Wageningen and the surrounding region played a fairly important role in World War 2. A battlefield at nearby Grebbeberg in the early days of the war (May 1940), though only slowing down the German advance on the Netherlands briefly, its role beome more important towards the final days.
Nearby Arnhem and the villages in between played an important role at the Arnhem (bridge) battle in September 1944, but most of all - the German capitulation, ending almost all fighting on Dutch soil, was signed in this Wageningen hotel, "de Wereld", on 5 May 1945.
Having been used by Wageningen university for more than 5 decades, it has been turned into a (small) hotel with restaurant once more, some years ago.
The annual veteran parade has been staged here until 2005 on the 5th of May, and until 2004 under "supervision" of the late Prince Bernhard, a war veteran himself and father of our Queen Beatrix.
On Liberation Day, Wageningen also features among other Dutch cities hosting a "music for peace and freedom" event.
Doing a student tour of town is not only interesting for those who study here. Some of the university and institute buildings have interesting archtecture, and there are some special parks which were created for study and research reasons, like the "Arboretum", the "tree park".
What is a Dutch town without a windmill. This one, "De Vlijt", is still working and opens on thursdays to saturdays, offering a selection of homegrinded flour, yeast and also some herbs, all organic by the way.
The mill and shop our run by local volunteers, often enough students who can get their "millers-degree" on the spot.
More to come...
In the town's centre it still stands, though heavely damaged in the last days of the worldwar. Here the allied commanders met with the Nazi-commanders, together with our beloved Prins bernard (then the husband of Princess Juliana, who became queen later, representing the state of The Netherlands. On the 5th of May 1945 the last still occupied country in Western Europe was freed of it's hated Nazi-regime and could start the fierce job of building up again the countries infrastructure, homes and everything else. Hotel "De Wereld" (how typical it's name : The World) now is a commemoratingplace as well still a hotel! In front of it, on the 5th of May-square a statue - symbolising freedom - is the real monument. On the fifth of May here the "fire of freedom" is lighted to be spread throughout the rest of The Netherlands (by bike!) and thus giving the starting signal of the festivities.
Wageningen still kept quite some monumental parts of it's old citywalls. Also the canals are still there in some places. This area has now-a-days found a lovely new purpose as being a kind of circular park. Bringing green, peaceful and calm environment it's a must to walk around the town's centre in combination with a visit to the shops and monuments within.
The Agricultural University have 2 botanical Gardens (Arboretum). Very interesting to visit them, special for people, who have feelings with the nature. Entree is free
In May 1945, the German troops in Holland capitulate versus the Canadian General Charles Foulkes. That happend in Hotel De Wereld in Wageningen.
You can visit that building