The Achterhoek (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɑxtərɦuk] ; Dutch Low Saxon: Achterhook) is a cultural region in the Eastern Netherlands. Its name (meaning "rear-corner") is geographically appropriate because the area lies in the easternmost part of the province of Gelderland and therefore in the east of the Netherlands, protruding into Germany. The Achterhoek lies at the east of the IJssel and Oude IJssel rivers. On the other sides, it borders Germany to the southeast and the province of Overijssel to the northeast.

Flag of Achterhoek
De Graafschap
Location in Gelderland
Location in Gelderland
 • Total1,476 km2 (570 sq mi)
 • Total389,682
 • Density260/km2 (680/sq mi)

In 2015, the Achterhoek had a population of 389,682. The region is also called de Graafschap (Dutch for earldom, shire or county; namesake of VBV De Graafschap in Doetinchem) because it coincides with the historical County of Zutphen. The region is predominantly rural, with much open space, forests and farms. The area around the town of Winterswijk is regarded as noteworthy. A well-known beer originates from this region: Grolsch beer was first brewed in Groenlo in 1615.

Language edit

The original language of the Achterhoek is Achterhooks, a variety of Low Saxon. The language can also differ per municipality or town, even in such a way that a person speaking the 'Grols' variant (meaning the dialect of Groenlo) will pronounce words differently from a person from Winterswijk which is merely 10 km (6.2 mi) to the east, although they will probably understand each other.

The number of inhabitants whose sole language is Achterhooks has greatly declined over the last 60 years [which 60 years? as of when?], inhabitants are raised with Dutch at school and the dialect is only spoken (sometimes) at home. Partly due to immigration from outside the Achterhoek region and the effects of national government, the Dutch language is having a significant impact on the dialect. Many old words have been forgotten and replaced by their Dutch-derived equivalents.

Economy edit

Export Products

  • Export value of 20%: meat, dairy, fruits, and other crops.
  • Potatoes, among others, by Aviko.
  • Animal feeds, among others, by ForFarmers.
  • Technological products (such as Nedap) with over 25% export value.

Tourism edit

The downsizing of agriculture has contributed to the emergence of rural tourism within the region. The area is popular among those seeking peace or an active vacation. Various activities such as cycling (such as the 80-year-war route, Arfgoodroute), hiking, horseback riding, nordic walking, carriage rides, canoeing, and Hot air ballooning, as well as stays at recreation lakes such as Stroombroek, Slingeplas, and Hilgelo, are popular among tourists. Notably, Doetinchem, braamt, Bronkhorst and Zutphen are the most popular tourist destinations.

The majority of tourists visiting the Achterhoek region are from other european countries, including Germany, Belgium, Denmark, and Ireland.

Municipalities edit

The largest cities in the Achterhoek are Doetinchem, Winterswijk and Zutphen. Doesburg and Zutphen are old Hanseatic cities. Both have centres with well-preserved historical buildings.

External links edit

52°0′15.58″N 6°23′48.44″E / 52.0043278°N 6.3967889°E / 52.0043278; 6.3967889