The Velvet Cave has proceeded from marlproduction. As a result of the works of the so called ‘blokbrekers’, alongside the ‘Daalhemerstreet’ an extensive labyrinth of ancient and capricious passages developed, later on decorated by a number of mural paintings, statues and sculptures. The cave is directly connected to the history of the medieval Valkenburg, and the history of the castle in particular. Older and more recent passages have crossed at different levels; downfalls have brought out new connections. After so many centuries the escape-passages of the knights of the castle are still accessible. A walk through the corridors conjours up images of the age of chivalry: the days that the lords of the castle explored the secret exits. Also in later periodsthe cave made history.
The Stichting Kasteel van Valkenburg (Valkenburg Castle Foundation) was founded in 1924 with the objectives of preserving the Velvet Cave and the ruins of Valkenburg Castle (the Netherlands’ only hilltop castle), as they are now, for future generations and keeping both of these national monuments safe and accessible.
This is no easy task, for several reasons, not at least because the former Valkenburg Castle is hewn from marlostone, which makes any restoration works prohibitevely expensive. The Velvet Cave also requires extensive maintenance to guarantee safety. Both locations are open for tourists all year round. The foundation also organizes a Christmas market in the Velvet Cave in November/December.
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