Velvet Caves Valkenburg aan de Geul Reviews
Fluweelengrot a.k.a. Velvet Caves May 30, 2013
A short walk (less then 5 minutes) from our hotel you find the Velvet Caves (Fluweelengrot in Dutch).
The velvet caves are not a whole lot more than a huge labyrinth underneath the castle ruins, so technically it is not a cave but it is still amazing! They probably date frome the 11th or 12th century, so yes they are really really old. They were rediscovered in 1937. The caves were used in world war 2 to hide the Americans and keep the people from Valkenburg save. You can still see paintings and writings from American soldiers on the walls.
Back in the day the secret passageways allowed the knights to escape the castle and attack the enemy from behind or secretly bring supplies in.
I got this from the website: One legend tells of the Brabanders (natives of Brabant) who, laying siege to Valkenburg, could not understand why celebrations were still being held inside the castle walls even after a long period of siege. Little did they know that the troops inside were being supplied via the secret passageways... from Brabant, where the siege armies would soon discover that their lands had been plundered in their absence!
Or guide told us this story and I just laughed my pants of! :-).
Besides all the history there are some amazing paintings. From 10 centuries ago but also less far away.
I personally love the caves!! They wall paintings are amazingly breathe taking. The stories behind the paintings as well as the Caves itself are amazing. And definitely worth a visit.
Opening hours can be found on their website. Entrance will cost you €9.- p.p. (children under 3 are free, 4-11 it will cost you €7.50) This includes the Velvet Caves as well as the ruins and a map. So two for one! They use the money to restore the ruins and the caves. Tours are guided by volunteers.
The tour is Dutch, all the stuff you see inside the cave have a number and you get an get instructions in your own language. This way you can follow the tour an know exactly what the guide is talking about.
The caves are at a constant 12 degrees. So cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Part of the Short trips 2013 travel blog
Part of the list Dutch seight seeing.
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