Zeeland, a province of peace and space
Zeeland is a country in the sea. With a total of 650 kilometers of coastline, the water is always close by. The peace, the space, you come to yourself here. Zeeland is never the same. It is a country of contrasts. There are always new sides to discover. There is an impressive coastline, ebb and tide. And the sea breeze provides different lighting throughout the day. Here, on average, the most sunshine hours in the Netherlands are registered! Zeeland is a province with a lot of small scale, but in the most positive sense of the word. Zeeland is a group of islands apart, it is wide and spacious; even the cities have a village character. With the sea there, that makes Zeeland a place where you have the peace and space. Vrouwenpolder is a cozy village, sandwiched between the Veerse Meer, the North Sea and the beautiful hinterland of Walcheren. Walcheren is the westernmost former island of Zeeland. The monumental cities of Veere and Middelburg, the beautiful harbor town of Vlissingen and the fashionable shopping town of Domburg are among the immediate surroundings.
Walcheren is located partly on the North Sea and on the Westerschelde. The beaches offer a view of sea-going vessels sailing along the coast. The beaches are among the cleanest in the Netherlands. Nature Reserve De Manteling van Walcheren consists of forests, dunes, stately avenues and classical country places. From the 17th to 19th centuries, the Middelburg elite lived here in the summer. Domburg is the oldest seaside resort on the Walcheren coast. The area around Walcheren was already inhabited since Roman times and Domburg was an important trading place. After the 4th century, Walcheren became a county and in the 9th century it was given ring ramparts for protection against the Normans. Middelburg was created around that time as the middle burg between Domburg and Souburg. In the 16th and 17th centuries this city grew into one of the largest port and trading cities in the Northern Netherlands. Walcheren has been a peninsula since the end of the 19th century when the Sloedam was built and the railway line from Zuid-Beveland was extended to Vlissingen. In the Second World War, Walcheren turned into a large fortress because the German occupier expected a major attack on the island. About 200 bunkers were built. There was fierce fighting in particular at the Sloedam and many casualties. A large part of Walcheren was flooded by the Allies in 1944 to weaken the occupier's position. Walcheren was finally liberated on November 8, 1944. During the flood disaster in 1953, Walcheren largely kept their feet dry. The Veerse Meer was created by the construction of the Veerse Gatdam, part of the Delta Works. It is nowadays a popular water sport location in Zeeland. Especially on the island of Walcheren, the folkloric sport of ring riding is very popular. Almost every place has its own competition. When riding a ring, the rider sits on a horse without a saddle and tries to put a lance into a ring in gallop.
Places in the area
Middelburg is the capital of the province of Zeeland and has a rich past. Middelburg originated in the 9th century, when the Vikings moved into Europe. To protect the island of Walcheren against invaders, a ring rampart was erected. After the threat of conquerors was over, the castle began to take advantage of the favorable location on the water and developed into a commercial center. Because this castle was the middle castle of Walcheren, the city was given the name Middelburg. At the time of the VOC, Middelburg was, after Amsterdam, the most important city in the Netherlands. Over 200 new ships were built at the shipyards in 200 years. These ships left for Asia to trade in spices, textiles and porcelain, among other things. In the center of Middelburg you can still see buildings that are reminiscent of this golden period. After a bombing in 1940 in which much of the city was lost in a devastating fire, Middelburg was rebuilt in the traditional style. In addition to historical monuments, modern architecture is also widely available. Middelburg is really a city with its own character. There are intimate squares, nice streets, cozy cafes and in addition to the large chain stores you will also find special boutiques, galleries and art dealers. Vlissingen is a city with a maritime present and past on the banks of the Westerschelde. Visit Vlissingen to get a breath of fresh air on the longest sea boulevard in the Netherlands, where you can almost touch the passing ships! There is plenty to experience on the boulevard. On one side of the boulevard you stand eye to eye with sea hero Michiel de Ruijter, on the other you hear the sounds of the wind organ. To get to know Vlissingen and the maritime history of Zeeland better, a visit to the MuZEEum is recommended. The MuZEEum is located in the Lampsinshuis, among others. The watchtower is unique to the Lampsinshuis. In the 17th century shipowner Cornelis Lampsins saw his ships leave and arrive here. Now you can still enjoy a beautiful sea view. You also have a beautiful view of the sea from the crow's nest, part of the Arsenal. This maritime attraction center is entirely devoted to pirates and marine animals. Ideal for a day out with the family. Veere was once a powerful trading city at the Veerse gat. Now Veere is a beautiful town at the Veerse Meer. The richly loaded ships from Scotland have made way for yachts in the ports. The warehouses and old streets where you can roam wonderfully still recall the glory days of this town. In Veere you will find many authentic shops, various clothing stores and gift and souvenir shops. The shops in Veere are also open on Sundays. The town Domburg is the oldest seaside resort on the Walcher coast. In the early 20th century many artists came to Domburg to gain inspiration. Piet Mondriaan and Jan Toorop are the best known. The center has many cozy terraces, restaurants and shops. These stores are open 7 days a week throughout the year. The most beautiful view of Domburg, beach, sea and surroundings is from Hoge Hil.