Overloon, Netherlands


Overloon (dialect: Loën) is a village with 3,985 inhabitants (2020) on the edge of the Peel, in the municipality of Boxmeer, in the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant.

Since the Kingdom of the Netherlands was established, Overloon has been part of the municipality of Maashees and Overloon, together with Maashees, and since 1942 of the municipality of Vierlingsbeek. In 1998 this was incorporated into the municipality of Boxmeer.

For a long time, the village of Overloon was isolated from the rest of the inhabited world in the midst of heaths, far from Venray, Vierlingsbeek, Sambeek, Oploo and Sint Anthonis. Only through very primitive connections did people have mutual contact. About 600 people lived there around 1900, spread over 110 houses.



In earlier times Overloon was simply called "Loon". Loon or Lo (o) means forest with low trees, containing an open meadow area and a swamp forest. The element "over" was added to the name much later, to distinguish it from the Loon near Ravenstein, Neerloon. "Neder" and "over" here mean lower and higher or downstream and upstream, respectively. The same contrast also applies to the parts of the Land van Cuijk in which these two places Loon are located: the Nederambt and the Overambt. These parts were separated by the Free Glory of Boxmeer.



The oldest written mention of Loon is in a deed of donation by Jan van Cuijk from the year 1308. Jan van Cuijk has recorded in this deed that he gives the St. Laurentius church in Vierlingsbeek the right to levy (a small) tax in ( Over) wages.


Administration and jurisdiction until 1795

The Loon village council consisted of three aldermen, four jurors and one or two treasurers. The latter were especially responsible for finances. From the fourteenth century onwards, the aldermen, together with those of Vierlingsbeek, made up an alderman's bank with middle and low jurisdiction. Vierlingsbeek supplied four aldermen as the main town. For criminal matters one had to go to the alderman's bank of Grave. This joint alderman's bank was maintained until 1803. From that year on, Overloon was given the power to regulate the administration of justice itself. Incidentally, this only lasted seven years, because in 1810 a completely new situation arose.

Between 1794 (after the French invasion) and 1810 it was quite restless: the territory of the Netherlands, and therefore also that of Overloon, was first part of the Republic of France (1794-1795), then of the Republic of the United Netherlands (1795- 1796), the Batavian Republic (1796-1805), the Batavian Commonwealth (1805-1806) and the Kingdom of Holland (1806-1810).


Board after 1810

In 1810, the entire Dutch territory was annexed by France and it became part of the Empire of France (1810-1814).

As a result, new legislation and a different structure of public administration and judiciary were introduced in the Netherlands. At the local level, municipalities were formed, which were headed by a mayor or mayor. From that moment on, the village authorities were disbanded. Overloon was merged with Maashees into one municipality, of which Holthees was also a part. This one had the name: Maashees and Overloon. In 1942 this merged into the municipality of Vierlingsbeek, which in turn became part of the merger of the municipality of Boxmeer on 1 January 1998.



At the end of the Second World War (1944), Overloon was almost completely destroyed in the Battle of Overloon (also called Operation Aintree), a ten-day tank battle between a British infantry and tank division and the German army that prevented the Allies crossing the Meuse. tried to stop. More than two thousand people were killed. Overloon was liberated on October 14, 1944, but the fighting continued for a few more days. This is the reason for the establishment of a war museum, which was initially called National War and Resistance Museum, then Liberty Park and from 2013 War Museum Overloon.



The Overloon War Museum, opened in 1946.
The ZooParc Overloon, a small zoo.
On the path between the two institutions, seven sculptures can be seen that were made in 2005 by Marjolijn Mandersloot. They represent animals that are combined with war equipment.
The Church of Saints Theobald and Anthony of Padua is a modern church designed by Jan Strik with brick reliefs on the outer walls. A worship of St. Donatus took place in the parish from 1884 to around 1970. There was a St. Donatus brotherhood, but when the devotional statue was also destroyed in 1944, this worship gradually declined. From 1970 masses were no longer read and in 1975 the fraternity was dissolved. At the back of the church is a statue of Saint Donatus.
The Schaartven is not a fen but a sand extraction lake of 7 hectares, which was created in the 1970s. The entire 23 ha site was then planted and furnished by the then municipality of Vierlingsbeek. In 1995 the site was privatized. There is a beach, a swimming pond and a fishing pond.

The Chapel in Hiding, also called Chapel of the Good Dive (Mary or Save Hide), from 1954. The chapel is on the corner of Venrayseweg / Merseloseweg. The funds for this chapel were collected by the many people in hiding who were housed in Overloon. The chapel contains the following Bible text (Isa. 16: 3-4): Store the refugees and do not betray them; be for them a refuge from the destroyer.
Overloon War Cemetery, a British war cemetery.
A little more to the north is holiday park Bosrijk De Kuluut. In addition, Golf Course Overloon was opened in 2012. The course has 9 holes and a par of 38. Golfclub Overloon was founded in 2013.
The Overloonsche Duinen, of which the Kleffen, Raaij and Klokkenberg are part, are located between Overloon, Maashees and Venray.