The elaborate defence system, the Oude Hollandse Waterlinie (Old Dutch Waterline), was built to defend Holland in the 17th century. The line consists of zones that could be flooded deliberately and were connected by fortified towns and defence structures. However, neither of the redoubts on either side of the Old Rhine could prevent the French troops from crossing the line in December 1672, when all the water was frozen. Many of the villages along the Oude Rijn, including Bodegraven, were burnt down during that Disaster Year. In 1673, Governor William III commissioned the reconstruction of the redoubt at Nieuwerbrug into a highly defensible redoubt, Fort Wierickerschans The Oude Hollandse Waterlinie was replaced by the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (New Dutch Waterline) further to the east. Starting at Bodegraven station, the 50-kilometre northern part of the Waterline route passes through Woerden and Nieuwersluis to Weesp and Muiden. Our hiking– and bicycle page offer beautiful routes that take you past memorable places along the Waterline.