Traces of important events from WWII still exist in several places in Holland. Zeeland, for instance, has several monuments that commemorate the Battle of the Scheldt, and you can visit the sites of important battles in Gelderland. Visit www.liberationroute.com to learn about the places that anyone interested in WWII should see.
- Visit the fully equipped bunker at Uncle Beach in Zeeland.
- Commemorate the victims on Ginkelse Heide with paradroppings.
- Have coffee at the place in which the liberation of Holland was signed: Hotel de Wereld.
War monuments in Zeeland
In several places in Zeeland, monuments mark the places of intense fighting during the war. The war monument on the Sloedam pays tribute to the French, Canadian and Scottish soldiers who fell here in May 1940 and in 1944 during Operation Mallard. Visit the landing monument near Westkapelle, and Uncle Beach with its fully equipped German bunker near Vlissingen, the place where the British entered Holland.
Ginkelse Heide - Ede
2,000 British parachutists landed on Ginkelse Heide near Ede on 18 September 1944 to conquer the bridge across the Rhine near Arnhem. The mission failed and Holland could not be liberated entirely at the time. Every year in September, parachutist demonstrations commemorate the battle.
John Frost Bridge and Sint-Eusebius Kerk – Arnhem
Operation Market Garden ended in 1944 during the Battle of Arnhem. The bridge across the Rhine was ‘a bridge too far’. The bridge was later named after Lieutenant-Colonel John Frost, who held the bridge for four days with 600 lightly armed parachutists. The Sint-Eusebius church was heavily damaged during the Battle of Arnhem. Today a glass elevator takes you to a viewing platform 73 meters up to see the former battlegrounds.
Waal Bridge - Nijmegen
260 American soldiers crossed the Waal river near Nijmegen in boats in September 1944 to conquer two bridges. 48 allied soldiers died during the ‘Waalcrossing’. The new bridge over the Waal river was opened in 2013 and baptized ‘De Oversteek’ or ‘the Crossing’ as a tribute to these soldiers.
Hotel De Wereld - Wageningen
On 5 May 1945 the German General Blaskowitz signed the document confirming Germany’s surrender in this place. Holland was free. This followed the surrender of the German army on the Lüneburgerheide in Germany on 4 May.
Hotel de Wereld displays original images of the capitulation in the entrance hall. You can also take a virtual tour of the hotel. Today, the Capitulation Room accommodates a bar that serves coffee, tea, and luncheon. You can also book a room and spend the night in this historic place.
The city of Roermond was heavily damaged towards the end of the war. It became a front line city in 1944 and its inhabitants fled. In February 1945 the occupying forces blew up the cathedral tower. The tower was renovated after the war and today you can climb to the top too enjoy a beautiful view of the surroundings.