‘HIER GEVALLEN DEN 26 FEBRUARI 1793’ , is written on the base of this cast-iron mortar ball. In that year, Maastricht was besieged by the French Republican army led by General Miranda and an unexploded mortar bullet fell into the garden of the Commander’s residence.
The mortar is easily fired with a small barrel and unlike a cannon, a mortar shoots the bullets with a large bow. The mortar ball is hollow and filled with gunpowder, scrap-iron and a piece of fabric is set through the filling hole, which is set on fire just before firing.
Thanks to a donation from the Nerée tot Babberich-Regout family, the mortar bullet returned to the garden of the Commandant House in 2019. The bullet was moved along with the grandparents of the family after the Dutch Kredietbank was housed in this building in 1956.
The mortar ball with base has now been replaced and can be visited in the inner garden of Tongersestraat 6.
Serve Minis/Mieke Derickx