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||1,000/km2 (3,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Middelburg (Dutch: [ˈmɪdəlbʏrx] (
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 Janssen and Hans Lippershey) in the late 16th century and early 17th century.
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" main church were first laid in the 10th century; additional construction continued through the Middle Ages.
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.
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.
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|
Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder (1573–1621) was a still life painter of the Dutch Golden Age who worked most of his life in Middelburg. He had three sons, Johannes Bosschaert (1606/08– 1628/29), Ambrosius Bosschaert II (1609-1645) and Abraham Bosschaert the Younger (1612–1643) who were all Dutch Golden Age painters.
The painter Pieter Gaal, (1769–1819) was born, settled and died here, after traveling over Europe to paint
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.
Petronella Johanna de Timmerman, scientist and poet, was born here in 1723. 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 in Utrecht in 1786.
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 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.
Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. It is located between Rotterdam, to the southeast, and The Hague, to the northwest. Together with them, it is part of both Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area and the Randstad.
Leiden is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. The municipality of Leiden had a population of 123,856 in August 2017, but the city forms one densely connected agglomeration with its suburbs Oegstgeest, Leiderdorp, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude with 206,647 inhabitants. The Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) further includes Katwijk in the agglomeration which makes the total population of the Leiden urban agglomeration 270,879, and in the larger Leiden urban area also Teylingen, Noordwijk, and Noordwijkerhout are included with in total 348,868 inhabitants. Leiden is located on the Oude Rijn, at a distance of some 20 kilometres from The Hague to its south and some 40 km (25 mi) from Amsterdam to its north. The recreational area of the Kaag Lakes (Kagerplassen) lies just to the northeast of Leiden.
Zeeland is the westernmost and least populous province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, borders North Brabant to the east and South Holland to the north, consists of a number of islands and peninsulas and a strip bordering the Flemish provinces of East and West Flanders. Its capital is Middelburg with a population of 48,544 as of November 2019, the largest municipality in Zeeland is Terneuzen Zeeland has two seaports; in Vlissingen and Terneuzen. Its area is 2,934 square kilometres (1,130 sq mi), of which 1,151 square kilometres (440 sq mi) is water, and it has a population of 383,689 as of November 2019.
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 and the rest of its coastline is made up of dykes. Middelburg, the provincial capital, lies at Walcheren's center. Vlissingen, 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) to the south, is the main harbour and the third municipality is Veere.
Gouda is a city and municipality in the west of the Netherlands, between Rotterdam and Utrecht, in the province of South Holland. Gouda has a population of 72,338 and is famous for its Gouda cheese, stroopwafels, many grachten, smoking pipes, and its 15th-century city hall. Its array of historic churches and other buildings makes it a very popular day trip destination.
Goes is a city and municipality in the southwestern Netherlands on Zuid-Beveland, in the province of Zeeland. The city of Goes has approximately 27,000 residents.
Hulst is a municipality and city in southwestern Netherlands in the east of Zeelandic Flanders.
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.
Bergen op Zoom is a municipality and a city located in the south of the Netherlands.
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.
Jacob Roggeveen was a Dutch explorer who was sent to find Terra Australis, but instead came across Easter Island. Jacob Roggeveen also encountered Bora Bora and Maupiti of the Society Islands and Samoa. He planned the expedition along with his brother Jan Roggeveen, who stayed in the Netherlands.
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.
Balthasar van der Ast was a Dutch Golden Age painter who specialized in still lifes of flowers and fruit, as well as painting a number of remarkable shell still lifes; he is considered to be a pioneer in the genre of shell painting. His still lifes often contain insects and lizards.
Laurens Johannes Bol was an art historian who specialized in 17th-century Dutch Golden Age painters.
Christoffel van den Berghe (c.1590, Antwerp – c.1645, Middelburg) was a Flemish-born Dutch Golden Age painter of landscapes and flower still lifes.
Jan Baptist Bosschaert or Jan Baptist Bosschaert the Younger was a Flemish still life painter who is principally known for his decorative still lifes with flowers. He collaborated with figure artists on compositions which combined allegorical or mythological scenes with a still life element. He was active in Antwerp.
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.
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