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Liberation route Bergeijk

This route goes through the area where the English scouts first arrived on Dutch territory. In the run-up to Operation Market Garden, this group of scouts was able to move almost as far as the River Dommel.

3 hour 55 minutes (47.0 km)

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This route goes through the area where the English scouts first arrived on Dutch territory. In the run-up to Operation Market Garden, this group of scouts was able to move almost as far as the River Dommel. In the Kempen, you'll find many stories of courage and of struggle. The early arrival of the English brought hope. Yet much had to be endured before the liberation finally happened. The locations of the crashed planes and the stories of the difficult passage of the English tanks bears witness to this.

The Liberation Route Brabant tells the story of the liberation, but also shows what the Second World War was like for ordinary people who lived in Brabant at the time. Eight cycling routes, spread across North Brabant, lead you past the Brabant Remembers stories, the Liberation Route Europe audio columns, monuments and museums. Together they make the impact of the war on North Brabant clear, even all these years later.

Sights on this route

Starting point:

Dijk 7
5521 AW Eersel
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On 22 June at 1:20 in the morning, a bomber crashed beside the Borkelsedijk in Bergeijk . This Wellington HZ520, from the 429th Squadron, was shot down by the notorious night fighter pilot Werner Baake. The stricken aircraft was taking part in a bombing m

Wellington HZ520 Monument
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De Bunker Farmhouse
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Valkenswaard was the first town in the Netherlands to be liberated by British troops as part of Operation Market Garden. There was heavy fighting in the woods around Bergeijk and Valkenswaard during the advance. The Valkenswaard War Cemetery contains the

Valkenswaard War Cemetery
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On 11 September, British reconnaissance forces are already in the area.

A beer for the liberation
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The Bergeijk Liberation Gate Monument is located at De Barrier border crossing where the first liberators passed through on 11 September 1944.

Poort der Bevrijding (Liberation Gate)
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Into an ambush
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"The Tommies have reached the Bergeijk Border!" The news spread quickly through the village. Jan said goodbye to his son who was ill in bed and whispered “I’ll be right back.” With that, he left…

You are free
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The beautiful village of Luyksgestel, known for its many, well-maintained hiking and cycle routes, is located in the centre of Kempen. This village is a must if you are going for a bicycle ride in this part of North Brabant.

De Drie Linden
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End point:

Dijk 7
5521 AW Eersel
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Story of the route

Starting point:

Dijk 7
5521 AW Eersel
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  • Dove of Peace Monument 
    The bronze dove on a rock symbolises human suffering. There are grooves in the rock, symbolising the face of someone who has had a lot to deal with. The dove is the symbol of liberty made possible by suffering. The bird flies up into the air, towards freedom that can be seen on the horizon. The monument was made by Marja van Riel and was unveiled in 2001.

  • Statue of St. Joseph 
    This statue was donated by the people who hid in the St. Joseph monastery during the Second World War. The soldier’s helmet on St. Joseph’s head symbolises the protection the monastery offered to the war refugees.

  • Kempenmuseum De Acht Zaligheden
    A gem of the Kempen region can be found on the Kapelweg in Eersel: an authentic Kempen farmhouse with a vegetable garden, aromatic herb garden and a peaceful orchard. It is here that the roots of the modern-day Kempen community lie, which over the years developed from smallholders to agricultural managers and from smugglers to cigar manufacturers. Museum  De Acht Zaligheden (The Eight Beatitudes)depicts life in the period 1850-1950. Kempenmuseum De Acht Zaligheden is an official Brabants Fietscafé; a Brabant Bicycle Café.

  • De Hofkaemer
    An official Brabants Fietscafé; a Brabant Bicycle Café. In these bicycle cafés, cyclists are made to feel especially welcome! You can stop by for a delicious bite to eat or a refreshing drink, and make use of facilities such as a repair kit, bicycle pump and e-bike charging station. These bicycle cafés can be recognised by the hexagonal 'Brabants Fietscafé' sticker on the window.

  • Valkenswaard War Cemetery
    Valkenswaard was the first town in the Netherlands to be liberated by British troops as part of Operation Market Garden. There was heavy fighting in the woods around Bergeijk and Valkenswaard during the advance. The Valkenswaard War Cemetery contains the graves of about 220 British soldiers who perished in this offensive. 

  • Onze Lieve Vrouwe chapel Eersel
    A stained glass window in the Onze Lieve Vrouwe (Virgin Mary) chapel in Eersel tells the story of the unmarried Hoeks brothers. After hesitating for a while, Janus, Jan and Driek decided to respond to a request from the Postel Abbey. This was a decision that eventually led to the names of two of the brothers being listed in the Parliament building in The Hague. A fascinating account which is included in the life-changing story ‘You'll be your own demise’ (point 9 on the map).
    Places of interest away from the route:

  • Crashed Aircraft Monument 
    Shortly after D-day, a British AVRO Lancaster III crashed in flames onto heathland near Walik at one in the morning of 22 June 1944. The plane was shot down by a German Junkers night fighter. The crew of seven, three Australian and four British, were all killed. Four bodies were recovered close to the crater, the other three were found in the river De Run, a bit further away in the direction of Eersel. They had tried to save themselves with their parachutes.
    Accompanied by the only remaining witness, and by a family member of one of the airmen killed from Australia, the monument was unveiled on 22 June 2019: exactly 75 years after the crash.

  • Wellington HZ520 Monument 
    On 22 June at 1:20 in the morning, a bomber crashed beside the Borkelsedijk in Bergeijk . This Wellington HZ520, from the 429th Squadron, was shot down by the notorious night fighter pilot Werner Baake. The stricken aircraft was taking part in a bombing mission on the German town of Krefeld. Baake claimed another Halifax that same night which crashed close to Uden. Baake was awarded the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes on 27 July 1944 for shooting down 41 aircraft during the Second World War.
    The monument is made from granite and contains the names of the crew who were killed or taken prisoner. First Officer Lapham from the RAF unveiled the monument on 11 September 1994. Lapham was one of the crew who survived the crash. There is also a bomb crater from the Second World War ten metres behind the monument.

  • De Bunker Farmhouse
    The official name of this impressive building on the Waalreseweg is ‘Birkenhof’. A start was made building this accommodation for a monitoring service at the end of 1942. More than half the building is therefore designed as a bunker with walls a metre thick and a sturdy roof. To camouflage it the bunker was built in the style of a farmhouse. The bunker came into service in December 1943 as a monitoring post for the Forschungsstelle Langeveld. This service only used Birkenhof for a short period because in September 1944 the antennas and other equipment were dismantled and moved to Germany.

  • TerSpegelt Recreation Park
    TerSpegelt Recreation Park is a five-star family campsite in the middle of the Kempen region of Brabant. Holidaypark TerSpegelt is named 'ANWB TopCamping 2019', which makes it one of the leading campsites in Europe. You can discover the beautiful woodland border area from Natuurpoort TerSpegelt (Nature Gateway) where you can stop by at De Keizer for something delicious to eat and drink. This location is an official Brabant Fietscafé; a Brabant Bicycle Café.

End point:

Dijk 7
5521 AW Eersel
Navigate to endpoint
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