Landgraaf: Leisure apex of Parkstad Limburg
The town of Landgraaf is a dynamic community set in the beautiful surroundings of southern Limburg. It covers a total area of 2,500 hectares and is bordered by Germany (in the east) and the towns of Brunssum, Kerkrade and Heerlen.
The local authority Landgraaf
Landgraaf as a local authority is relatively young: in 1982 the three former towns Schaesberg, Ubach over Worms and Nieuwenhagen merged to form the local authority Landgraaf. The name 'Landgraaf' is derived from an ancient earthwork (in Dutch: a 'landgraaf') which meanders through the country, dating back to pre-Roman times.
A bit of history
Up until the mid-19th century, the scenery around Landgraaf was dominated by a mix of forest, moors and cultivated land. Slowly but surely, small-scale rural settlements evolved. With the development of coalmining in the region at the end of the 19th century, rapid expansion soon followed. Population growth was explosive as the community tried to keep pace with modern industrial development.
When the mines closed in the 1970s, the economic perspectives were not very good. The towns in the area worked hard to regain economic prosperity. By merging the smaller townships into Landgraaf, the local authority was adequately equipped to successfully change 'from black to green'. This operation comprised of changing the coalmine-scenery into attractive green areas for residence and leisure.
In terms of tourist and leisure facilities, Landgraaf is the place to be. An important concentration of large-scale leisure facilities can be found in Park Gravenrode, an area of scenic beauty on the territory of Landgraaf and Kerkrade. The park includes a number of major tourist attractions.
SnowWorld in Landgraaf is the world's largest indoor ski-slope with various ski-runs and ski lifts. It was designed to resemble an authentic Austrian ski resort and incorporates ski and snowboard school, a fitness centre, shops, various cafes and bars and a conference centre. These facilities are great for amateur and experienced skiers, but also for staff outings. It is even possible to stay overnight: SnowWorld has excellent hotel facilities.
Do you want to travel around the world in a single day? Visit Mondo Verde! This themepark contains carefully reproduced elements from Italy, Portugal, Japan, Marocco, Britain and other countries. Beautiful gardens, traditional buildings and various tastefully furnished catering facilities offer you a perfect day out. There are also attractions for children, such as a 'dinosaur park'.
Megaland is an enormous festival terrain, widely known for hosting the Pinkpop music festival. But it is also a wonderful location for concerts, shows and cycling events.
GaiaZOO is an exciting modern zoo in the middle of Park Gravenrode. The numerous animals reside in a spacious, natural environment which strongly resembles their original habitats. GaiaZOO is a fantastic day out for children and adults alike!
Continium is not a museum in the traditional way; it is a discovery centre where you can experience how your daily live is influenced by science and technique. You can also look into past and future developments in science.
Walking and biking
Are you a fervent mountain biker or cyclist, then you should visit the Sport & Leisurepark Landgraaf. The charming green valleys of Landgraaf are also a wonderful environment for cycling or walking trips, especially when you are interested in ancient castles, churches and farmsteads.
Art and culture
In relation to art and culture, Landgraaf can be rightfully called 'colourful'. It holds a wonderful mix of traditional and modern art. Smaller and bigger scale events are organised, from drama, comedy, dance and musical performances at Theater Landgraaf to events such as a Poetry day. And surely you heard of Pinkpop? A lot of famous artists already stood on the Pinkpop stage. For those who dream to perform on Pinkpop themselves, the 'Oefenbunker' offers rehearsal rooms where promising pop and rock bands can practice their musical skills.
After a long and exciting day in Landgraaf there are plenty of possibilities for overnight accommodation, from cosy campsites to charming hotels. And of course there are also wonderful restaurants and lively bars and terraces throughout the town. Whatever your choice is, you will be welcomed with the typical hospitality of southern Limburg.
Summarized, Landgraaf has a lot to offer. Visit us and find out yourself!