Discover the rich history of the Zuiderwaterlinie

The Zuiderwaterlinie (Southern Water Defence Line)

from Bergen op Zoom to Grave

Where in the past, soldiers guarded the border, nowadays you will find Brabant hospitality with a backdrop of rich history. Admire the friendly historic fortified towns, visit the sturdy forts and go for a walk in the unusual countryside. Of all the Dutch water defence lines, the Zuiderwaterlinie is the oldest, the longest and the most used. It goes from Bergen op Zoom in the East of Brabant, all the way to Grave in the Northeast of the province. Discover a unique chain of 11 Brabant fortified towns and their surroundings, all linked by the Dutch history of defending itself with water.

The West-Brabantse Waterlinie (West Brabant Water Defence Line)

One section of the Zuiderwaterlinie is the West-Brabantse Waterlinie that comprised four forts: the Ravelijn and the Waterschans in Bergen op Zoom, Fort Roovere in Halsteren and Fort Henricus in Steenbergen. Work has been going on in recent years to bring a new lease of life to the former defences between Bergen op Zoom and Steenbergen. And it has worked! This lovely area, rich in history and nature reserves, is great for cycling, walking and sailing.

Fort de Roovere

Fort de Roovere near Bergen op Zoom is the largest fort on the West-Brabantse waterlinie. Visitors can walk through the water via the Moses Bridge and still keep their feet dry! Or you can enjoy lovely views if you stand on the Pompejus lookout tower. Access to the fort grounds is free and guided walks are regularly organised.


De Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie is a line of defence that runs from Muiden to the Biesbosch, so part of it is in Brabant. The defence line is the largest national monument in the Netherlands. Fort Altena in Werkendam forms part of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie. It is the perfect starting point for discovering the Biesbosch National Park and you can enjoy a delicious lunch in the restaurant. The 350 kilometre long Waterliniepad (Water Line Path) follows the defence line all the way from Muiden to Werkendam.