Culture & Heritage

It’s no surprise that many famous painters, such as Van Gogh, have been inspired by Drenthe. The area’s cultural heritage can be found throughout the natural environment – culture and nature, the best of both worlds, all in one go! In Drenthe, you can simply cycle or walk through it all. Visit Veenhuizen and Fredriksoord to experience the unique story of the paupers in the Colonies of Benevolence founded by the Society of Humanitarianism. Walk along the hunebeds and get to know a unique piece of ancient history. Cycle through historic villages such as Orvelte. Visit the special exhibitions at the Drents Museum or the impressive war monument at the Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre.


Drenthe contains a very special piece of prehistoric culture, namely the hunebeds. There are no fewer than 52! Hunebeds are tombstones, built 5000 years ago using boulders weighing anywhere from 2000 to 20,000 kilograms apiece. The hunebeds come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and can all be viewed for free. If you are visiting Drenthe, we’re sure you’ll come across at least one!

Tip: Visit the Hunebed Centre in Borger to travel back to prehistoric times and visit Drenthe’s the largest hunebed.

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Een hunebed omringd door paarse heide.

Van Gogh in Drenthe

Vincent van Gogh is known all over the world. Few people know that he also stayed in Drenthe, for a period of three months, in the southeastern part of the province. Five paintings, around fifteen drawings and a series of beautiful letters to his brother Theo were preserved from the period during which he stayed in Drenthe. We take you to the places that inspired him.

Tip: Visit the Van Gogh exposition in the Drents Museum. A must-see for all his admirers.  Travelling with Vincent - Van Gogh in Drenthe can be seen in Assen from Monday 11 September 2023 to Sunday 7 January 2024.

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Een tafel met kwasten, doeken, een petroleumlamp en een boek over Van Gogh in de kamer waar hij gewoond en gewerkt heeft in Drenthe, Het schilderij 'De turfschuit' van Vincent van Gogh, olieverf op doek. Een man en een vrouw lopen over het pad naar de ingang van het kerkje van Zweeloo.

Colonies of Benevolence

The Drenthe colonies of Veenhuizen, Frederiksoord and Wilhelminaoord make up a unique area of the Netherlands. When you visit the colonies you’ll find yourself in the midst of a remarkable historic tale. The colonies were founded by Johannes van den Bosch in the nineteenth century and were intended to fight poverty in Dutch cities. Poor families could apply to be relocated to the colonies in Drenthe, and in exchange for their willingness to move, they would be given a house and a tract of land to farm.

Visit the colonies to see the many monuments that are a testament to this area’s rich history.

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Borden met foto's op het terrein van het Gevangenismuseum Veenhuizen.

Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre

At the Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre museum, you’ll get a sense of what happened in the Netherlands during the Second World War. This was one of the sites from which Dutch Jews were deported. History is palpable at this site, thanks to the personal stories in the exhibitions and the available footage. You’ll be able to see the sketches made of the children playing here and read a farewell note that was thrown from a train window by one of the victims.

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Man en vrouw zitten gehurkt bij de 102.000 stenen in voormalig Kamp Westerbork. Een stel staat voor de commandant woning in kamp Westerbork. Het monument in Kamp Westerbork met een wachttoren op de achtergrond.

UNESCO Geopark de Hondsrug

Would you like to explore culture while surrounded by nature? If so, visit the only UNESCO Geopark in the Netherlands, de Hondsrug. Here, you will literally be walking in the cart tracks of the past that wind through the beautiful landscape. You will explore higher ground, the Drents Plateau, and look out over beautiful stream valleys. Geopark de Hondsrug has been granted UNESCO status, a wonderful reward for this beautiful area. Come and venture out on an expedition!!


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