Coniferous- & Deciduous Forest
The Ballonzuilbossen is a forest area between the villages Merselo and Overloon and owned by the municipality of Venray. The area consists of mixed coniferous and deciduous forest.
These forests get their curious name from the presence of the oldest aviation monument in the Netherlands, called Ballonzuil. It was unveiled on January 18, 1896, 25 years after a French air balloon landed in Merselo. The balloon had taken off in Paris. At that time, Paris was besieged by the Prussian troops and was cut off from the outside world. On board was besides the three man crew secret correspondence for the French government, which had fled to Bordeaux. Further 150 kilos of letters and parcels, three carrier pigeons and four bottles of wine.
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