Middelburg a piece of the monumental Netherlands

Middelburg a piece of the monumental Netherlands

6 February 2020 0 By beheerder

There is no province with such a rich history as the province of Zeeland. Middelburg as the capital of the province has been at the center of that history and shared in the prosperity of the province. You can still see that today in the buildings in and around Middelburg. When it comes to monuments and cultural heritage, Middelburg is number 1 on the list. Nowhere will you find so many beautiful facades, beautiful buildings and churches that are reminiscent of those days of prosperity.

The name Middelburg is derived from the fact that in the past the city was the middle castle of the island of Walcheren. Middelburg probably originated sometime in the 9th century. When the Vikings moved into Europe, a ring walburg was erected on Walcheren. Middelburg was the center of attention and got her name. In 1217 the city got its city rights.

Between 1595 and 1598, a new earthen city wall with 13 bastions was added as a third ring after the ring wall and the city walls of 266. This also pulled the Molenwater within the walls. At the Maisbaai a large yard was built for VOC ships. Of the total of 1772 VOC ships, which ran from 1602 to 1795, 336 were built on the Middelburg yards.

Middelburg around 1652
Middelburg around 1652

Middelburg and the VOC

The city has more than 1100 monuments that recall ancient times. During the years of the VOC, Middelburg was, after Amsterdam, the most important city in the country. The many shipyards in the area built more than 300 new ships in 200 years. The ships sailed to Asia to trade in herbs and spices. In the city center of Middelburg there are still buildings to be reminded of the golden VOC period.

Middelburg monuments city

When it comes to historic buildings and monuments, Middelburg is very wealthy. Nowadays there are more than 1100 monuments on the national monuments list. The second world war has caused much damage and suffering. A large part of the city was destroyed during a bombing raid. After the Second World War, the city was restored to its former glory and rebuilt in its traditional style.

The Abbey

The Abbey
The Abbey

Through the centuries, the Abbey of Middelburg until 1574 always served as a monastery. When the siege of Middelburg was lifted, the Abbey was taken over by the provincial government of Zeeland. The county administration is still based in the Abbey. However, nowadays there is a part of the complex with the Zeeuws Museum where you can find a lot about the history of Zeeland. Part of the Abbey are the choir church, the new church and the characteristic tower called the Lange Jan.

Architecture in Middelburg

At the market you will find the old town hall of Middelbrug. The oldest parts of this beautiful late Gothic building date from 1458. The facade of the town hall shows images of the graves and graves who have ruled Zeeland over the centuries. The building now serves as the University building of the University College Roosevelt. In another part of the building you will find an exhibition space with the somewhat strange name of the Vleeshal. The meat hall exhibits contemporary art by artists from all over the world. The Vleeshal is therefore well beyond our national borders known as a center for modern visual arts.

Old town hall
Old town hall

A bustling city center

The Flax market
The Flax market

Middelburg has a large number of squares, each with their own appearance. In the squares you will find cafes, restaurants and eating tents where you can enjoy the terrace until late in the evening. In the shopping streets you will find a mix of small local entrepreneurs interspersed by the large retail chains. There is also a weekly market on Thursdays and other markets are regularly organized. Just think of coastal markets or craft markets or antique markets. You can also visit Middelburg under the guidance of a guide who will show you the city in a completely different way. Or get on a tour boat to view the city from the water.

Art & Culture in Middelburg

Middelburg organiseert het hele jaar door allerlei evenementen en activiteiten die zich over het algemeen rond de binnenstad afspelen. Zo wordt in Middelburg City of Dance georganiseerd maar ook muziek feesten en mosselfeesten is de stad niet vreemd.

Zeeuws Museum
Zeeuws Museum