The Glowing One cycle route

The story of the cursed Eersel landowner

2 hour 30 minutes (30.0 km)

Starting point: from your location


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Around 200 years ago, people had little money in the Brabant village of Eersel. Yet they were happy and content. All except for one man. He was alone. He had no wife or children. That was not surprising really as he had only one dream, and that was to get rich.

It was the middle of winter, it was raining hard, and it was freezing cold. And yet a man set off from Eersel. He was not the only one. Plodding across the swampy Cartierheide, (III) the Eerselnaar met a stumbling, drunken weaver. The craftsman had sold his woven goods on the market in Flanders and was on his way home. A leather bag containing his day’s earnings hung from his belt. The Eerselnaar robbed the poor weaver and left him behind unconscious on the moor to die from the cold. And that for only one piece of silver.

How disappointing …

Around 200 years ago, people had little money in the Brabant village of Eersel. Yet they were happy and content. All except for one man. He was alone. He had no wife or children. That was not surprising really as he had only one dream, and that was to get rich.

It was the middle of winter, it was raining hard, and it was freezing cold. And yet a man set off from Eersel. He was not the only one. Plodding across the swampy Cartierheide, (III) the Eerselnaar met a stumbling, drunken weaver. The craftsman had sold his woven goods on the market in Flanders and was on his way home. A leather bag containing his day’s earnings hung from his belt. The Eerselnaar robbed the poor weaver and left him behind unconscious on the moor to die from the cold. And that for only one piece of silver.

How disappointing was that! Once piece of silver. The Eerselnaar learnt, as the Dutch saying goes, that ‘You can’t pluck the feathers off a bald chicken.’ So he thought of a new strategy to get rich: ‘I’ll become a landowner.’ And no sooner said than done. The man became the master of a large estate. In his new position, he committed fraud with the measurements of the land in the vicinity of Eersel. It meant more land for the residents of the village of Weebosch, at the cost of the land of the residents of the hamlet of Boksheide. In exchange, he collected seven pieces of silver.
The residents of Boksheide did not trust the measurements or their new landlord. ‘Swear to us that you are not lying,’ they demanded. The Eerselnaar secretly stashed some dirt from Weebosch in his clogs and swore: ‘I am standing on Weebosch soil, if I am lying may God strike me down.’ He was not lying but he was cheating.

‘To him that hath shall be given,’ as the saying goes. Or in other words: ‘The rich will only get richer.’ And in this case too. Only a few weeks after his act of deception, the Eerselnaar found something on his land: a chest filled with pieces of gold. He couldn’t believe his luck.

Two days later, the Eerselnaar came across a desperate pilgrim on his land. He was looking for his chest. The pilgrim was in tears. ‘My wife and children are suffering from dysentery. That is why I am on my way to Saint Lucia (V), the patron saint who has cured so many people before. I brought along a chest filled with gold as a gift, but I have lost it. Dear man, please tell me that you have found the chest.’ 

The Eerselnaar couldn’t care less about the pilgrim’s desperate plea. He denied having found it and reasserted his innocence: ‘If I had the chest, I would be wandering round here on fire.’ The pilgrim left. Without the chest. Without hope. And the Eerselnaar? He was rich. So rich that he bought another plot of land.

He wandered onto his estate in the middle of the night. In utmost secrecy, he moved the concealed poles that marked the boundaries of his land (VI). He whispered quietly but incessantly: ‘My land, my land, this is my land.’ If you listen very carefully, you can still hear those words to this very day. So by then, his estate was huge. Everyone had to know about it! So he built an enormous castle (VII) in the middle of Eersel market. ‘Now everyone can finally see how rich I am!’

No sooner was the castle finished than a mysterious pilgrim came knocking. ‘I am suffering from dysentery and am burning up with a fever. Please could I have a drink of water?’ The Eerselnaar refused even this simple request and angrily threw the pilgrim out of his castle. The clouds gathered. There was the sound of thunder and lightning. Suddenly, the castle caught fire. It was the pilgrim’s curse, the one who had been deceived before.

Everything the Eerselnaar owned burnt to the ground. Only the water pump remained, standing defiantly on the market (VII). Flames engulfed the oh so greedy man. Yet, he didn’t truly die. As punishment he would ‘glow’ for the rest of eternity (II). Not dead, not alive…

This story taught the inhabitants of Eersel that greed does not pay. Since then, they are known as ‘simply content’ (VIII). To this very day, The Glowing One wanders past the places where he committed his crimes. Are you brave enough to visit these spots?

Information about this cycle route
This cycle route is 30 kilometres long and marked out via the official cycling junction network. Follow the route from one numbered intersection to the next. Arrows point the way between the junctions. The cycle route starts and ends at Nature Gate TerSpegelt, (Postelseweg 88, Eersel). There is plenty of parking and hospitality there.

Get on your bike and explore ...
Complete your cycling adventure by stopping off at the various Eersel businesses where they will pleasantly surprise you with special products, offers and packages in the theme of The Glowing One. Enjoy a tasty beer and delicious snack, a refreshing ice cream or get a lovely souvenir. For more information go to visiteersel.nl. There, you will find all the places to go for a bite to eat and drink, addresses for overnights stays and tips for a fantastic day out in Eersel and surrounding area.

 Route hotline
If you find something wrong with the signage or the route, please report it via Meldpunt knooppuntroutes Brabant (Brabant junction route hotline). You can also call 0800-4050050 (free).

  • Signposting

    Simply follow the signs and cycle along the route from one numbered junction to the next.

    Simply follow the signs and cycle along the route from one numbered junction to the next.

Additional route information

We have more information available about this route.

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Sights on this route

Starting point:

Postelseweg 88
5521RD Eersel
Navigate to starting point
09
B

In the Kempen, friends and family enjoyed getting together in the evenings and telling each other scary stories. The story of ‘The Glowing One’ was a particular favourite.

Audio column Cartierheide
C

The Glowing One still wanders around on the vast Cartierheide heath, where he committed his greatest crime.

The Glowing Apparition
89
D
Cartierheide
12
11
09
08
88
E

In the Kempen, friends and family enjoyed getting together in the evenings and telling each other scary stories. The story of ‘The Glowing One’ was a particular favourite.

Audio column Eersel
65
06
F

Saint Lucia is a patron saint of contagious diseases.

The Tower of Saint Lucia
61
60
G

This is where The Glowing One once moved the poles that marked the boundaries of his land.

The whispering poles
86
88
87
10
H

‘The Contented Man’ looks on with satisfaction from under the old common lime tree on the market square.

Statue of the Contended Man
I

Water Pump in Eersel

Water pump by the former castle
64
09

End point:

Postelseweg 88
5521RD Eersel
Navigate to endpoint

Story of the route

Starting point:

Postelseweg 88
5521RD Eersel
Navigate to starting point
  • Starting point: Nature Gate TerSpegelt
    Nature Gate TerSpegelt is the starting point for discovering the beautiful Brabant Kempen region. Take a lovely bike ride or walk through woods on the Cartierheide heath. 
  • The Glowing Apparition
    Everything the Eerselnaar owned burnt to the ground. Flames engulfed the oh so greedy man. But he did not truly die. As punishment he would ‘glow’ for the rest for eternity. The Glowing One still wanders around on the vast Cartierheide heath, where he committed his greatest crime. You may even encounter him on your bicycle tour: a mysterious apparition between the trees.
  • Cartierheide
    The Cartierheide is a natural landscape that is part of De Kempen Nature Reserve. Look out over the moorlands and image how the cursed Eerslenaar and the pilgrim met each other on this plain long ago.
  • The Tower of Saint Lucia
    Saint Lucia is a patron saint of contagious diseases.
  • The whispering poles
    The Glowing One also wanders around other areas. Even to this very day you can hear him whispering: ‘Mijn land, mijn land, dit is mijn land’ at the border of the village of Knegsel where he once moved the concealed poles that marked the boundaries of his land.
  • Kempenmuseum De Acht Zaligheden
    In Brabant, they used to tell the stories while sat around a typical flat-top stove. If you would like to know what it looks like and how people used to live in the Kempen go to Kempenmuseum De Acht Zaligheden (Kempen Museum The Eight Beauties). It is versatile museum and an official Brabant Bicycle Café, where they welcome cyclists with open arms. Here, they also tell the story of The Glowing One. You can find the museum on The Glowing One Cycle Route between junctions 64 and 09.
  • Water pump by the former castle
    This water pump originates from the year 1864. The legend of The Glowing One states that a castle once stood here.
  • Statue of the Contended Man
    After all the excitement, it is time to enjoy Eersel’s historic market. The many inviting cafés and terraces await you! Talk about your day and immerse yourself in the friendly atmosphere and hospitality that are so characteristics of this region. ‘The Contented Man’ looks on with satisfaction from under the old common lime tree on the market square.

End point:

Postelseweg 88
5521RD Eersel
Navigate to endpoint
  • 09
  • 89
  • 12
  • 11
  • 09
  • 08
  • 88
  • 65
  • 06
  • 61
  • 60
  • 86
  • 88
  • 87
  • 10
  • 64
  • 09
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