Bicycle route 'Battle for Freedom' in Hollands Kroon - short route

Cycling in Hollands Kroon, North Holland, The Netherlands

Cycling route 1315816

Provided by: Miranda, Noord-Holland

39.2 km
02:18 h
691 kcal
9 m
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Bicycle route 'Battle for Freedom' in Hollands Kroon
A 39-kilometer cycle route that passes memorable places and brings impressive stories to life.

The start and end point is in Den Oever; the parking lot at the port.
Via junction 24, the route continues via Oosterland, Vatrop, Stroe, Noordburen to Hippolytushoef (cycling junctions 23 and 67), then via Westerland (junction 76), and then via the following cycling junctions: 90, 95, 27, 96, 25, 66 back to the end point; the harbor in Den Oever.

Description of the route
During the Second World War, a fierce battle raged in the clouds above the Wadden area. This air war has had a lasting impact on the landscape and the people who live there. For example, the observation bunker in Den Oever recalls the many bunkers of the Atlantic Wall in the Wadden area. These bunkers in the Wadden area are part of the more than 6,000 kilometers long German defense line from Norway to Spain.

A number of these special stories and locations are linked together by the municipality of Hollands Kroon by means of this bicycle route. This 42-kilometer cycle tour starts at the Port of Wieringen, where you have a view of an observation bunker. Along the way you will come across various interesting places, all with a special story. Such as war graves of unknown soldiers or crashed English aircraft. Of course there are also various entrepreneurs along the route where you can get a snack.

Another inspiring route
The route can be followed via the link: stories
On this webpage you will find 12 videos that tell the stories about the area when you walk or cycle here. These stories are told by people who have experienced something here or who live or work here. Stories about the dike breach in 1945 told at de Wielen, about the bridle path in the Dijkgatsbos, about the pumping stations that prevent the Wieringermeer from flooding and about lost pilots in the IJsselmeer. The Story Route IJsselmeer coast is a total of 20 kilometers long.

Contents of the cycle route 'Time for Freedom' in Hollands Kroon

1. Start and end point Den Oever
The cycle route starts and ends at the parking lot in the harbor of Den Oever, a historic fishing port with a still active fishing fleet. Every Saturday morning the Zee Verse Vismarkt takes place here, where you can choose your own fish or eat a fish.

2. Wadden Lookout
A few hundred meters from the harbor is the Wadden Lookout, where you have beautiful views of the Wadden Sea. And the observation bunker that is part of the Atlantic Wall. You can also see the Afsluitdijk well.

Atlantikwall floor
The then Minister of War was not comfortable with the construction of the Afsluitdijk. A fast connection between Friesland and Holland also meant a fast passage for enemies. This is how the Afsluitdijk got its casemates. Den Oever got thirteen, on either side of the dike. The German soldiers who were stationed in Den Oever during the war destroyed the sluices just before their retreat. The lock complex therefore had a desolate appearance after the war. The position itself has been preserved. All parts of the Defense Line that were built before and during the war can still be found on either side of the Afsluitdijk. But for a long time they were poorly visible because they were overgrown with privet. In the coming years, work will be done on the Afsluitdijk to ensure that it can continue to protect the Netherlands in the event of a rising sea level. The casemates are also made visible again.

Interim route description

At junction 24, the route continues via Oosterland, Vatrop, Stroe, Noordburen to Hippolytushoef and Oosterland, where the Michael's Church from the 12th century dominates the field of view, with charming houses built for the higher staff of the Zuiderzee Works. One of them is used as a Bed & Breakfast, a unique place to spend the night.
A special fact is that the German ex-Crown Prince Wilhelm went into hiding here for a number of years during the First World War.
At Vatrop there is a beautiful viewpoint over the World Heritage Site of the Wadden Sea.

3. Memorial pole and aircraft engines
The memorial pole is at the crossing Vatropperweg / Gemenelandseweg
In the Second World War, more than 40 different bombers and fighter planes crashed within the municipal boundaries of Hollands Kroon. Planes have crashed on land, in the IJsselmeer and the Wadden Sea. Some crew members reached the ground with their parachute and were arrested or were able to flee with the help of the Resistance. However, most died and did not return to their families and loved ones. Memorial poles can be found throughout Hollands Kroon. The driving force behind the memorial poles is the Hollands Kroon Remembrance Poles Foundation:

Floor story of crashed plane
On Wednesday morning, November 3, 1943, the American USAAF Republic Thunderbolt fighter type P-47 C and aircraft serial number 41-6587 QP-M with pilot Ivan Moon had taken off from Debden airfield in England. That morning 500 bombers took off from all over England, including 18 fighters from the 334th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group. They had to protect American bombers against attacks from German fighters. These bombers were to bomb shipyards and submarine bunkers in Wilhelmshaven.

Over the Dutch Wadden Sea, the American air force came into battle with the German Luftwaffe. At 12.40 pm, after a dogfight that was observed from the ground at Wieringen, Moon's plane crashed near Vatrop. The fighter plane with pilot crashed into the ground just behind a double house. Pilot Moon lost his life. The Thunderbolt was shot down by a German fighter from Jagdgeschwader 3.
Source and more information:

4. Crown Prince in hiding at Wieringen (Oosterland)
The route takes you through Oosterland, where a special story has taken place. Not in the 2nd world war, but just after the 1st world war.
Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany had fled to the Netherlands in November 1918 and in his wake his eldest son had also applied for political asylum here. The crown prince, also known as 'the butcher of Verdun', was safely stored by the Dutch authorities in distant Wieringen. That was quite a journey, first by train to Enkhuizen and from there by tugboat to Wieringen. It was so foggy that the party did not arrive at the port of De Haukes on the island until the next day. The crown prince had to take up residence in the pastor's house in Oosterland.
Source: GERMAN-kroonprins-als-hoefsmid

5. Museum Jan Lont in Stroe (picture of daily life)
In this museum you can see how the Wieringers lived and worked when Wieringen was still an island. Visitors, alone or accompanied by a guide, can get a sense of the original way of life on the island. You can also visit the museum for coffee, tea or something else tasty. And you can go to the toilet here (even without a museum visit).
(address: Stroeërweg 39, 1777 NE Hippolytushoef).

You can make a short stopover after the museum
at periscope Look over de Dijk . There you have an amazing view over the Wadden Sea. You get there by driving towards the Wiringherlant recreation park. At the end of the road, against the dike, you can see the periscope. And then back again.

6. Hippolytushoef General Cemetery
Address: Noordburenweg 15 1777 NB Hippolytushoef
The cemetery contains the remains of 14 Commonwealth airmen, including the grave of Marten Snoodijk, a local hero. Read his special story here.

Story in depth 'Sabotage at the Van Ewijcksluis'
In the spring of 1945, the Germans had placed explosive charges under bridges so that they could detonate when the Allies advanced. Marten Snoodijk, a 31-year-old bicycle repairman from Hippolytushoef, had joined the underground. At night he went in a boat to the bridge at the Van Ewijcksluis to replace the explosive charges with wooden blocks, to prevent the Germans from blowing up the bridge. Next to the bridge was a German headquarters and the Germans kept watch on the bridge 24 hours a day. So there was a big chance that Marten was caught. But his action succeeded nonetheless.

However, Marten was betrayed and went into hiding in the Wieringermeerpolder. Marten had to quickly leave his hiding place when the Germans flooded the polder. He was still arrested by Jurgen Hinrichsen, the German commander of the Van Ewijcksluis.

A few days later, the Netherlands was liberated and the German soldiers left. But Marten had disappeared. He turned out to have been murdered by Hinrichsen, the German commander who was nicknamed 'het Scheermes'. Het Scheermes turned out to be in Alkmaar prison and was taken to Wieringen. After being assaulted by the police, he confessed to killing Marten. Marten's body was found on 28 July 1945 in a pit in the verge of Rijksweg 10a from Ewijcksluis to De Kooy.

Marten was reburied at the Zandburen cemetery in Hippolytushoef. There you will still find his grave monument in the form of the bridge at the Van Ewijcksluis.

Source and background information: Oorlogsherinneringen-uit-de-kroon-van-holland

7. War memorial in Westerland
In the northwest, near the viaduct, stands the memorial to the victims of the Second World War.
Further information:

Interim route description
Via Westerland (junction 76), and then via the following cycling junctions: 90, 95, 27, 96, 25, 66 back to the end point; the harbor in Den Oever. Enjoy a delicious fish on a terrace near the harbor, a beautiful end to a special route.

8. Lookout point Gat in de dijk
Bicycle junction 25
From April 17, the new vantage point at the 'Gat in de Dijk' along the Noorderdijkweg in Wieringerwerf can be visited. This vantage point is on the spot where the dike was detonated by the Germans 75 years ago in World War II. This caused the entire Wieringermeer to be flooded again. After the Second World War, a nature reserve was created here called 'De Wielen' containing the remains of a foundation of a farm that stood there. An access path has been created on the old dike, which was breached at the time, with a viewpoint at the end. From this point you have a view of the water with in it the foundations of a farm that stood on the site of the dike breach at the time.

Background information :

9. Bunker part of the Atlantic Wall
On the way back to the end point in Den Oever, near junction 66 and the recreational beach at the foot of the Afsluitdijk, you have a good view of one of the bunkers, which are part of the Atlantic Wall. You can cycle here.

More information?
Know more about the sights. catering, accommodations, opening hours, about the area and more? Visit for more information.

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# Description Distance
1779GT, Hollands Kroon, North Holland, The Netherlands 0.00 km
24 (1779ES, Hollands Kroon, North Holland, The Netherlands) 0.93 km
90 (1774NP, Hollands Kroon, North Holland, The Netherlands) 16.19 km
95 (1774NJ, Hollands Kroon, North Holland, The Netherlands) 19.72 km
27 (1771ME, Hollands Kroon, North Holland, The Netherlands) 21.84 km
26 (1774MK, Hollands Kroon, North Holland, The Netherlands) 24.75 km

Place name directory

  • Hollands Kroon, North Holland
  • Hippolytushoef, North Holland
  • North Holland
  • Westerland, North Holland
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