Zeeland 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. Its population is about 380,000 and 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 of Zeeland shows a lion half-emerged from water, and the text "luctor et emergo" (Latin for "I 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 in fact a large river delta situated at the mouth of several major rivers. Most of the province lies below sea level
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
inundated vast amounts of land that were only partially reclaimed. The subsequent construction of the Delta Works
also changed the face of the province. The 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 Westerschelde 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.
Nehalennia is a goddesss of the ancient religion known around the province of Zeeland. Her worship dates back at least to the 2nd century BCE, and flourished in the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE. She was possibly a regional goddess, either Celtic or pre-Germanic - 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, Germany.
Zeeland was a contested area between the counts of Holland and Flanders until 1299, when the count of Holland gained control of the countship of Zeeland. Since then, Zeeland followed the fate of Holland. In 1432 it became part of the Low Countries possessions of Philip the Good of Burgundy, 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. The area 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 Netherlands in 1815, the present province Zeeland was formed. The 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
12, 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 # 395) include:
Zeeland in foreign names
The islands of New Zealand
were named by Dutch
navigator Abel Tasman
in 1642. Tasman 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 Nieuw Zeeland. The former was eventually replaced by the name Australia
, but the name New Zealand
remained in place for the latter. Captain James Cook
subsequently called the archipelago New Zealand.
The town of Zeeland
in the US state of Michigan
was settled in 1847 by Dutchman Jannes van de Luyster
and was incorporated
in 1907. The town still maintains a distinctive Dutch flavour. Flushing
, a neighborhood within the borough
, New York
, is named after the city Flushing
(Vlissingen in Dutch) in Zeeland. This dates from the period of the colony of New Netherland
, when New York
was still known as New Amsterdam
. The Dutch colonies of Nieuw Walcheren
and 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.
Fort Zeelandia was a fortress built over ten years from 1624–1634 by the Dutch Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, in the town of Anping (Tainan) on the island of Formosa, present day Taiwan, during their 38-year rule over the western part of it.