Walking along traces of war past

| Lobke Timmermans

feast your eyes!

That the National Park De Loonse en Drunense Duinen has a rich past is no surprise to most people. For a hundred years the nature reserve has enjoyed the protection of Natuurmonumenten. A lot has happened in those hundred years.

In World War II the Germans used part of 'de Duinen' as a munitions depot. Together with Natuurmonumenten, the local history society 'De Ketsheuvel' developed a route along several points where you can find traces of the past. On this M.A.St.-route you will discover more about what happened here all those years ago.

M.A.St is an abbreviation of Munition Ausgabe Stelle, "ammunition issuing place. The ammunition here was needed for the bombers taking off from Gilze-Rijen airfield. On 300 acres, this area contained over one hundred and thirty ammunition bunkers, camouflaged parking lots, trenches, barracks for the men, a canteen, a soccer field and even a swimming pool. The entire area was fenced off with three-meter-high barbed wire.

The walk takes you past reminders of what happened here about eighty years ago. You start near the Efteling and walk past the memorial at De Loonse en Drunense Duinen. Then you pass parking lots, a machine gun nest and latrines - a poetic name for public toilet. The holes are now full of water. Impressive are the many bomb craters you see along the way. These were created when the Germans blew up all the ammunition at the end of the war. The craters, although covered with moss, are still clearly visible. Here and there a brave new tree grows.

You can download this walk for free from the Nature Monuments website.

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