Cycling route ‘War history on the edge of De Peel’

Traces of World War II are still visible everywhere in the area around Overloon and Venray. This route takes you along the memories of the many battles, the liberation, and the people who gave their lives for it.

The route starts in the village of Overloon, where one of the fiercest battles of World War II in the Netherlands took place. After the failure of Operation Market Garden, the Germans wanted to form a close-knit front in the bend of the Maas between Sambeek and Venlo. Due to the poorly accessible landscape - De Peel on one side and the Maas on the other - the Allies were in danger of being left with a single road to Venray. They advanced towards the city.

Overloon was the scene for the first clash between Allied and German panzer divisions: The Battle of Overloon. Various memories of the intense battle can still be found in Overloon, including the War Museum in Overloon, a British war cemetery, and a monument: “Stand still for a moment…” The route also takes you to the ruins of castle De Hattert, which was almost completely destroyed during the Battle of Overloon.

Via Vierlingsbeek and a short stretch along the Maas you arrive in the village of Holthees. The inhabitants of this village hosted about 1,500 evacuated residents of Overloon at the end of September 1944. After Holthees was bombed by the Allies on 30 September, residents and evacuees moved to nearby villages.

Further along the Maas you arrive at the village of Geijsteren, where the ruins of the beautiful castle Geijsteren remain. Baron De Weichs de Wenne, owner of the castle in 1944, and his family took care of a few people in hiding and a number of refugees. He himself hid in the cellars of the castle. Eventually the baron fled the castle with his family, after which the building was destroyed by a British bombardment.

The route continues towards Venray. The Germans kept a close eye on the Allied advance from the church tower of the St. Petrus’ Bandenkerk. This eventually led to British bombers bombing the church tower, which was nicknamed ‘The Guardian of De Peel.’ Venray was liberated in October 1944, after the Allied victory during the Battle of Overloon. Shortly afterwards, the British announced a complete evacuation of the city, after which it was an uninhabited front town.

A remarkable fact: the Vredeskerk is located on the Kennedyplein. This church was built after the war in a collaboration of Germany, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with forgiveness and reconciliation as the central thoughts. You will eventually ride back to Overloon through beautiful nature.

This route has been taken from Fietsen123 with permission.

Stories with this route

Harrie van Daal

Harrie van Daal

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Na de Eerste Wereldoorlog heeft Harrie van Daal het slagveld in het Belgische Ieper bezocht. Daarvan is de in 1908 geboren ambtenaar van de toenmalige gemeente Overloon-Maashees diep onder de indruk geraakt. In de Tweede Wereldoorlog blijft zijn Overloon ruim...
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De wachter van de Peel

De wachter van de Peel

Liberation Route Europe Luisterplek 202
Begin oktober 1944 woeden er rondom de dorpen Overloon en Venray heftige gevechten. De Duitsers hebben de kerktoren van Venray, de Wachter van de Peel, ingenomen als uitkijkpost. Zij zien de Britten langzaam oprukken met hun tanks en antwoorden met...
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Download the unique app and experience the past

The free Venray Remembers app shows the past as you have never seen it before. Download the app, take the car or bicycle or go on foot and follow a beautiful route in De Peel. Follow the instructions in the app to project an augmented reality video at the indicated locations and become part of the story that happened there.

View the war past from a different perspective and through this unique app. A modern way to let young and old relive the past in a positive way. Let’s keep remembering!

More information about the app you find here.

Download de Venray Remembers app

Download the unique app and experience the past

The free Venray Remembers app shows the past as you have never seen it before. Download the app, take the car or bicycle or go on foot and follow a beautiful route in De Peel. Follow the instructions in the app to project an augmented reality video at the indicated locations and become part of the story that happened there.

View the war past from a different perspective and through this unique app. A modern way to let young and old relive the past in a positive way. Let’s keep remembering!

More information about the app you find here.

Download de Venray Remembers app