A rich history, dating back to the ninth century
Gemert, located deep inside the Brabant landscape, is one of the best preserved villages in South-east Brabant and has a long and interesting history, which can be traced back to around 800 AD. Throughout the ages, Gemert has managed to preserve the atmosphere of this exceptional past. This was remarkable, because Gemert was an independent state under the supreme authority of the German Teutonic knights. This status as independent “Seigniory” was officially confirmed by Duke John I of Brabant in 1271 and lasted until 1794.
The German order of knights started building the current castle in the year 1391. Until this day, this beautiful monument is inhabited by the current owners, the “Priests of the Holy Spirit” and has been renovated and modernized multiple times throughout the years (after destruction and fires).
The connection with the Teutonic knights also influenced the hamlets and parishes in the region around Gemert. The nearby parish of Handel became a place of pilgrimage, which still draws many thousands of visitors each year. Handel counts as the oldest place of pilgrimage in North Brabant and has a number of unique monuments and sights.
To the west of Gemert-Bakel, we find Elsendorp, a typical example of a Peel reclamation village on the edge of The Peel. Nowadays, Elsendorp is mainly agrarian.
De Mortel is located to the south-east. The earliest traces of continuous population date back to before the year 1000.
In the middle of the town center of Bakel stands the Church of Saint Willibrordus, built in the 15th century and completely restored in 1974. The church is a national monument together with the Bakel post-mill from 1752. In Bakel you can also visit museum "De Tolbrug", where they have old agricultural instruments and a large collection of old implements on display.
The mill "Laurentia" is a very beautiful, octagonal mount mill built in 1893 and opened to the public. Sand and gravel are extracted in the forests between Milheeze and De Rips and after the extraction works, the area will be transformed into a large recreation area. De Rips
In the year 1875, sheep farm "De Rips" was ready, named after a little river with the same name that still flows through the surroundings. De Rips is located in a beautiful nature reserve where you will still many of the typical foresters’ houses and large farms.
But Gemert-Bakel has more than just historic attractions. There is also the modern side of Gemert, with a large industrial park, a shopping gallery and a vast and varied offer of restaurants and cozy bars, a large sports center, a modern swimming pool and a theater. In short, a rich history, a pleasant atmosphere and a modern society go hand in hand in Gemert-Bakel.