Middelburg

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Middelburg
Middelburg Stadhuis 01.JPG
Middelburg vlag.svg
Flag
Coat of arms of Middelburg.svg
Coat of arms
Map - NL - Municipality code 0687 (2009).svg
Location in Zeeland
Coordinates: 51°30′N3°37′E / 51.500°N 3.617°E / 51.500; 3.617 Coordinates: 51°30′N3°37′E / 51.500°N 3.617°E / 51.500; 3.617
Country Netherlands
Province Zeeland
City Hall Middelburg City Hall
Government
[1]
  Body Municipal council
   Mayor Harald Bergmann (VVD)
Area
[2]
  Total53.04 km2 (20.48 sq mi)
  Land48.54 km2 (18.74 sq mi)
  Water4.50 km2 (1.74 sq mi)
Elevation
[3]
3 m (10 ft)
Population
(August 2017) [4]
  Total48,265
  Density994/km2 (2,570/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Middelburger
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postcode
4330–4341
Area code 0118
Website www.middelburg.nl

Middelburg (Dutch:  [ˈmɪdəlbʏrx]  ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a city and municipality in the south-western Netherlands serving as the capital of the province of Zeeland. Situated on the central peninsula of the Zeeland province, Midden-Zeeland (consisting of former islands Walcheren, Noord-Beveland and Zuid-Beveland), it has a population of about 48,000.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Provinces of the Netherlands first-level administrative division in the Netherlands

There are currently twelve provinces of the Netherlands, representing the administrative layer between the national government and the local municipalities, with responsibility for matters of subnational or regional importance.

Zeeland Province of the Netherlands

Zeeland is the westernmost and least populous province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and peninsulas and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. Its area is about 2,930 square kilometres (1,130 sq mi), of which almost 1,140 square kilometres (440 sq mi) is water, and it has a population of about 380,000.

Contents

In terms of technology, Middelburg played a role in the Scientific Revolution at the early modern period. The city was historically a center of lens crafting in the Golden Age of Dutch science and technology. The invention of the microscope and telescope is often credited to Middelburg spectacle-makers (including Zacharias Jansen and Hans Lippershey) in the late 16th century and early 17th century.

The Scientific Revolution was a series of events that marked the emergence of modern science during the early modern period, when developments in mathematics, physics, astronomy, biology and chemistry transformed the views of society about nature. The Scientific Revolution took place in Europe towards the end of the Renaissance period and continued through the late 18th century, influencing the intellectual social movement known as the Enlightenment. While its dates are debated, the publication in 1543 of Nicolaus Copernicus's De revolutionibus orbium coelestium is often cited as marking the beginning of the Scientific Revolution.

The early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages of the post-classical era. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the post-classical age, known as the Middle Ages, through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions and is variously demarcated by historians as beginning with the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, with the Renaissance period, and with the Age of Discovery, and ending around the French Revolution in 1789.

Lens (optics) optical device which transmits and refracts light

A lens is a transmissive optical device that focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction. A simple lens consists of a single piece of transparent material, while a compound lens consists of several simple lenses (elements), usually arranged along a common axis. Lenses are made from materials such as glass or plastic, and are ground and polished or molded to a desired shape. A lens can focus light to form an image, unlike a prism, which refracts light without focusing. Devices that similarly focus or disperse waves and radiation other than visible light are also called lenses, such as microwave lenses, electron lenses, acoustic lenses, or explosive lenses.

History

Middelburg in 1652 Blaeu 1652 - Middelburg.jpg
Middelburg in 1652
Middelburg's city hall around 1910 Gezicht op het stadhuis te Middelburg (1905-1915).jpg
Middelburg's city hall around 1910

The city of Middelburg dates back possibly to the late 8th century or early 9th century. The first mention of Middelburg was as one of three fortified towns (borgs) erected on Walcheren (then an island) to guard against Viking raids. In 844 a monastery was built on the site, which remained an active Catholic foundation until the Reformation. Foundations for Middelburg's "stately and picturesque" cathedral (one of only two pre-Reformation cathedrals in The Netherlands, along with St. Martin's in Utrecht) were first laid in the 10th century; additional construction continued through the Middle Ages.

Walcheren Former Island in Zeeland, Netherlands


Walcheren is a region and former island in the Dutch province of Zeeland at the mouth of the Scheldt estuary. It lies between the Eastern Scheldt in the north and the Western Scheldt in the south and is roughly the shape of a rhombus. The two sides facing the North Sea consist of dunes; the rest of its coastline is made up of dykes. Middelburg lies at its centre; this city is the provincial capital and Vlissingen 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) to the south is the main harbour. The third municipality is Veere.

Monastery complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplace(s) of monks or nuns

A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone (hermits). A monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church, or temple, and may also serve as an oratory.

Middelburg was granted city rights in 1217. During the Middle Ages, it became an important trading centre in the commerce between England and the rising cities of Flanders. The town continued to gain in power and prestige during the 13th and 14th centuries.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

County of Flanders French fiefdom and historic territory in the Low Countries

The County of Flanders was a historic territory in the Low Countries.

From 1559 to 1603, Middelburg was the episcopal see of a Catholic bishopric covering all Zeeland. In the Eighty Years' War, Middelburg was captured from the Spanish forces during a long siege (1572-1574). The northern provinces of the original Low Countries won their independence from their former Spanish Habsburg rulers and formed The Netherlands, a Protestant state. Later, in the 17th century (the Dutch Golden Age), Middelburg became, after Holland's metropolis Amsterdam, the most important center for the East India Company of Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (VOC) or Dutch East India Company.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Middelburg was a short-lived (1559-1603) Latin Catholic suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of the Archbishop of Utrecht, with episcopal see at Middelburg, on Walcheren (former) island in the Dutch Zeeland province.

Eighty Years War 16th and 17th-century Dutch revolt against the Habsburgs

The Eighty Years' War or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands. After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. Under the leadership of the exiled William the Silent, the northern provinces continued their resistance. They eventually were able to oust the Habsburg armies, and in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The war continued in other areas, although the heartland of the republic was no longer threatened; this included the beginnings of the Dutch Colonial Empire, which at the time were conceived as carrying overseas the war with Spain. The Dutch Republic was recognized by Spain and the major European powers in 1609 at the start of the Twelve Years' Truce. Hostilities broke out again around 1619, as part of the broader Thirty Years' War. An end was reached in 1648 with the Peace of Münster, when the Dutch Republic was definitively recognised as an independent country no longer part of the Holy Roman Empire. The Peace of Münster is sometimes considered the beginning of the Dutch Golden Age.

Dutch Golden Age Historical period of the Netherlands from 1575 to 1675

The Dutch Golden Age was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. The first section is characterized by the Eighty Years' War, which ended in 1648. The Golden Age continued in peacetime during the Dutch Republic until the end of the century.

Middelburg played an important role in the 17th century slave trade.

Samuel Ben Israel, son of Menasseh Ben Israel, is buried in Middelburg at the Sephardic burial site located at the 'Jodengang' outside the citywall. Menasseh Ben Israel negotiated with Cromwell the opening of England, and its colonies, to the Jews. Middelburg also has an Ashkenazic burial site, which is located at the Walensingel inside the city wall. In 1994 the synagogue was restored, as it was partially destroyed during the Second World War. This synagogue was the third one to be built in the Netherlands during the Golden Age. In the hall of the railway station there is a plaque of remembrance for the Jews of Zeeland who started their journey to the death camps from the Middelburg train station.

About a third of the old city centre was devastated by bombs and fire in the early phases of World War II, on May 17, 1940. It is still not certain if German bombers or French artillery were responsible. [5] The town was captured and liberated by British troops during Operation Infatuate on 5 November 1944. After the War, as much of the destroyed part of the old town center was rebuilt and restored along pre-War lines as far as was possible. The city's archives, however, had been incinerated during the German bombardment.

Modern Middelburg has preserved and regained much of its historic and picturesque character. There are lavish 17th and 18th century merchant houses and storehouses standing along canals, of a similar style as found in cities like Amsterdam. The old city moats are still there, as are two of the city gates, the Koepoort Gate and the varkenspoort Gate. Part of the 18th century moat and defence works, however, were demolished in the 19th century to make way for a commercial canal that crosses Walcheren from Vlissingen to Veere. The medieval abbey is still in use today, as a museum and as the seat of the provincial government.

Notable locals

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
13986,300    
15767,000+0.06%
160020,000+4.47%
167527,000+0.40%
173925,000−0.12%
179517,687−0.62%
Source: Lourens & Lucassen 1997, pp. 93–94

The painter Pieter Gaal, (1769–1819) was born and, after traveling over Europe to paint, settled and died here.

Another well-known citizen of Middelburg was the admiral and explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who was born in the city in 1659 and died there in 1729. Roggeveen discovered Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in the South Pacific Ocean on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1722. Further discoveries on the same journey included islands of the Tuamotu group, now part of French Polynesia.

On 31 January 1723, Petronella Johanna de Timmerman, scientist and poet, was born here. In 1774 she was inducted as an honorary member of the academy Kunstliefde Spaart Geen Vlijt. Also, she presented the academy with poems, translated from French plays. She died on 2 May 1786 in Utrecht.

Geography

Topographic map of Middelburg, as of September 2014 Middelburg-plaats-OpenTopo.jpg
Topographic map of Middelburg, as of September 2014

Aside from the city of Middelburg, the municipality also includes several population centres, including: Arnemuiden, Kleverskerke, Nieuw- en Sint Joosland and Sint Laurens.

Culture and recreation

When William of Orange decided to found the first university in the Netherlands in 1575, he initially considered locating it in Middelburg. Ultimately he chose Leiden, however, and Middelburg—as well as all of Zeeland—remained without a university until 2004 when University College Roosevelt (formerly known as Roosevelt Academy), affiliated with Utrecht University, was established.

Cultural institutions

Theaters and concerthalls

Sightseeing

Sports

Middelburg has a field hockey club, MMHC, a rugby club, Oemoemenoe, and four football (soccer) clubs: MZVC, Zeelandia Middelburg, Jong Ambon and FC Dauwendaele. Jong Ambon is translated Young Ambon, and consists of mostly Ambonese players. FC Dauwendaele is the main club in Dauwendaele.

Transportation

Middelburg railway station. StationMiddelburg.jpg
Middelburg railway station.

Middelburg has a railway station with intercity train connections to Vlissingen, Goes, Roosendaal, Rotterdam, The Hague, Leiden, Schiphol International Airport, Amsterdam, and Almere, among others. Two trains leave every hour in both directions.

Twin cities

Related Research Articles

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Veere Municipality and town in Zeeland, Netherlands

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Vlissingen Municipality in Zeeland, Netherlands

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Vlissingen railway station

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Relief of Goes

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Siege of Middelburg (1572–74)

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Samuel Maju Samehtini was a Dutch musician and composer.

Middelburg Abbey abbey in Middelburg, home to Zeeuws Museum

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References

  1. "Collegeleden" [Members of the board] (in Dutch). Gemeente Middelburg. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  2. "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  3. "Postcodetool for 4331BK". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  4. "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  5. "Middelburg". War over Holland. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  6. Zeeuws Archief
  7. p166-178 of the House of Stratus edition, ch. 4. The Romantic Prince, Rafael Sabatini, 2001

Literature