990. Grain is milled on a voluntary basis. Just outside Ospel, near the hamlet of Kreijel, is the corn mill Sint-Joseph. This mill dates from 1840 and is also of the belt mill type. The mill was in use until 1970. In 1979, Saint Joseph was restored. The windmill Windlust is located near the hamlet of Roeven. This belt mill was built in 1872. On October 5, 1944, the Windlust was heavily damaged by German troops, after which the entire interior was removed from the mill in 1947. After a thorough restoration in 1993, the mill is ready to grind again. The Roeven hydroelectric power station is also located near Roeven. This industrial heritage from 1917 is fed by water from the Zuid-Willemsvaart. The hydroelectric plant was shut down in 1958. After a restoration in 1993, the plant now generates green electricity. The Francis turbine present in the power plant produces a capacity of 35 kW.



The Limburg Open Air Museum Eynderhoof is an open air museum in Nederweert-Eind. The museum was founded in 1990 and gives an impression of life in De Peel around 1900. Among the buildings on the museum grounds are a sawmill, a smithy, a bakery, an inn and a beekeeping.



Writer and educator Herman Maas lived in Nederweert for several years at the beginning of the twentieth century. In his novels he described the fate of the working man in peat extraction in the neighboring Peel. In 1917 his critical publications against the secular and spiritual authorities in the region led to questions in the House of Representatives.



The culture of Nederweert includes the Vastelaovendj (carnival). There are a number of carnival associations in the municipality. The inhabitants of Nederweert are called "Pinmaekers" during carnival, the inhabitants of the other villages Vlikkestaekers (Ospel), Piepkukes (Nederweert-Eind) and the Losbölle (Leveroy). Complete with Prince Carnival, Council of Eleven, colorful evenings and parades.

The carnival associations in the municipality of Nederweert are:
Nederweert: VV de Pinmaekers (1975)
Nederweert-West: CV de Bengels (1973)
Ospel: VV de Vlikkestaekers (1971)
Nederweert-Eind: KV de Piepkukes, children: JKV de Krielkes (1969)
Leveroy: VV de Losböl (1958)



The Nederweerter dialect belongs to the Weerterland (Central Limburg) language. The spelling of the place name was unclear for a long time, until in 2017, as a result of a public campaign, a meeting was held with the Heemkundevereniging Nederweert, Veldeke kring Weert and the municipality of Nederweert to arrive at an unambiguous naming. The decision to arrive at the spelling "Ni-jwieërt" was taken on September 7, 2017. By signing a covenant, the municipality has committed itself to respecting and using this spelling. From now on, all bowl plates will be provided with the name in Dutch and in the dialect. This also applies to the municipal place name signs of the other church villages of Nederweert; 'd Indj, Doospel, Leivere, d'n Diek.


Traffic and transport

Road traffic

The village of Nederweert is located along the A2 national road near exit 39. This exit connects to the N275, the provincial road that connects Weert to Venlo. Where the N275 crosses the Zuid-Willemsvaart with a bridge, it connects to the N266. This provincial road runs from Nederweert to the north and connects to the A67 national road near Someren.



There are no train stations in the municipality. However, in the extreme south, near the hamlet of Mildert, the railway line Budel - Vlodrop (part of the Iron Rhine) (1879) runs through the territory of the municipality of Nederweert.