( ), also called Zealand
in English and Zeelandic
, is a province of
the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the
country, consists of a number of islands
(hence its name, meaning "sea-land
") and a strip bordering
Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg.
With a population of about 380,000, its
area is about 2930 km², of which almost 1140 km² is
water. Large parts of Zeeland are below sea level. The last great
flooding of the area was in 1953
. Tourism is an important
economic activity. Its sunny beaches make it a popular holiday
destination in the summer. Most tourists are Germans. In some
areas, the population can be two to four times higher during high
summer season. The coat of arms
Zeeland shows a lion
half-emerged from water,
and the text "luctor et emergo" (Latin
struggle and I emerge").
From north to south, it consists of
A list of the municipalities, with links to maps:
The province of Zeeland is a large river delta situated at the
mouth of several major rivers. Most of the province lies below
and was reclaimed from the sea
by inhabitants over time. What used to be a muddy landscape,
flooding at high tide and reappearing at low tide, became a series
of small man-made hills that stayed dry at all times. The people of
the province would later connect the hills by creating dikes
, which led to a chain of dry land
that later grew into bigger islands and gave the province its
current shape. The shape of the islands has changed over time at
the hands of both man and nature. The North Sea flood of 1953
vast amounts of land that were only partially reclaimed.
subsequent construction of the Delta Works also changed the face of the province.
infrastructure, although very distinct by the amount of bridges,
tunnels and dams, has not shaped the geography of the province so
much as the geography of the province has shaped its
infrastructure. The dams, tunnels and bridges that are currently a
vital part of the province's road system were constructed over the
span of decades and came to replace old ferry
lines. The final touch to this process came in 2003
when the Western
Scheldt Tunnel was opened. It was the first solid connection between
both banks of the Westerschelde and ended the era of water separating the islands
and peninsulas of Zeeland.
is a goddess of the ancient
religion known around the province of Zeeland. Her worship dates
back at least to the 2nd century BC, and flourished in the 2nd and
3rd centuries AD. She was possibly a regional goddess, either
– sources differ on the culture
that first believed in her. During the Roman
Era, her main function appeared to be the protection of
travelers, especially seagoing travelers crossing the North Sea. Most of what is known about her comes from
the remains of over 160 carved stone offerings (votives) which have been dredged up from the
Oosterschelde since 1970.
Two more Nehalennia offering
stones have also been found in Cologne
Zeeland was a contested area between the counts of Holland
until 1299, when the count of
Holland gained control of the countship
Zeeland. Since then, Zeeland followed the fate of Holland. In 1432
it became part of the Low Countries
possessions of Philip the Good
, the later Seventeen Provinces
. Through marriage,
the Seventeen Provinces became property of the Habsburgs
in 1477. In the Eighty Years' War
, Zeeland was on the side
of the Union of Utrecht
, and became
one of the United Provinces
now called Zeeuws-Vlaanderen was not part of Zeeland, but a part of the
countship of Flanders (still under
Habsburg) that was conquered by the United Provinces, hence called
Staats-Vlaanderen (see: Generality Lands).
After the French
occupation (see département Bouches-de-l'Escaut
) and the formation
of the United Kingdom of the
in 1815, the present province Zeeland was formed.
catastrophic North Sea Flood of
1953, which killed over 1,800 people in Zeeland, led to the
construction of the protective Delta Works.
There is one passenger railway
, here with
municipalities and official station abbreviations:
Vlissingen (vs, vss) – Middelburg (mdb, arn)
– Goes (gs) – Kapelle (bzl) – Reimerswaal (krg, kbd, rb) –
connecting to Bergen op
Zoom (bgn) (Noord-Brabant).
Bus connections (of Connexxion
, except #
Zeeland in foreign names
The islands of New Zealand were named by Dutch
in 1642, but he did not land on New Zealand.
named it Staten Landt, believing it to be part of the land
of that name off the coast of Argentina.
When that was shown not to be so Dutch
authorities named it Nova Zeelandia
, Nieuw Zeeland
. The two major seafaring provinces of the
Netherlands in its Golden Age were Holland and Zeeland, and originally the Dutch explorers
named the largest landmass of Oceania and
the two islands to the southeast respectively Nieuw Holland and
The former was eventually replaced by the
name Australia, but the name New Zealand remained in place for the
latter. Captain James Cook
Britain subsequently called the archipelago New Zealand
and soon after,
British settlers arrived in New Zealand and English was the main
of Zeeland in the US state of Michigan was settled in 1847 by Dutchman Jannes van de Luyster and was incorporated in 1907.
still maintains a distinctive Dutch flavour. Flushing, a neighborhood within the
borough of Queens, New York,
is named after the city Flushing (Vlissingen in Dutch) in Zeeland.
from the period of the colony of New
, when New York was still known as New Amsterdam
. The Dutch colonies of Nieuw
Vlissingen, both on the Antillian island of Tobago, were both
named after parts of Zeeland.
The Canadian town of Zealand
, New Brunswick, was named for
the Zeeland birth place of Dutchman Philip Crouse who settled in
the area in 1789.
Zeelandia was a fortress built over ten years from 1624–1634
by the Dutch East India
Company, in the town of Anping (Tainan) on the island of
Formosa, present day
their 38-year rule over the western part of it.
In Popular Culture
Zeeland has been featured in HBO
show Flight of the Conchords
on a poster in the office of the band's manager Murray. The poster
was intended to promote New Zealand, using the slogan "New Zealand,
Better Than Old Zeeland".
- Lendering, 2006.