Return to Venlo: the fortifications reconstructed

The picture, further on on this page, of the fortifications of Venlo is actually a spin-off of the Koninginneplein project. Working for Royal HaskoningDHV, I made the design for the glass panels in the balustrade, together with colleague Mari Baauw. The panels on the city side show the Venlo fortifications that once were on that location. On the other side are the armies that have tried time and again to conquer the city. Along the walking route from the station to the city center are the dates of the many battles in the history of Venlo, embossed in the concrete parapet.

White van passing with high speed next to the underpass at Koninginneplein in Venlo, The Netherlands
The fortifications of Venlo in the glass panels

3d model

To draw the design for the fortification panels I made a 3d model of the medieval city with its impressive system of walls, water features, towers and gates. That model served as the basis for the black and white prints on the glass.

3d model of the historic fortifications of Venlo, The Netherlands, rendered in brass
3d model of the fortifications, rendered in brass

The colors of Blaeu

Later I realized that I could also edit that model in 3ds max. The bird’s-eye view of the fortress Venlo below was the result. The 3d model is based on Joan Blaeu’s map from 1649. also the colors are inspired by that historical print.

venlo fortifications
Venlo fortifications in the colors of Blaeu


Until well into the nineteenth century, Venlo was surrounded by its fortifications. However, large parts of them were demolished for the construction of railway lines. Other space claims of the expanding city did the rest. In addition, during the last battle, in 1945, a large part of the old town was destroyed.

So unfortunately, there is not much to see nowadays of the rich history of the fortress Venlo. Except, of course, in the glass panels on Koninginneplein.

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