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Cobbled streets and whitewashed houses

Thorn - The little village near Roermond in northern Limburg is famous for its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses. The rural city is picturesque but relatively undiscovered by foreign tourists. The local abbey was founded towards the end of the 10th century.


The history of the principality of Thorn begins with the construction of an abbey in the 10th century. Over time, the abbey grew into a pen (monastery) headed by a woman of nobility, who was also head of the principality. The government also consisted of only women of nobility. 'Girlpower' clearly already existed then.

Thorn, the whitest town in the country
Left: The residence of dean princess Gabriella of Salm-Salm from 1630. Right: De Kraek aan de Holstraat from 1710

Own army, currency and justice, until ...

In its heyday, Thorn had his own army, minted her own currency and also had her own jurisdiction. At the hands of the French, the noble ladies' government fled from Thorn in 1794 and the principality came to an end.

The local people, who had previously always worked for the nobility, now had to switch to farming. Sheds and stables were built from old materials and to make it look not too shabby, all buildings were whitened with the cheapest available: white lime.
Nowadays a beautiful old whitish-white town remains: The whitest town in the Netherlands

Thorn, the whitest town in the country
Thorn, the whitest town in the country. Even the pigeons are white!


The fourteenth-century Stifts Church is dedicated to Saint Michael and is a remnant of the 'Stift van Thorn', the monastery of the noble ladies. The tower is nineteenth century and built by architect Cuypers. Striking is the rare baroque interior for the Netherlands.

The house with the three bullets

The house with the 3 bullets can be found behind the large Abbey church and dates from 1648, the same year as the Treaty of Munster.

Thorn area

Thorn is located near the recreational lake De Grote Hegge. In the area you can also walk well, such as in the nature reserve Koningsteen.

What do visitors say?
  • What do visitors say about Thorn?

    Average: 3 stars (based on 1 votes).

  • What does Merel say?


    Thorn is a small but pleasant town. 'The white city' has about 3000 inhabitants. Thorn is popular among day-trippers. It is a nice stop during a bike ride or when you are touring by car. Thorn is nice to walk through and grab a terrace, but no more than that.

Discover more

Thorn area Limburg Buildings and Architecture
Visitor information


Address: Hoogstraat
Zip / City: 6014  Thorn

Additional information: Thorn is located in Central Limburg, close to the Belgian border. By car, take exit 41 of the A2 Eindhoven - Maastricht motorway.
Important: The location on the map is for indication only and can differ from reality.

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