City Walk Hoogeveen (Trommelslager)

(5.6 km)

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  • Hoogeveen’s history will come to life during this signposted walking route. A history that starts with Roelof van Echten around 1625. He bought an extensive area of peatland around Zuidwolde, the current Hoogeveen, at the time.

    Meaning “high fen” (fen being a kind of peatland), t…

    Hoogeveen’s history will come to life during this signposted walking route. A history that starts with Roelof van Echten around 1625. He bought an extensive area of peatland around Zuidwolde, the current Hoogeveen, at the time.

    Meaning “high fen” (fen being a kind of peatland), the name Hoogeveen points towards the city’s history as a peat settlement. To conduct the area’s peat extraction, Roelof founded the Compagnie van de 5000 Morgen, which translates as “Company of the 5000 Tomorrows.” This company had an extensive network of canals dug to drain the area, allowing them to transport the “brown gold” to its users. Every Sunday, Roelof van Echten had a tambour player, De Trommelslager, go out to drum up the peat labourers to go to church.

    From the Middle Ages until around the year 1900, peat was used as a household and industrial combustion fuel. With the arrival of coal around 1900, people in Hoogeveen had to switch to different ways of making a living. They switched to agriculture, livestock farming and industry. In the sixties of last century, Hoogeveen was even one of the Netherlands’ fastest growing municipalities.

    The route starts at Grote Kerk (“Large Church”). There are paid parking options close to this church along Van Echtenstraat or Van Echtensplein. You can also use the signposting present to start the route from other locations.

    Sights on this route

    Starting point: Grote Kerk Hoogeveen
    Grotekerkstraat 40











    End point: Grote Kerk Hoogeveen
    Grotekerkstraat 40


    Starting point: Grote Kerk Hoogeveen
    Grotekerkstraat 40
      • The route starts at Grote Kerk. The church’s construction commenced in 1651. The Van Echten family played a significant role in the church’s development. The building was originally in the shape of a four-armed Greek cross. Following rapid population growth in the area, the church was expanded three times between 1766 and 1804, resulting in its current rectangular, triple-naved hall church with a lead-covered timber spire. bells in the church tower were cast in Zutphen by famous bell makers F. and P. Hemony. There is a sun dial above the southern entrance, gifted to the church by contractor H.C. Dekker in 1804.
      • There is a small statue of De Trommelslager in front of Grote Kerk. In the 17th century, all congregations in Drenthe had their own tambour. This situation developed as a result of a 26 June 1647 decree stipulating that the entire region should be able to make use of tambours for wolf hunting. Roelof van Echter used to have Hoogeveen’s tambour player call the people to church every Sunday morning. Due to lacking funds the church didn’t have a church bell yet at the time. The tambour player was also called upon for fires and other disasters. The last tambour player was active until 1973. Used for special services and concerts, the tambour he used can still be found hanging in the church.
      • Behind Grote Kerk’s old presbytery along Van Echterstraat, lies the old Jewish cemetery. This cemetery was in use between 1730 and 1839.
      • Along the route, you see grain mill De Zwaluw rising above the houses. The current mill dates from 1834. De Zwaluw is the successor of the previous mill that burnt down in 1787. With the help of volunteers, its current miller mills various types of grains in their traditional manner, which he then sells in the mill shop.
      • The route continues towards Kerkplein. Here you will find the imposing Reformed Hoofdstraat Church. This building was constructed in its current shape in 1904. It is a rectangular, triple-naved church with a cross-gabled roof and a portal. Its wide façade is equipped with battlement shapes, corner towers with tent roofs and a central structure with wimperg spires. The church was designed by G. Hoekzema. High up in the façade, there is a stone that has two years displayed on it: “1834-1886.” These years refer to the exodus from the Dutch Reformed Church that occurred in the 19th century.
      • Hoofdstraat is where you find Hoogeveen’s commercial centre. Meandering through Hoofdstraat is a water-based work of art 250 metres long and ten metres wide: “De Cascade.” De Cascade is reminiscent of the canal that once ran through Hoofdstraat and which was used to transport peat.
      • At the end of Hoofdstraat, by the Hoofdstraat-Haagje-Alteveerstraat-Schutstraat intersection, lies what locals call Het Kruis (“The Cross”)—which is where Hoogeveen originated. The two canals that used to intersect here have been filled in, but several old houses are still standing; these include Het Huis met de Duivengaten (“The House with the Putlog Holes”) and ’t Olde Schippershuus (“The Old Sailor’s House”). The Van Echten family constructed ’t Schippershuus around 1640 as a so-called tiendenhuis (tax-collecting house). Between 1882 and 1990, the house served as a café for sailors.
      • There is a cemetery along Zuiderweg, the oldest part of which dates back to [...]. There is a monument by the cemetery in memory of the Hoogeveen’s Jewish inhabitants who didn’t survive the Second World War. Next to it is a so-called Ner Tamidan eternal light. At Schutstraat 147 there is an old Jewish synagogue that is currently being used by the Baptist community De Schutse.
      • Hoogeveen’s town hall with its carillon tower was built in 1940 with the funds left over from the Compagnie van de 5000 Morgen. After peat extraction in the area had ended, the owners decided to dissolve the company and donate the remaining funds to the Hoogeveen municipality for the construction of a new town hall.
      • On 11 September 1883, Vincent van Gogh arrived in Hoogeveen. He stayed with landlord Albertus Hartsuiker at Pesserstraat 24, not far from the station. The house where he stayed still exists. There is a memorial plaque in the building’s façade. Although the duration of Vincent’s stay in Drenthe was relatively short, Drenthe’s originality made a deep, indelible impression on him—a fact many of his paintings, drawings and watercolours display.
    • The last noteworthy feature along this route is the former monastery at Brinkstraat 5. The Carmelite Fathers from Zenderen had architect Croonen from Almelo design the building in Neo-Gothic style. The building went into use around 1905. The Fathers selected Hoogeveen as their central location from which to provide pastoral care to the Catholics widely scattered throughout the region. They left in 1957. From here the route takes you back to the departure point.
    End point: Grote Kerk Hoogeveen
    Grotekerkstraat 40