Zealand Attractions Zeeland
(land area 179,100 hectares/442,400acres)The Dutch region of Zeeland (in English Zealand), in the delta of the Rhine, the Maas and the Schelde, includes all the islands and peninsulas in the southwestern Netherlands (Walcheren, Zuid- and Noord-Beveland, Schouwen- Duiveland, Tholen, St Filipsland and Goeree-Overflakkee), together with Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Zealand Flanders), a narrow strip of the mainland between the Westerschelde and the Belgian frontier.
With the exception of Goeree-Overflakkee (in Zuid-Holland) the Zeeland region coincides exactly with the province of the same name.Zeeland is predominantly an intensively farmed agricultural region. The villages and their arable land lie on the higher ground less exposed to flooding, while the lower-lying areas are occupied by pastures and meadowland. In the more recently poldered and less densely populated areas the holdings range in size between 20 and 50 hectares (50 and 125 acres); in the older areas on the islands they are considerably smaller. The main crops are grain, sugar-beet and potatoes.The principal industrial areas are along the canal which runs through Zeeuws- Vlaanderen (Zealand Flanders) from Terneuzen to Ghent (coking plants, metalworking, chemicals, glassware, sugar-refining, textiles), the eastern part of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (textiles), Vlissingen (shipbuilding) on the island of Walcheren and the provincial capital Middelburg, now a thriving tourist center.
Dikes of Zeeland
Zeeland is one of the world's youngest areas of land, reclaimed from the sea only within the last 1,800 years by man-made dikes. Much of the province lies below sea level, for the old peat bogs, flooded by the sea before the dikes were built and then overlaid with silt, gradually subsided over the centuries, forming extensive depressions (kommen). The oldest parts of the islands, enclosed by dikes before the 13th century, were particularly affected. These areas have been repeatedly exposed to devastating floods, most recently in 1953. On this last occasion neither the protective belt of dunes on north-western Walcheren, Schouwen and Goeree nor the dikes were able to withstand the assaults of the waves, and in order to prevent similar catastrophes in future all the major estuaries in Zeeland were closed off from the North Sea by dams under the Delta Plan. The only exceptions were the Nieuwe Waterweg, which gives the port of Rotterdam access to the North Sea, and the Westerschelde, the seaway to Antwerp.
The town of Goes, once the residence of Jacobaea of Bavaria, Countess of Holland (1401-36), is now the economic center of the former island of Zuid-Beveland. In earlier times the town's trade was mainly in salt and fish; nowadays horticultural produce is increasingly predominant.
Grote Kerke (Maria Magdalenakerk)
The Grote Kerke or Maria Magdalenakerk, a cruciform basilica without a tower in Brabantine Late Gothic style, was built in the mid 15th century, destroyed by fire in 1618 and rebuilt in 1621. It has a fine organ of 1641-43 with a beautifully painted organ case.
The 15th century Gothic Town Hall (Raadhuis) of Goes was remodeled in Roccoco style in 1775. It has a fine Roccoco council chamber with a stucco ceiling and paneled walls.
Immediately adjoining the Goes Town Hall are the Weigh-House (Waag) and Meat Hall (Vleeshal).
There are a number of old houses in Goes in the Markt and Turfkade, including the Gothic House, one of the finest houses in Zeeland.
Watersport Bedrijf De Arne, Arnemuiden, Netherlands
Arnemuiden is a small town located on the former island of Walcheren. The Arenmuiden Museum, located in the former town hall, features historical displays.