The West Brabant Waterline offered protection to Zeeland and Holland. Map: Zeelandia, Le Rouge, 1748.
Education, landscape creation, water management
Municipality of Bergen op Zoom
INUNDATIONPARK WEST-BRABANTSE WATERLINIE
Play, learn and experience
For anyone who is interested in Dutch history and the way in which the water was used as a means of defense, a visit to the West Brabant Waterline is worthwhile. The centrally located Fort de Roovere is a good introduction to the waterline and a starting point for an adventure by bicycle. Yet it is not easy to imagine how the inundation functioned on the scale of the West-Brabant Waterline. The various sluices and forts lie so far apart that the connection between them is not visible. Also, the differences in height in the landscape are usually so subtle that the inundated areas are difficult to recognize. From this the wish arose to create a working water model that provides an overview and insight into the functioning of the defense line.
The area is easily accessible from the existing parking lot. The bastions of Fort de Roovere offer a good view over the inundation park, which can tempt visitors to walk along here too. By deepening the Inundation Park, the historical sight lines will not be affected. The playground will be located on a piece of land of 1.5 hectares next to the moat of Fort de Roovere and will be fed with (residual) water from Evides. Only one pump is needed to circulate the water through the inundation park. In addition, this water will improve the ecology of the area as a whole, which now suffers from poor circulation and blue algae by using the 'play water' to flush the canal of Fort de Roovere.
Around the fort the Liniewal from 1785 is reconstructed. This creates a walking route around the park from which offers a good overview of the various elements of the Inundation Park. The proposal is to place information boards around the Inundation Park that can tell the story of the West-Brabant Waterline, the Siege of Bergen op Zoom and Fort de Roovere, and the context in the Zuiderwaterlinie. This provides a better insight into the historical context and relevance of this location.
It was decided to depict the waterline as it was in 1747, at the time of the French attack. During this time the waterline was in its full glory. The French were stationed at Wouw on the east side of the Line, and the Republic of the United Netherlands on the west side. The Inundation Park consists of three parts. On one side, the area is set up as a lake area. The shape of this area is an abstract representation of the islands of Zeeland. Children (and adults of course) can play here with branches, mud and water. With the help of long poles you can 'hop' from island to island without getting wet feet.
The central part of the Inundation Park is formed by a detailed representation (scale model) of the West Brabant Waterline. The West Brabant waterline was a man-made defense line of Zeeland and Holland, which on the southern side was protected for the remainder by natural water boundaries such as the Scheldt, the North Sea and the rivers. To make this difference tangible, we decided to harden this part of the water playground (concrete). The various fortified towns in Zeeland (which are located in a natural part of the playground will also be designed in concrete.) This gives the visitor a sense of scale and orientation and makes the functioning of the waterline clear.
The other side of the park consists of a grass field. Various abstract, with wood and willow shaped, attack works will be spread across the field. These refer to the attack works that the French used during the siege of Bergen op Zoom and Fort de Roovere. These objects show the ingenuity with which war was waged in the 18th century and will, in addition to the playing aspect, also clarify the works of the West Brabant waterline.