Musea - museums

City Museum 'The Arsenal'

The Stedelijk (Municipal) Museum in Coevorden is located in the old Arsenaal by the harbour. The museum tells the story of wars and sieges in the northern Netherlands. The history of this fortified town and the battles fought here is told through objects, images, stories and a three-dimensional projected animation about the ancient fortification of Coevorden. 

The castle in the fortified town of Coevorden

Strategic location

Coevorden lies in the south of the Hondsrug region and is the oldest town in Drenthe. The town was formerly the entrance gateway to the whole of the north of the Netherlands. Coevorden was strategically located on an important trade route between the Rhineland in Germany, the Hanza city of Groningen and the port of Stavoren in Friesland. It was only at Coevorden that travellers could safely cross the Drenthe bogs and moors. Here there were a number of ‘cow fords’, shallow places where cattle could cross the stream.


For the bishop of Utrecht, Coevorden was a profitable place to collect tolls. To protect the route to the north he built a fortress. The castle, the only one in Drenthe, was a fortified building on a mound, a so-called motte. The local rulers, appointed by their feudal master¸ fought for centuries for their independence. Collecting tax money caused a lot of trouble between the lords of Coevorden and their bishop, and a number of battles were fought around Coevorden, the most famous one being the Battle of Ane.

Slag bij Ane in 1227
Battle of Ane in 1227, reproduction from a litho by J. Fels in the Nieuwe Drentsche Volksalmanak 1837 (photo collection DMA)

Opening times

Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 to 17:00
Sunday from 12:00 to 17:00

Contact details

Stedelijk Museum Coevorden