Park Gravenrode is a former coal mine industrial zone and was one of the most polluted area's in the Netherlands and one of the regions with the highest unemployment rate (more then 33%). In 1995 there was no nature at all. It was one of the most ugly sceneries in NL. Since 1998 the whole are underwent a total make over and was transformed into an amazing tourism zone. Forrests were created, rivers and lakes were cleaned, monuments were restored, factories were removed, and in place came an tourist attraction zone that was mostly build on former slag heaps.
Snowworld for example is now the largest indoor village in the world, Mondo Verde Gardens shows gardens from all over the world, Continium is a new discovery center, it's got the largest furniture retail park in Europe. GaiaZoo is already for 5 years elected as the best and most beautiful zoo in NL, and has also won various international prices.
And all this was created in about 12 years. In this little area thousands of new jobs in tourism were created, new cycling and walking routes were developed, etc. This make over was hugely succesful. And most of all: the area became very beautiful again. It is hard to imagine that 20 years ago factories made the skyline here, while nature and nature-like attractions are the skyline now.
Park Gravenrode in the Parkstad Limburg currently is the fastest growing tourist destination in the Netherlands. It is a region full of contrasts and extremes.
Top things to do
in Park Gravenrode
The Dutch zoo was elected 'Coolest Trip of the Netherlands' in 2013 thanks to a new and unique zoo concept.
In GaiaZOO you can make a journey around the world in just one day; you can feel like you’re on the African Savannah and meet the world’s most beautiful animals eye to eye, like the mighty gorillas, impressive rhinos, stately giraffes, lightning-fast cheetahs and the kings of the animals; the impressive lions. In Rainforest you discover all sorts of swinging and climbing monkeys; in the squirrel monkey forest, the monkeys climb through the branches above your head.
SnowWorld was built in 2001 on a former mountain slope in Landgraaf. It is a covered winter sports centre where you can ski and snowboard 365 days a year. The tallest run is 520 meters and it has a chair lift. There are also various rails, ski jumps and a halfpipe in the Funpark. It's climbing park is the largest park in its sort in Europe with a surface area of some 25,000 m2. The natural differences in height of the Wilhelmina Mountain make the climbing park even more sensational. In the park you can use an Alpine Coaster, six zip-lines, an Adventure Trail and an Adventure Park.
Mondo Verde Theme Park
In the Mondo Verde theme park, you can visit the whole world on 25 hectares in one single day: English and Japanese gardens, the Alhambra, the Trevi fountain, the Russian Taiga, the tropics and even a desert. Mondo Verde also has an amuseument park and a zoo with a Lions and monkeys.