Leudal, Netherlands


Leudal (Limburgish: Leudaal) is a municipality in the Dutch province of Limburg that was created on 1 January 2007 from the municipalities of Haelen, Heythuysen, Hunsel and Roggel and Neer. The municipality has 35,999 inhabitants (August 1, 2020, source: CBS) and has an area of almost 165 km². The town hall is in Heythuysen.

The name Leudal is derived from the nature reserve that is located between the centers of Heythuysen, Roggel, Haelen, Nunhem and Neer. This area was created by erosion by the Leu brook.



The Leudal Monument or Monument of Tolerance is located at the Leudal Museum in Haelen. It is also called the Monument of Tolerance, because it is the first monument in the Netherlands where both Allies and former enemies are commemorated together. The monument commemorates the battle that took place during the Second World War in and above the Leudal area, the area between Noordervaart, Neers Canal, the Maas and the Wessem-Nederweert canal.

The monument
The monument consists of a pedestal and a bronze cast statue, made by sculptress Thea Houben from Roggel. It was unveiled on March 8, 2001. Seagulls fly at the top of the three-meter-high statue, symbolizing freedom. Around the monument lie Maas boulders, representing the 687 soldiers who died there. Eleven rays pass through it, symbolizing the eleven nationalities of those who lost their lives. The dead came from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Austria, the Czech Republic, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Leudal was liberated on November 15. The commemoration usually takes place on the Thursday nearest to it. This is organized by the Military Memorial Memorial Foundation in collaboration with the municipality of Leudal. The meeting at the Monument of Tolerance is attended by veterans from Allied, German and Austrian sides, and many dignitaries from home and abroad who together commemorate the past. As a tribute to the fallen, a flyby is provided during the ceremony.

On November 14, 2007, a 'tree of tolerance' was planted opposite the memorial by eighteen veterans who had come over from England, Belgium and Germany for the memorial.


Municipal reorganization

The municipalities of Haelen, Heythuysen, Hunsel and Roggel and Neer had initially decided, together with the municipalities of Heel and Thorn, on a voluntary municipal reorganization. It should become one large rural municipality between the two central municipalities of Central Limburg: Roermond and Weert. The Provincial Council of Limburg put a stop to this. Under the General Rules for Reclassification of Municipalities Act, Parliament took over the reclassification procedure. There was no more voluntary reclassification.

Heel and Thorn saw their opportunity to abandon the idea of ​​a rural municipality and choose a municipality where the emphasis would be on water recreation and tourism. In consultation with the province, a provincial reclassification advice was eventually issued to 'The Hague' to merge Heel and Thorn with Maasbracht. That has become the municipality of Maasgouw.

The name Leudal was jointly chosen by the four municipalities as the name for the reclassified municipality. The Lower House unanimously approved the bill on June 13, 2006. VVD Member of Parliament Willibrord van Beek made an attempt to separate Hunsel for a reorganization with the municipality of Weert, but he received no support in the House. An important, perhaps decisive argument in this respect was that both the municipal council of the municipality of Hunsel (and its inhabitants) and the municipal council of Weert (in the event of a reclassification imposed from above; confirmed by the PvdA motion in the municipal council adopted on 12 June 2006). van Weert) that the majority did not see fit and therefore there was no support for that construction 'from below'.

On September 12, 2006, the Senate accepted the bills. The formation of the municipality of Leudal, consisting of the municipalities of Haelen, Heythuysen, Hunsel and Roggel and Neer, could count on the unanimous support of the senators.