Tucked away in the southern region of the Netherlands in the Limburg province, Heerlen is a fine city with a current population of approximately 88,000. Close to the larger neighbouring city of Maastricht and also the German border, Heerlen forms part of an agglomeration of cities called Parkstad Limburg.
Signs of settlements tracing back thousands of years have been found in and around Heerlen and its written history starts with Roman occupation. Heerlen did not develop fully and prosper until the 1200s when the city was acquired by the Brabant dukes and was contested greatly during the 80 years war. After this period the city grew slowly and remained a predominantly agricultural establishment until the 1900’s. Today the city has several government offices and a plethora of historical attractions, public parks, and fun activities to engage in.
Lets explore the best things to do in Heerlen:
1. Thermen museum
As Heerlen has along history that spans back to the Roman age of conquest, it makes sense that you can find many ancient roman artefacts and excavations here.
One such site is the Spa museum which is actually located right in the middle of the town centre.
Constructed in 1977, this unique museum was actually built around the remains of the best preserved Roman bath in the Netherlands.
You can see the remains of the bath house and walk over various gangways and paths to see the walls and stone structure.
Furthermore, there is a host of fantastic artefacts that have been recovered from the area including statues, tableware, pottery and jewellery.
For an insightful look at Roman history in the region there is no better place.