Middelburg is was inhabited before the 9th century. Around that time there was a fort either against the Vikings or built by the Viking King Harald, who was lord of walcheren in 841.
The abbey was founded in 1125. And is still an important building in the citycenter.
In 1217 Middelburg got city rights.
The cityhall was built in the 1400's.
Middelburg was once the third city in the Republic. After The Hague, seat of the Government (but officially no city), the place to do (political) business with the Republic. And Amsterdam, rich and famous, the largest city and the place to do some trading with the Republic. But Middelburg was almost equally important as a trading city.
World's fist multinational the V.O.C. (United East Indies Company) had several offices and warehouses in Middelburg. Many ships for the V.O.C. were made in Middelburg.
The V.O.C. ruled for almost 200 years. When the V.O.C. stopped functioning, Middelburg stopped. The once wealthy city became a normal dutch city, with little money.
They built a canal (Kanaal door Walcheren) to attract trade and industry to the city again, but it failed. In a sence that was good, because that is why there are 1100 monuments left in Middelburg. In other cities they were demolised to make space for industry.
In 1940 at the beginning of WW II Middelburg has been destroyed by German bombs, because the Dutch refused to surrender in Zeeland after the capitulation. English, French and Dutch soldiers fought for 3 weeks by then Middelburg was destroyed. After the war the Dutch were able to rebuild it.
We entered the city through the Nieuwstraat as we had parked the car on the Rouaansekaai (Quai de Rouen? Sounds definitely French!).
I hit upon this little sign on a house in the Nieuwstraat. It says:
"Henriette de Mey (1850-1945). First Dutch female journalist. Editor of the Middelburgsche Courant 1885-1896. And then editor of "Belang en recht" which was published by the Association to improve the rights of women in The Netherlands."
Fondest memory: It doesn't say if the plaquette is attached to the house where Henriette de Mey lived, died or was born.
The entry to the "Zeeuws Archief".
The gate says: Dit is de brouwerij van de drye tonnekens, anno 1620" (this is the brewery of the three barrels, anno 1620).
The Zeeuws Archief is housed in a modern building surrounded by old houses. There are frequent small expositions which are free of charge.
Fondest memory: Location: Hofplein
A I told you before Middelburg is very near the beach. It's less than 20 minutes by bicycle to the nearest beach Dishoek......
Fondest memory: We visited friends at a campground in Dishoek and went to the beach. After that we went to Vlissingen for a nice drink. It was a great day !!
Middelburg is the capital of the Province of Zeeland and is situated oin the former island Walcheren. There were 46.234 people living here in 2003. The municipality of Middelburg is on 49 km2 land . Except Middelburg there are some smaller towns in the municipality like Arnemuiden and St. Laurens.
In the picture you see the coat of arms of the Province of Zeeland. The words Luctor et Emergo, mean I struggle and emerge.
City of Middelburg
Multiple Middelburg Links
Local Tourist Info
The device of the Province of Zeeland.
The coat of arms shows a lion emerging from the sea.
This gablestone can be found above one of the entry gates on the Abbey Square.
Now let's walk about town....
Favorite thing: These green signs point you towards the highlights of Middelburg. But beware: keep your map at hand because sometimes the signs are not there where you expect them, causing you to walk too far or to miss a turn.
We had a small exhibition in Zeeland and, I read about the remarkable Zeeland-goddess. Regarded as a Roman Goddess and "The Seafarer". Known through carved Roman stones which were washed up. Shown with the famous Cornucopia, baskets of fruit and dog or on a ship.
In Zeeland there was an exhibition special dedicated to this Zeeland-goddess. That was a "jump for joy" to find out this creature wasn't a Roman Goddess at all, but a truly Dutch one and, maybe connected with the ancient Celtic traditions and, the German Holle.
Fondest memory: So Zeeland, Middelburg, and Domburg, always will be reminded by this legendary Nehalenniae, the Great Goddess, and for that reason worth an ancient history ...
Thanks to Nehalenniae!
If you forgat your camera relax do not panic,such lovely postcards to buy here.
Fondest memory: Walking the sunny clean streets with amazement..
Look here for Local Tourist info
The Tourist Shop is at:
Favorite thing: The most beautiful houses can be found in quiet streets bordering the bustling inner center. I liked the street lighting.
Favorite thing: Part of the abbey, used as municipal building. If you see a wrought iron gate and it is open, saunter in and take a look!
Favorite thing: As said elsewhere on this page, the abbey was closed for tourists until April 1st and all we got to see was part of an inner courtyard and this beautiful old roof.
Favorite thing: Entering through the gate into the abbey (under the coat of arms) you'll find this little nest. The bird didn't blink when I first used my camera flash and posed for this better picture :-)