Zuid=Limburg photography


Gronsveld and Ryckholt Mesch and Eijsden Noorbeek
Gulpen area Wijlre area Mechelen area
Epen area Cottessen area Sippenaken area
Schaelsberg, Oud-Valkenburg Oud-Valkenburg and Gerendal Valkenburg
Eys area Vijlen Mheer and Voerstreek
Slenaken area Houthem and Meerssen Schimmert area
Elsloo Spaubeek area Amstenrade area
Click on a thumbnail to view the series.


South Limburg has a interesting landscape with a lot of variety and it has great rural beauty, at least those parts which have survived after decades of moving of borders, expansion of villages, the establishment of new industries and badly made restorations of monuments. A shame are all those far going adaptations to please tourists, especially near Valkenburg, Gulpen, Mechelen and Epen. It is regretful to see the amount of changes that have happened purely to please the tourists. Here on my web site I attempt to provide a reliable record that best reflects the original character of my province i.e. not the converted cottages or amusement parks that can be seen on many places. In order to work out my ideas I could not avoid being quite selective here. People often tell me - especially foreigners: "I did not know that Limburg is so beautiful, it is an absolute must to visit". Of course they are right, but to show off its ultimate beauty I have had to filter out many less attractive things. In fact the very best places are more scarce and actually quite remote and out of the view from the more popular visitor attractions. And yet one is truly rewarded if one is lucky enough to find these wonderful spots. I have set myself the task to do exactly that. Special weather conditions like snow, mist, dusky light or a beautiful spring day can often perform true miracles. A great deal depends on whether the photographer is sensitive to all these things. In the most ideal case even in architectural photography it is possible to reveal how you are affected by a mere building.

The most attractive nature areas in South Limburg are situated near Houthem-Sint Gerlach, Gronsveld ("Savelsbos"), Wijlre ("Gerendal"), Bunde ("Bunderbos") and Vijlen ("Vijlenerbos"). In this gallery you can see many photographs of these woods in the autumn, when nature is abundant with colors. Also in winter time it can be nice, when a snow-layer is covering the ground or when the branches are covered with rime. In spring, the budding green and the whistling birds make the woods a true paradise. Beautiful village centres can be seen in Elsloo, Noorbeek, Gronsveld, Eckelrade and Bemelen. The most marvellous panoramas can be viewed from the hills around the Geul valley between Valkenburg and the Belgian border (at Cottessen). This area stretches into Belgium with its ascending hills, the prodromes of the Ardennes. Interesting panoramas can also be seen from the hills along the Maas valley like the Fortress Eben Emael on the Belgian border near Canne. I have dedicated Sub-gallery no. 12 to these panoramas. Characteristic South Limburg facades with curly ornaments of marl stone can be found in Groot-Haasdal near Schimmert, Klein-Haasdal (De Bokhof Farm), Gasthuis-Bemelen and Terstraten. These are all displayed in this gallery. The typical Maas region style with alternating layers of bricks and marl stone is used at the farm castles at Sibbe and Kelmont (near Beek) and some houses in de old centre of Elsloo, see the images in this gallery. Windmills are quite a rarety in South Limburg, but there is the stately mill near Gronsveld, and near Ubachsberg lies a mill in complete harmony with its surrounding landscape. There are also the mills in Nuth, Gasthuis-Bemelen (Tienhoven mill) and Beek. Most South Limburg churches still have the original tower made from marl stone, but the majority of these churches were extended in later ages. The charming miniature basilicas at Noorbeek and Sint-Geertruid are really worth seeing. Stunning churches can also be seen in Houthem-Sint Gerlach, Bemelen, Elsloo ("Waterstaat" style), Gronsveld, Eijsden, Mesch.

The trip starts near Gronsveld and Rijckholt, an area littered with centuries old fruit tree orchards; where the Savelsbos is also located. The series starts with a few images of the stately Gronsveld Mill. Towards the south of the Savelsbos, the villages of Mesch are located, not far from Belgium. The landscape is wavy and hilly, typical for South Limburg, and scattered with fruit trees and stately farmhouses. A bit further on lies Mheer. This is a charming little place, enriched with a castle, and numerous timber-framed farmhouse cottages. In the valley below lies Noorbeek, with its charming, little basilica and its marvellous landscape..Wijlre with its water mill. is situated in a beautiful landscape. Nearby lies the nature reservate Gerendal. Nearbij Wijlre lies Gulpen. a little tourist town. The small river Gulp ends here, where it joins with the river Geul. The Gulp Valley is of great beauty. The area aroud Epen has the highest decline in the whole area. A great variety of panoramas can be enjoyed. The hamlet Cottessen is famous fot its cottages and orchards. The near Vijlen situated Vijlenerbos is the largest wood in the entire vicinity. Whichever direction one looks at, one can detect groups of picturesque, timber-framed farmhouses and cottages. A nice hamlet with a small castle is Harlet, just outside Vijlen. Down in a valley, concealed from main view lies Eys. From every side of the valley one has a splendid view of the village with its charming church, built in a style which one would rather expect to see in Bavaria than here in South Limburg. When nearing the small town of Nuth it appears as if time has stood still. The hamlet of Terstraten entails a whole street with sheer timber-framed cottages, all in excellent condition and well-preserved: a joy for the eye. In Schimmert and in closeby Groot Haasdal one discovers typical facades with curly ornaments made from the local marl stone. Farmhouse De Bokhof is a typical specimen of the old building style of the region. Also in this series Meerssen with its Basilica. Located approx 16 km north of Maastricht is the small town of Elsloo, with its picturesque old centre. On the Maasberg one finds houses in typical Maasland style. Houthem, near Valkenburg, has several monumental, old farms. Its St. Gerlach Church is of outstanding beauty. Amstenrade not only has its magnific castle but the old village is also very beautiful. In the triangle Spaubeek, Oirsbeek, Munstergeleen you will find many more old farms.

Before viewing the pictures please check the contrast adjustment on your monitor. You can use my test strip below which I have designed for this purpose. For best viewing, use a gamma value of 2.2 and set the contrast control mode in a position until each individual black and white square (16 in total) is visible.