Location in Zeeland
|City Hall||Middelburg City Hall|
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Harald Bergmann (VVD)|
|• Total||53.04 km2 (20.48 sq mi)|
|• Land||48.54 km2 (18.74 sq mi)|
|• Water||4.50 km2 (1.74 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|• Density||994/km2 (2,570/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Middelburg (Dutch: [ˈmɪdəlbʏrx] (
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.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.
|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.
Aside from the city of Middelburg, the municipality also includes several population centres, including: Arnemuiden, Kleverskerke, Nieuw- en Sint Joosland and Sint Laurens.
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.
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.
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.
Goes is a city and municipality in the southwestern Netherlands on Zuid-Beveland, in the province of Zeeland. The town of Goes has approximately 27,000 residents.
Kapelle is a municipality and a town in the southwestern Netherlands on Zuid-Beveland. As of January 2017, the municipality's population amounts to 12,620.
Veere is a municipality with a population of 22,000 and a town with a population of 1,500 in the southwestern Netherlands, in the region of Walcheren in the province of Zeeland.
Zeelandic Flanders is the southernmost region of the province of Zeeland in the south-western Netherlands. It lies south of the Western Scheldt that separates the region from the remainder of Zeeland and the Netherlands to the north. Zeelandic Flanders is bordered to the south by Belgium.
Vlissingen is a municipality and a city in the southwestern Netherlands on the former island of Walcheren. With its strategic location between the Scheldt river and the North Sea, Vlissingen has been an important harbour for centuries. It was granted city rights in 1315. In the 17th century Vlissingen was a main harbour for ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). It is also known as the birthplace of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter.
Domburg is a seaside resort on the North Sea, on the northwest coast of Walcheren in the Dutch province of Zeeland. It is a part of the municipality of Veere, and lies about 11 km northwest of the city of Middelburg, the provincial capital.
Zeelandic is a Low Franconian dialect of Dutch spoken in the southwestern parts of the Netherlands. More specifically, it is spoken in the southernmost part of South Holland (Goeree-Overflakkee) and large parts of the province of Zeeland, with the notable exception of eastern Zeelandic Flanders..
Kortgene is a village in the Dutch province of Zeeland. It is a part of the municipality of Noord-Beveland, and lies about 15 km northeast of Middelburg.
Kamperland is a town in the Dutch province of Zeeland. It is a part of the municipality of Noord-Beveland, and lies about 11 km northeast of Middelburg.
Nieuw- en Sint Joosland of Nieuwland is a village and a former municipality in the southeast of Walcheren, at the edge of the island, in the municipality Middelburg, in the Dutch province Zeeland. It has about 1300 inhabitants. Because of its relatively late foundation, Nieuw- en Sint Joosland is not a churchvillage, but more of a wegdorp, despite its clear villagecenter.
The Battle of Zeeland occurred on the Western Front during the early stages of the German assault on France and the Low Countries during World War II. Several Dutch and French units attempted to hold off the German onslaught by making a determined defense of the Dutch province of Zeeland. The battle lasted eight days and was a disappointing defeat for the French and Dutch forces defending the province.
Vlissingen is a terminus railway station in Vlissingen, Netherlands. The station opened on 1 September 1873. The station is at the western end of the Roosendaal–Vlissingen railway and has 3 platforms. This station is less than 100 metres (330 ft) short of being the westernmost station in the Netherlands: that is Vlissingen Souburg, the second station in Vlissingen. The station Vlissingen was formerly called Station Vlissingen-Haven.
In August 1572, during the course of the Eighty Years' War, the city of Goes, in the Spanish Netherlands, was besieged by Dutch forces with the support of English troops sent by Queen Elizabeth I. This was a menace to the safety of the nearby city of Middelburg, also under siege. Given the impossibility of rescue of Goes by sea, 3,000 soldiers of the Spanish Tercios under the command of Cristóbal de Mondragón waded across the river Scheldt at its mouth, walking 15 miles overnight in water up to chest deep. The surprise arrival of the Tercios forced the withdrawal of the Anglo-Dutch troops from Goes, allowing the Spanish to maintain control of Middelburg, capital of Walcheren Island.
Reimerswaal is a municipality in the province of Zeeland in the southwestern Netherlands on Zuid-Beveland, named after the lost city. The municipality had a population of 22,432 in 2017, and has a surface area of 242.42 km2 (93.60 sq mi) of which 140.43 km2 (54.22 sq mi) is water. The central town Yerseke is known for trade in mussels and oysters. Kruiningen is known for the former ferry from Kruiningen to Perkpolder which was in service up to 2003. The municipality of Reimerswaal was established in 1970, from the aggregation of the municipalities Krabbendijke, Kruiningen, Rilland-Bath, Waarde, and Yerseke.
The Siege of Middelburg (1572–1574) was a siege that lasted two years and took place in the years between 1572 and 1574 during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). A Dutch rebel army with the support of English laid siege to Middelburg which was being held by Spanish forces under Cristóbal de Mondragón. The Spanish held out and only capitulated when news of the relief effort to save Middelburg was defeated at Rimmerswiel.
Samuel Maju Samehtini was a Dutch musician and composer.
Middelburg Abbey is a former Premonstratensian abbey in Middelburg. At one time it was the centre of a large monastic complex.
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