- History is still alive in Zeeland and you can find it reflected everywhere in its historic buildings, from windmills to former defensive structures, in its churches, lighthouses and in its historic farmhouses.
- There are many statues, memorials and monuments worth looking for. For example: the statue of Michiel de Ruyter on the boulevard in Vlissingen. The memorial to the great flood of 1953, near the North Sea Flood museum, in Ouwerkerk. In Tholen (where US President Roosevelt’s family originally hailed from), there is a monument celebrating Roosevelt’s famous Four Freedoms speech. In the centre of Middelburg on ‘Balans’ (Balance) square you will find the Slavery Memorial to remind us of a darker chapter in Zeeland’s history.
- There are some castles in Zeeland, and some of these are open to visitors. Slot Moermond in Burgh-Haamstede dates from the 13th century and is set on a lovely, large estate. Westhove in Domburg is Zeeland’s most famous castle and looks like a quintessential medieval castle complete with towers, a drawbridge and moat.
- Many churches in Zeeland suffered during the Protestant Reformation (1566), which is why most date to after that period. Zeeland is a fairly religious province: almost every small village has two or more churches. You’ll find both Protestant and Catholic churches in Zeeland.
An old clock..A famous clock, called Suzanne, was moved from the island Noirmoutier to Zeeland in 1674 during the war with France! Nowadays you will find this clock in the church of Kortgene. The church dates back to the 15th century and was lastly restored in 1955
- In Middelburg, Zierikzee and Veere you will find many historical buildings, dating from the "Dutch golden Age", when thanks to the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie – VOC) maritime trade was flourishing. And prosperity and wealth appeared in Zeeland (especially in the 17th and 18th century)
-Throughout Zeeland’s countryside, you come across raised earthworks, or man-made earthen mound. They were the foundations of motte-and-bailey castles used for defence (end of 10th century). The castles have long disappeared from the landscape, but there is still one left; a ten-metre-high replica at Terra Maris natural history museum. The highest raised earthwork is to be found at Wemeldinge.
- Old farming villages have a circular form and are calles "ringdorpen". Circular shape settlements, with a central, circular village green, complete with church and a ring of houses and farms.
-In some villages you find "travaljes": frames in which the farrier or blacksmith used to shoe horses.
a bit of history :
- Since the stone age Zeeland has been inhabited.
- Aardenburg is the oldest city in the province.
battles against the sea:
- Zeeland’s history has been defined by its battle against the sea. Coves, potholes or ‘kolks’ and ancient dikes, are reminders of how much of the province once belonged to the sea. You’ll also find the remains of lost villages and evidence on houses of how high the floodwaters once reached. The last flood was in 1953: in the floodmuseum (watersnoodmuseum) you learn all about it.
- After the North Sea floods of 1953, more effective coastal defences were built: the Delta Works. They comprise a series of dams. The most impressive of which, is the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier (Oosterscheldekering).
Zeeland has been occupied by different invaders. You still can find some heritages of these periods:
- the Romans - you’ll find a reconstruction of a Roman temple to the goddess Nehalennia in Colijnsplaat.
- the Vikings - with the remains of circular ramparts that once defended the region against the Vikings in Burgh-Haamstede
- the Spanish – with defence systems that were built during the Dutch War of Independence throughout Zeeuws-Vlaanderen in the 16th and 17th centuries (www.staatspaanselinies.nl).
- the Germans: The province is also dotted with bunkers from the Second World War.
- the French :in 1813, after a battle the French were driven out of Noord Beveland. In december 2013 a reconstruction of this battle took place in Kamperland to celebrate the 200th bithday of this liberation.
More history in english on kustgids.nl