Step into the footsteps of the monks and follow this wonderful cultural-historical walk and visit the abbey museum and store. Old dikes from the 13th century and winding canals recall a time when North Holland was continually surprised by the washing waters.
The monks of the abbey built the first dikes to protect their area. During the walk, information panels tell you about the history of the landscape and the three Egmonden. Along the way you will have to climb over fences occasionally, so wear good shoes. Don’t hurry, stop here and there, let the west wind blow through your hair, sniff the sea air and revive the old times.
Text: Peter Lassooy
The landscape can be briefly summarized as a flawless complex of beach ridges and beach plains. The characteristic structure of an open beach plain between the cultivated and forested beach ridge to the east and the high young dunes to the west is still very “readable.
The landscape changed dramatically due to a number of factors that were present at the same time. Storm surges and coastal erosion, sand drifts and formation of the young dunes, sea level rise and reclamation.
As you walk, you will read the history of a former sea hole that first silted up, then silted up, grew into a swamp and drowned in Egmonder and Bergermeer Lake.
Beginning in the tenth century, the young dunes from the west rose up from the sea and “walked” over the old low dune landscapes, the nollen and geest grounds. The reclamation of this dynamic landscape is largely attributable to the monks of Egmond. Many traces of this can still be found in the area as well.
Thus, the Adelbertusakker represents the settlement of St. Adelbert in this area, the Adelbertusput its former grave, the St. Adelbertusweg the more than 1,000-year-old connection between the Adelbertusakker and the abbey founded on a beach ridge, as a safe place in the swampy environment.
The Zanddijk and the Hogedijk represent the protection of the spirit lands from the encroaching and rising water, the Egmonderbinnenvaart with harbor channel the supply, transport and trade route for the monks.
Further north the Slot op den Hoef as a fortified fortress for managing the abbey’s lands and further west Egmond aan Zee as a base for the monks’ food supply.
Cultural history is further enriched with scalloped roads, dune fields and ridges, Golden Age bleachers and estates, not to mention the miracle stories attributed to St. Adelbert. This rich combination of landscape and cultural history forms the broad foundation of the Monks’ Trail. Sights in the villages are also described.