Heusden is a charming municipality and town located in the south of the Netherlands, between Waalwijk and s-Hertogenbosch. The municipality of Heusden, including Herpt, Heesbeen, Hedikhuizen, Doeveren, and Oudheusden, merged with Drunen and Vlijmen in 1997, giving the municipality its current form. The middle part of national park the Loonse en Drunense Duinen is located in the municipality of Heusden. Before 1997, Heusden was a municipality in itself, that included the communities of Herpt, Heesbeen, Hedikhuizen, Doeveren, and Oudheusden. The settlement of Heusden on the river Meuse (Maas) started with the construction of Heusden Castle, which replaced an earlier castle destroyed by the Duke of Brabant in 1202. This fortification was quickly expanded with water works and a donjon (castle keep). The city of Heusden received city rights in 1318. Ramparts and moats were constructed, bringing the castle within the city’s fortifications and resulting in the loss of its function as a stronghold. At the beginning of the Eighty Years War (1568–1648), Heusden was occupied by the Spanish. In 1577, however, following the Pacification of Ghent, the people of Heusden allied with William, Prince of Orange. William consolidated the town’s strategic position near the river Meuse, and ordered fortification works to be constructed. Work started in 1579 with the digging of moats and the construction of bastions, walls, and ravelins, and was completed in 1597. By the early nineteenth century, the defence works fell into disrepair and were dismantled. In 1968, however, extensive restoration works started, and fortifications were carefully rebuilt, based on and inspired by a 1649 map of the city of Heusden by Johannes Blaeu, son of the famous Dutch cartographer Willem Blaeu. In 1980, the city of Heusden received the European Urbes Nostrae restoration prize. Heusden currently draws over 350 thousand tourists every year who visit the historic town center and walk the walls that once made it a formidable stronghold. Heusden is also known for the Heusden Town Hall Massacre, a German warcrime, where 134 people died in the night of 4 to 5 November 1944. This event is commemorated every year with a memorial. Heusden is a must-visit destination for travellers who want to experience the rich history of the Netherlands and enjoy a picturesque town surrounded by beautiful nature.