When you have walked through the city, had a boat tour through the city....there is still much more!!
One lovely thing to do is: board a boat and let yourself be sailed to het VEERSE MEER.
This MEER / LAKE used to be part of the sea but we had a very serious flooding in 1953, thousands of people drowned and that awful event made our engineers think and think about another NEW AND STILL BETTER WAY to protect our country that for the largest part is situated BELOW SEA LEVEL.
One of the results of their thinking was this DAM!
People now walk and cycle there, enjoy while standing on top of the dyke the sea on their right hand and the Veerse Meer (the part that once was sea) at their left hand side: very special!
I myself remember HOW it used to be and how we SAILED seawards from the wonderful little town of VEERE!!!!
I couldn't have dreamed of there being a dyke which created a LAKE!
Oh, I could tell / write for hours here but VT space is limited, so let me go back to my advice.
Board the boat opposite the Railway Station and enjoy!!
You will be enthousiastic, I am sure of that!
Boats leave: each day 10.15AM and 14.00PM.
The boats are airconditioned and have a restaurant and a nice corner for children!
WHEELCHAIR users can board the boat easily, there is of course a special bathroom/restroom for these special guests and an elevator.
The boats will sail to Veere and back (you can take a boat back whenever you want!)
In the picture you see the DAM where in winter boats are moored to wait to be sailed back to the Veerse Meer in spring.......Year after year we ourselves in autumn sailed the boat from the Lake to this place and back in spring again.....unforgettable days!!
(See the lovely 18th Century fa?ades!!)
There is a nice possibility to board one of the boats at the Kloveniersdoelen for a nice trip through the old historical heart of Middelburg.
This trip takes 40 minutes and in my opinion it is always a surprise to be able to see a ciry from a the water of a canal, stream or harbour/port.
54 persons can board each boat and you will see the old canals with on both sides lovely, very nice & rich old building dating back to the VOC era when Middelburg was an important port.
VOV stands for Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (in Dutch), Dutch East India Company (in English) you will sail through the newly restored old lock and underneath low, sometimes very low bridges.
Of course the guide will tell everything that you have to know and want to know in English, German, French.........we are all language experts here, as you know!! (We have always been a seafaring / trading nation so we had to learn languages and now it is in our genes! lolol) Moreover, WHO speaks OUR language, I wonder???
OPEN: 1st April - 10th October.
elephant and camel.....neighbours........all these OLD BUILDINGS (there are 5 next to each other) used to be ware-houses during the VOC times.......
Now they no longer are ware-houses but are used as restaurants, club-building for water sporters etc..
But they too, are on the HERITAGE LIST and are well looked after.
We now have to cross the SPIJKERBRUG.
Here you see the yachts 3-4-5 next to each other. Our harbour is worthy of a visit!
It is in the town centre and you can use the same Centuries old stone steps to climb from your yacht to the KAAI......the warehouses have been changed into apartments but here too: nothing of the façades has changed!
The SPIJKERBRUG is still used numerous times per day!!
On the KAAI is WATERSPORTVERENIGING DE ARNE and members can use showers and toilets and whatever you need in the morning before having breakfast....
and you will see this magnificent old building at your right hand side.
On it are three stone tablets, wonderfully in relief, and they tell about MIDDELBURG'S GOLDEN AGE when it was an important harbour of the VOC, the East Indies Company. The Z on top is for ZEELAND and the M for Middelburg.
Trade brought richess and wealth in abundance.
this crazy group: doesn't those angels give you (as they always do me!) the impression that they are laughing at the skeleton that is sculpted underneath them??
This is said to be the architect of the church.
During the construction of the church, which took 20 years, 6 people died by accidents and their names are painted in the smallest but highest cupola, 6 names and six dates, all perished between 1600 and 1700 AD.
This church was the FIRST church built for PROTESTANT services here in ZEELAND.
After the 16th Century ICONOCLASTIC FURY (THE "BREAKING OF THE IMAGES") protestants had to use former Roman Catholic churches for their services.
The changed the interior but it is still clear that those churches used to be Roman Catholic churches.
This one, the OOSTKERK, AN OCTAGONAL BUILDING, was built for protestant services.
They didn't have much space to build so they built HIGH, which is the only thing you then can do!
When here: visit the church and....don't forget TO CLIMB THE OLD STEPS UP TO THE place where you can step outside and walk around the highest and smallest of the two cupolas.....let yourself be surprise by the breathtaking views over ZEELAND (better than climbing de LANGE JAN where you have to stay inside and where the windows are dirty with salt!)
Here you see the front of the church, seen from de BREESTRAAT.
While walking direction SPIJKERBRUG you walk along old VOC WAREHOUSES and mansions.
Many of these have names and often a stone tablet......
TERRIFYING FRIDAY is Friday 17th May 1940 called.......
The Netherlands were already forced to surrender after the bombardment of ROTTERDAM. Capitulation was on 15th May 1940 but.........not every part of The Netherlands, ZEELAND e.g. was the exception because there were FRENCH soldiers fighting here..........
But of course GERMANY went on and on and on 17th May they bombarded MIDDELBURG as they had done ROTTERDAM...
Both cities lost their very hearts and so many, far too many innocent civilians.....
We here in Zeeland lost so many precious buildings and treasures that were meant for our children and grand children!!
Lots have been rebuilt, one stone at the time, from the same old material that was painstakingly saved from the rubble and re-used......
No one who doesn't know or hasn't seen the photographs taken that day of the 100 fires, can imagine what we lost...........That is WAR: KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE and DESTROYING well-kept monuments, whole cities.......
This house is named: THE CAMEL so.....see photograph!
While walking from the OLD FISHMARKET direction Railway station you will be able to walk along DE KINDERDIJK and see these 18th century mansions on the other side of the water that once was the harbour, in the "good, old days (?)" when Middelburg was second important city of the VOC....wealthy.....rich....and that still shows!
Don't forget I took this photograph during the 2003 heat-wave, that is why the boats and streets are so quiet and almost empty: 35 degrees Celsius and I walk there on my photo-safari.....
MY TIP: put on easy shoes and WALK, WALK, WALK....
there is a surprise around each corner.....
These very old houses are very sought after and....very expensive.
The house owner can install all mod.cons. inside but..........is not allowed to change the façade or anything els on the outside.
These houses are all on the heritage list and thus protected!
The hatch you see leads to a large cellar......there are thick hardstone steps that run down.....quite steep.....
In the City centre, near what used to be the harbour, is the FISHMARKET, no longer used as such....
The old building is still there, at the left of this magnificent tree.....
See this cobble-stoned little square!!
This photo I took on 6th August 2003 during the heat-wave.....really ZOMER IN ZEELAND, SUMMER IN ZEELAND.......wonderful weeks....
As you can see there are cane chairs underneath the trees. They belong to a little coffee shop called ST. JOHN.
A nostalgic place where it is nice to have hot chocolate or yoghurt ice cream inside when the rain runs down the windows but this summer the chairs are outside week after week, which is such a joy!
For fish we have to go to the fishmonger or a supermarket.
Which makes me think of the days that fishmongers walked through the streets with a cart full of fish....he/she rang the front door bells while singing a song to announce his arrival.......
Listen to this traditional mobile organ to hear the most famous Dutch folk songs. They always make you happy and give good moods. If so, you can give a few eurocents to the owner, who makes a living out of it.
Admire for a loooong time!
There are temporary exhibitions.
Currently one about the waterflood of 1953. Small but poignant.
Entry is free of charge, as is the archive.
Summary in English:
The Oostkerk, or east church, is an excellent specimen of early protestant architecture. It was built in a new part of the town, where there was no formerly catholic church they could use. Despite the modesty protestantism preached, many of Middelburg rich protestants had made such a fortune in piracy and slave-trade that a prestigious church could be built. Usual for that time is the centralizing ground-plan that gave everybody inside the church a good view on the pulpit.
With its connection to slavery this would have been a fitting location for the slaves-monument, but as usual the people who decide in these matters didn't know there's more to this country than Amsterdam, and so that is where they put it, in a city that hardly had anything to do with slavery in the first place.
The Zeeuws Museum is housed in the Abdij.
You find the history of Zeeland and many National treasures in this museum.
-Tu - Su: 11AM-5PM
Fee: Euro 8.50
Paukenweg 3, Middelburg, 4327, The Netherlands
Good for: Families
Loskade 19, Middelburg, 4331 HW, The Netherlands
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
Now there are 4 hotels on Loskade right opposite the train station. We were originally looking for...more