My granddad used to have a small museum next to his house. We could make tin soldiers there. But he also had a big collection of diorama’s. Everything from cavemen to Napoleon at Waterloo and Willem van Oranje being assassinated. When I showed even the faintest of interest in history he’d bring me books about the subject my next birthday. Geert Mak’s excellent book “In Europe” rekindled my interest in history and so I couldn’t have been more excited when I was asked to work on a project about historic sites and museums about the era from 1568 to 1672. The 80-year war with Spain and Louis XIV attempt to annihilate the Netherlands.

The Grensland Vestingland project’s aim is to tell people about all the different places people can visit in the north of the Netherlands and the northeast of Germany. The site where the Battle of Heiligerlee was fought. The excellent Bourtange Fortress that was rebuilt and so on.

I have brought together a team of excellent talent from all over the Netherlands to make it happen. Studio05 from Amsterdam for the creation of some unique visuals and video. Daniel Thomassen (also from Amsterdam) for the conception of a unique “Bommen Berend” historical design toy. Freed from Surhuisterveen for creating an app and Reinout Tiekstra for some pixelpushing extraordinaire. All the different elements are coming together by now and before the end of the year there’ll be a map, a poster, designer toys and a website.