A devastated square

This area was formerly known as Louise de Colignyplein. A square surrounded by large beautiful homes and where one could take the streetcar to the city center.

A beautiful square

This was the location of the Louise de Colignyplein. The square was surrounded by large houses in a restrained Art Nouveau style. A statue of Juliana van Stolberg, the mother of William of Orange, stood in the centre of the square.

The statue was erected in 1930 to celebrate the eighteenth birthday of Princess Juliana. The statue survived the bombing and was moved to the Koningin Marialaan after the war, where it now serves as a war memorial. The square and the Louise de Colignystraat, which still exists today, were named after the fourth wife of William of Orange.

Many bombs were dropped on the erroneous coordinates that targeted the nearby Amalia van Solmsstraat. Some buildings on the square were destroyed by direct hits, but most of the damage was caused by the fires that raced through the neighbourhood from north-east to south-west, fanned by the strong wind. The fire department was powerless, and many of the houses collapsed. In the square, only the row of houses on the corner of the Tweede Louise de Colignystraat and the Amalia van Solmsstraat were spared.
The Protestant Wilhelmina Church, one of the many churches in Bezuidenhout, was located on the south side of the square. It was totally destroyed, except for the tower, during the bombing.

Editor: Stichting 3 maart '45

Comments form eyewitnesses

"Stifling heat"

Mrs L. van Werff-Van Boxmeer, 15 years old during the bombing. Photo: Ed van Wijk
'All we had left were the clothes on our back. Oh yes, and a loaf of Swedish white bread. When we wanted to return to our house late that afternoon, we could no longer get into the neighbourhood. The whole area was ablaze, and there was a stifling heat. Days later, we looked to see whether any of our possessions remained. But unfortunately...'
Mrs L. van Werff-Van Boxmeer, 15 years old during the bombing. Photo: Ed van Wijk
Before the bombardment
After the bombardment
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