Colonies of Benevolence: Frederiksoord, the notion of the makeable human being and a makeable society

Frederiksoord is the location which formed the basis of today’s Dutch beneficent or benevolent society. A large-scale social experiment took place at the beginning of the nineteenth century. From 1818 onwards, the ‘Colonies of Benevolence’ purchased large, unused plots of land. Large numbers of poverty-stricken families and individuals were sent there from all over the country: to work in agriculture, to go to school and to learn discipline. The driving force was Johannes van den Bosch, a General with vast experience in the Dutch East Indies who wanted to put an end to poverty and who also believed in the social engineering of man and the landscape. Both private individuals and governments were involved. There was even crowdfunding in 1818.


  • History lovers
  • Lovers of beautiful and quiet scenery
  • Interest in Social entrepreneurship
  • Those interested in living a healthy lifestyle and Circularity (Circular Economy)


Description of the tour: Colonies of benevolence: the notion of the makeable human being and a makeable society

Tour by e-car • 2,5 hrs • Group size (2-10) • €53,00 pp

After the meet and greet at Charme Logies De Nijenshof, Renée will take you passed different monuments of the Colony of Benevolence. She will elaborate on the special history of Frederiksoord, Wilhelminaoord and Nijensleek.

About Renée


by Marlou Pulles

When we came to live in Southwest Drenthe, I was not aware of the history of Frederiksoord. I became curious about the monuments and the landscape, started to collect information and learnt about the utopian ideas of Johannes van den Bosch. His legacy has up until recently been neglected. Only in the last decade have we started relating and writing the history of the agricultural Colonies of Benevolence. I will take you on a ‘pauper-safari’ in an open e-car, starting where the Society of Benevolence originates.

Please click on the Want to personalize this offer? if you are interested in this option.

This Tour Includes:

  • Private tour guide
  • A snack and a drink on the way

Book a Date

Special price for groups (4+ persons), or want to personalize this offer? Contact A Dutch Experience


Dwarsweg 15 8383 EP, Nijensleek
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