Favorite thing: The land is half surrounding Urk, making it a part of the Noord-Oost-Polder. The land is however still a few meters under waterlevel and protected by a dike. Old Urk sticks out over that dike and respresents still that island that stood tall above the waves for centuries.
After the closing of the Southern Sea, the IJsselmeer became a landwinning project of a scale the world never saw before. Actual plans were to comepletely drain the whole lake, but later this was overthrown by environmentalists that saw the impact such enormous project had on the surrounding area's. The impact for Urk came soon after when in 1936 first a dike was built that connected Urk to the mainland (in this case "Friesland"). Another dike in the direction of Overijseel (Kampen) followed and then the "gemalen" (= pumps) started to get the water out. This was done until 1942, when the new land fell dry and Urk stopped to be an island. Now it was a part of the NoordOostPolder, which in it's turn belonged to the province of Overijssel.
Later the Flevopolders followed as well and together all the polders were large enough to become the 12th province of The Netherlands" Flevoland.
Favorite thing: Deeper back in time is the fact that Urk people were always quite religious. No wonder living on such turbulent place like an island in the middle of a sea. Many disasters followed one another and if the fish-caught was bad ... the whole island had to suffer. Therefor it was also rather frequent that someone was charged with the accusation of being a witch. In 1875 (a distasterous year) more then 80 women were declared witches and became outcasts. If this happened to you, you'ld better start packing and take the next boat of. You can imagine that an island is then really to small to stay on. In those days not only facial features, but also awkward behaviour could make the difference between normal and ... a witch.
Favorite thing: Until 1932 Urk was an island in the Southern Sea. This was an infamous strech of water entering deep into The Netherlands from the North. It was treachurous because the shallow waters were swepped up wildly by the storms, creating enormous waves and destructive floads. That was also the main drive to tame this water and this plan was finished when on the 28th of May 1932 the "Afsluitdijk" (enclosing-dike) created a lake in stead of a sea by cutting of the connection to the "Wadden"- and North Sea permanently. Slowly the salt water was pushed out by the inlet of fresh water from the surrounding rivers and above all the IJssel (actually an arm of the Rhine). This change resulted in a few muskito-plagues, but eventually things turned to what one wanted ... safe waters, without tides. But the changes were not over yet.