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How a Defensive Moat Became a Top Tourist Attraction

The new Waterline Museum near Utrecht reveals another side to the Netherlands’ mastery of waterways and coastlines.
Fort bij Vechten
Fort bij VechtenJeroen Musch

For 100 years, the moat surrounding Fort bij Vechten in the Dutch province of Utrecht was used to deter and repel attackers. Today it draws people to a cultural space that celebrates wild feats of landscape engineering; recasts the role of water with technocratic precision; and reuses military infrastructure as a progressive nature preserve.

In other words, it’s as Dutch as you can get—the landscape-design equivalent of filling a wooden shoe with Gouda and hurling it from the top of a windmill.