10 Remarkable facts about Nijmegen

It’s my new home town but asides from that there is much to discover about this city which is built on the banks of the River Waal on the Dutch/German border.

The Waal Bridge

‘The Face of Nijmegen.’ A soldier’s mask from the Roman Era. Monumental sculpture by Andreas Hetfeld
  1. It’s the oldest city in the Netherlands. Its Roman name was Noviomagus, meaning new market. In 2005 the city celebrated its 2000 years existence.
  2. The film about Operation Market Garden in WWII, ‘A Bridge too Far,’ was partially shot here. Although OMG’s prime aim was to take the bridge in Arnhem, bridges in Deventer and Nijmegen were used for shooting the film.
  3. The Oversteek brug was completed in 2013. It is the largest war memorial in Europe. It was built to commemorate the death of 48 allied soldiers in their attempt to cross the Waal in canvas boats on 20 September 1944. Every evening the Sunset March takes place. A war veteran (from armies worldwide) accompanies the 48 pairs of lights on the bridge which come on sequentially at walking pace. Members of the public are welcome to join the march.
  4. Nina Simone lived here from 1988 to 1991 to get away from the media spotlight after her huge hit, ‘My Baby Just Cares for me.’ A street in Nijmegen is named after her.
  5. Also known as, ‘Havana aan de Waal’ because of its socialist leanings in the sixties and seventies, it is now run by a coalition government and the present mayor, Hubert Bruls, is Christian Democrat.
  6. ‘Room for the River’ in the Gelderse Poort (flood plain of the River Waal) is a showcase for contemporary European rewilding. In 2018 the city was awarded the title, European Green Capital.
Konik Ponies – unpaid lawnmowers in rewilding project

  1. Radboud University in Nijmegen has existed since 1923 and in 2021 was awarded the prize of best ‘traditional,’ broad university in the Netherlands by the Keuzegids.
  2. The 104th Four-Days Marchvierdaagse, will take place in and around Nijmegen from 19-22 July 2022. Owing to Covid19 this worldwide popular walk was cancelled in ‘20 and ‘21. If you are lucky (and fit) enough to win a place on this much coveted 4-day event you will discover the beauty of the Overbetuwe between the Waal and the Rhine, the legendary Land of Maas and Waal, and climb the famous ‘seven hills’ of Groesbeek.
  3. During the Cold War, the Netherlands felt isolated as the UK and US reduced there military presence in Europe. Captain Joop Haex, the Dutch State Secretary for Defence, hatched an idea to take advantage of the local topography in eastern NL by preparing a natural defence line against invasions from a Communist army. The plan was to form the Ijssellinie Ijssel Line by constructing movable floating dams along the Waal and Lower Rhine. If implemented the dams would enable the flooding of The River Ijssel. The border area from just above Zwolle to the Ooijpolder in Nijmegen would then form an impenetrable barrier to invaders. Four-hundred- thousand residents would have had to be evacuated from the flooded valley. Luckily the plan was never called into action!
  4. On a lighter note, if you come to this part of the world, famed for its fruit growing, you will be surprised at the culinary delights awaiting you, the friendliness of the people, and the stunning beauty of the river and its surroundings. Some tips for a visit here: Day trip Nijmegen Gelderland.
Cycling in Ooijpolder

About susancarey

Angela writes using pseudonym, Susan Carey. She has dual nationality, GB/NL and lives in Nijmegen. Susan has had short fiction published on multiple platforms and was a runner-up in the 2018 and 2017 Casket of Fictional Delights Flash Competitions. Her writing has also been published and performed by amongst others: Mslexia, Liars’ League, Reflex Fiction, the Casket and of course the wonderful Writers Abroad. In 2020 she published her short story collection, Healer. Tweets at @su_carey
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2 Responses to 10 Remarkable facts about Nijmegen

  1. creativetaffine says:

    Seems you’ve made an excellent choice in moving to Nijmegen! Thanks for such an interesting description.

    Like

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