The ancient village of Mechelen in the Valley of the Geul
Mechelen is situated in the beautiful hilly landscape of South Limburg, near the borders of Belgium and Germany. The quaint village overlooks the valley of the river Geul. Mechelen is known for its many half-timbered houses, has about 1900 inhabitants and is part of the municipality Gulpen-Wittem. All these people have been living here for centuries in the so-called neighborhoods with well-sounding names like Bissen, Bommerig, Pants, Dale, Elzet, Hell, Hilleshagen, Höfke, Hurpesch, Kleeberg, Kosberg, Overgeul and Schweiberg. The Dutch village of Mechelen (across the border in Belgium, you can find its Belgian equivalent) lies on the valley wall of the river Geul. Furthermore the Lombergbeek flows, also known as the Mech Elder Brook, along the Main Street of Mechelen. A small branch of this flows through the territory of the Buitenplaats Mechelerhof towards the river Geul. From the Mechelerhof you can walk or cycle through the Schweibergerbos, the Dunnenbos, the Wagelerbos and Vijlener Forests, almost always with a beautiful view of the Geuldal.
Right in Mechelen stands on a hilltop the church of St. John the Baptist Church dating from 1810-1811. Once stood here a much older church which, according to tradition, descended from the 14th century. The first mentions of the village of Mechelen are even older, reaching back to the beginning of the 12th century. On the square near the church, recognizable by the terraces, stands the 19th century Hoeskamercafé 't Pintje. On the antique sign is painted the year 1882. In the basement of this 'living room cafe' was formerly a bakery well known for her delicious breads, later it became a cowshed. Now there is a restaurant. Most visitors to Mechelen come here to enjoy the beautiful view and the beautiful hiking and biking trails. There are however in Mechelen even more interesting buildings. Weel known is the 800 year old Heerenhof, an old farmhouse that was rebuilt by theJohanitters and again later converted into a chateau. On the outskirts of the village is the Commander mill which is still in use. Continue walking you come to the hamlet 't Höfke, a collection of 18th-century half-timbered houses with beautiful meadows and a beautiful view of the river Geul and the surrounding hills. Here you will also find Buitenplaats the Mechelerhof. The whole neighborhood is a protected village. Other interesting buildings are the brewery the Panhuis, the Upper Mill, a water mill at Mechelen, and the monument Emmaus. Altogether Mechelen is one of the most attractively situated towns with half-timbered houses in the hills of South Limburg.