Long, long ago the hills of the Veluwe were wrought by giants from myths of old. Immense masses of ice caused a great complex of hills. The hills are highly elevated versus the rest of the Netherlands.
The origin and meaning of the name Veluwe are shrouded in mystery. The name evoked a variety of images among etymologists in modern days. One saw a wild and bare land, like the earth was described as ‘chaos and vacant’ in Genesis 1:2. The other saw willows sprouting beside a watering place used by cattle. Now let’s imagine the Veluwe during the Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age per example. Maybe the meaning changed over the time depending on climate?
Nowadays the Veluwe offers a great variety of landscapes: from forests to moors, from sand drifts to croplands. Thus the wanderer becomes a traveller through times. Although a popular holiday destination, both name and land bear a kind of desolate quality still. Here you can wander to your heart’s content.
The earliest mention known, was the time the area was a Frankish shire called Felua. The Franks were expanding northwards during the early Middle Ages. It was the eve of the bloody wars between Franks and Saxon tribes. The latter lived on the other side of the IJssel, a river and thus natural border of the shire. The iron industry flourished on the Veluwe by that time. A large-scale production was traded to everywhere in Europe. This remained so for many years. So perhaps the Vikings fought with iron from the Veluwe in their hands back in those days?
Anyway, it is said that due the iron industry and intensive farming the Veluwe lost big parts of forests, thus vast sand-drifts were born – yet the Veluwe became a chaos and vacant, one could say. The Veluwe became hostile against the human being.
To be continued…
(this page is under construction)