De Gloeiige (The Glowing Man)

| Jim Steenbakkers

The legend of the Gloeiige (the Glowing Man), the cursed Lord of Eersel, has been translated into a cycle route with the aim of bringing more experience to cycling. The Glowing Man still haunts the places where he committed his crimes. These places provide the special locations where cyclists can take a break during the cycle route through the municipality of Eersel, which covers approximately 30 km. An exciting local story and a piece of history are thereby linked together. The story is one of four exciting cycle routes that have been launched in the Kempen. 

Glowing beer at De Keizer

A lot of work is being done to add experiences to the route, and great steps have already been taken, such as putting the route on the menu at De Keizer - Food & Drink - in the form of the ‘Glowing beer’: a Belgian Triple with a hint of pepper. Dorien Verschuijten, Marketing Manager at TerSpegelt talks about this novelty. 

Art & collaborations on the route

In addition to the spectacular 2.5 metre statue of the Glowing Man in the woods alongside the Cartierheide, a number of ‘Art in Nature’ works are also being placed on the route. These artworks will be created by various local artists. Sketches have already been presented of ‘De Rode Loop’ (The Red Walk), an artwork by Jeanette Koster in which she plays with a never-ending wheel of Glowing Man footsteps. The sketch of the artwork ‘KletsPlek’ (Chat Spot) by Netti Henselmans also speaks to the imagination: a fabulous throne for the Glowing Man that you cannot actually sit on, surrounded by a circle of simple boulders for the Contented Men (and Women) amongst us. There are also various pillars recounting the story, and a number of speaking posts on the route that tell the cyclist about the tragic lot of the Glowing Man. 

Experience route

‘It's the combination of experience, history, art, nature and enjoying a drink and a bite to eat that is intended to add even more quality to the cycling experience for visitors, and certainly also for residents. Together with Eersel’s businesses we will ensure that the route is embedded even better.” Says Jim Steenbakkers - Visit Eersel Manager.  

The tragic tale of the Lord

The route was officially opened last Monday 21 March in the presence of various partners. The statue of the Glowing Man was also officially unveiled. Storyteller Jan Hoek spoke animatedly: ‘... dark clouds gathered above Eersel Castle. A lightning bolt struck the Lord’s castle. Everything went up in flames, apart from the pump in the market square. That still stands. The Lord was not dead. But not living either. He must continue to Glow for all eternity…’ 

About the route

The cycle route starts at Terspegelt Nature Gateway, and cover some 30 km. As a cyclist, you will encounter a wide variety of things en route. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy art and culture, but also a drink and a bite to eat. Maps of the route are available from the various accommodation providers and at the Visit Eersel Information Centre.