Rivers of the World: The Vecht in Holland

This programme is part of the series Rivers of the World
Vegtvliet near the town of Breukelen on the Vecht (© Wikimedia Commons/Ron Stomp)

Rivers are the cradle of the world’s earliest civilisations. Mythology and religion were born on their banks. They provide us with life-giving water. We eat of their bounty and create power from their energy. Radio Netherlands tells the stories of some of these “arteries of the world”.

The river Vecht is just thirty kilometres long, and yet it is considered one of the country’s most beautiful waterways with a long and illustrious history. The Vecht has its source in the city of Utrecht and flows north to the present-day Ijsselmeer Lake. It was once an important link from the Rhine to the Zuiderzee and northern Europe. Given its strategic importance to trade and transport, it is not surprising to find some of Holland’s most beautiful castles along the river’s banks, but what makes the Vecht such a scenic place for living and recreation today are the many prosperous old towns like Loenen and Vreeland and the luxurious country estates with their tea houses built by Amsterdam merchants in the 17th century.

Producer: Chris Chambers

Broadcast: January 31, 2003

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