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Vlissingen Town.png
Clockwise from top left: Coastline skyscraper, harbour, museum, residential tower and boulevard with beach
Vlissingen vlag.svg
Vlissingen wapen.svg
Coat of arms
Map - NL - Municipality code 0718 (2009).svg
Location in Zeeland
Coordinates: 51°27′N3°34′E / 51.450°N 3.567°E / 51.450; 3.567 Coordinates: 51°27′N3°34′E / 51.450°N 3.567°E / 51.450; 3.567
Country Netherlands
Province Zeeland
  Body Municipal council
   Mayor Bas van den Tillaar (CDA)
  Total344.83 km2 (133.14 sq mi)
  Land34.18 km2 (13.20 sq mi)
  Water310.65 km2 (119.94 sq mi)
1 m (3 ft)
 (August 2017) [4]
  Density1,304/km2 (3,380/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Vlissinger
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code 0118
Website www.vlissingen.nl

Vlissingen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈvlɪsɪŋə(n)] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Zeelandic: Vlissienge; historical name in English: Flushing) 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.

Zeelandic language

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.

Municipality An administrative division having corporate status and usually some powers of self-government or jurisdiction

A municipality is usually a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. It is to be distinguished (usually) from the county, which may encompass rural territory or numerous small communities such as towns, villages and hamlets.

City Large and permanent human settlement

A city is a large human settlement. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process.


Vlissingen is mainly noted for the yards on the Scheldt where most of the ships of the Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine) are built.

Scheldt river in France, Belgium and the Netherlands

The Scheldt is a 350-kilometre (220 mi) long river in northern France, western Belgium, and the southwestern part of the Netherlands. Its name is derived from an adjective corresponding to Old English sceald ("shallow"), Modern English shoal, Low German schol, West Frisian skol, and Swedish (obsolete) skäll ("thin").

Royal Netherlands Navy Naval branch of the Dutch armed forces

The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) is the naval force of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its origins date back to the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648), the war of independence from the House of Habsburg who ruled over the Habsburg Netherlands.


The municipality of Vlissingen consists of the following places:

Oost-Souburg is a town in the municipality of Vlissingen.

Ritthem Place in Zeeland, Netherlands

Ritthem is a village in the Dutch province of Zeeland. It is located in the municipality of Vlissingen, about 4 kilometres east of the city.

West-Souburg is a village in the Dutch province of Zeeland. It is part of the municipality of Vlissingen, and now almost completely surrounded by suburbs of the city of Vlissingen. Once one of the most important settlements on the Zeeland island of Walcheren, West-Souburg is now a very small place that some consider nothing more than a suburb of Vlissingen.


Vlissingen from the sea, 1662 Schilderij Vlissingen 30-08-06.JPG
Vlissingen from the sea, 1662
The Arrival at Vlissingen of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, by Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom, oil on canvas. VROOM Hendrick Cornelisz The Arrival at Vlissingen of the Elector Palatinate Frederick V.jpg
The Arrival at Vlissingen of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, by Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom, oil on canvas.

The fishermen's hamlet that came into existence at the estuary of the Schelde around AD 620 has grown over its 1,400-year history into the third-most important port of the Netherlands. The Counts of Holland, Flanders, and Zeeland had the first harbours dug. Over the centuries, Vlissingen developed into a hub for fishing, especially the herring fishery, commerce, privateering and the slave trade. Under the Treaty of Nonsuch, English garrisons were stationed here and at Brill to keep these ports out of Spanish hands. [5] During the heyday of the Dutch Golden Age, ships from Vlissingen set sail for the various outposts of the Dutch colonial empire and contributed to the world power of The Seven Provinces.

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 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.

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

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

County of Zeeland

The County of Zeeland was a county of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries. It covered an area in the Scheldt and Meuse delta roughly corresponding to the modern Dutch province of Zeeland. The County of Zeeland did not include the region of Zeelandic Flanders which was part of Flanders; conversely, the modern Province of Zeeland does not include Sommelsdijk, historically part of the County of Zeeland.

The history of Vlissingen was also marked by invasion, oppression and bombardments. Because of its strategic position at the mouth of the Schelde, the most important passageway to Antwerp, it has attracted the interest, at one time or another, of the British, the French, the Germans and the Spanish. Floods have also been a constant threat. Vlissingen declined during the 18th century. The Napoleonic Wars were particularly disastrous. After 1870, the economy revived after the construction of new docks and the Walcheren canal, the arrival of the railway and the establishment of the shipyard called De Schelde. The Second World War interrupted this growth. The city was heavily damaged by shelling and inundation but was captured and liberated by British Commandos of 4th Special Service Brigade on 3 November 1944.

Antwerp Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Antwerp is a city in Belgium, and is the capital of Antwerp province in Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, and with a metropolitan area housing around 1,200,000 people, it's the second largest metropolitan region after Brussels in Belgium.

Napoleonic Wars Series of early 19th century European wars

The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).

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 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.

The city was rebuilt after the war. In the 1960s, the seaport and industrial area of Vlissingen-Oost developed and flourished. Now this area is the economic driving force behind central Zeeland, generating many thousands of jobs. Nowadays approx. 50,000 ships annually from all corners of the world pass through the Schelde. [6]

Vlissingen's seaside boulevard at the start of the 21st century. Vlissingen (aerial photo).jpg
Vlissingen's seaside boulevard at the start of the 21st century.



The derivation of the name Vlissingen is unclear, though most scholars relate the name to the word fles (bottle) in one way or another.

According to one story, when saint Willibrord landed in Vlissingen with a bottle in the 7th century, he shared its contents with the beggars he found there while trying to convert them. A miracle occurred, familiar to readers of hagiography, when the contents of the bottle did not diminish. When the bishop realised the beggars did not want to listen to his words, he gave them his bottle. After that, he supposedly called the city Flessinghe.

Another source states that the name had its origins in an old ferry-service house, on which a bottle was attached by way of a sign. The monk Jacob van Dreischor, who visited the city in 967, then apparently called the ferry-house het veer aan de Flesse (the ferry at the Bottle). Because many cities in the region later received the appendix -inge, the name, according to this etymology, evolved to Vles-inge.

According to another source, the name was derived from the Danish word Vles, which means tides.

The eastern cape of Novaya Zemlya, Cape Flissingsky was named after the city in 1596 by Willem Barentsz.

Historical English name "Flushing"

Vlissingen was historically called "Flushing" in English. In the 17th century Vlissingen was important enough to be a town that English speakers referred to and that had acquired its own English name. For example, Samuel Pepys referred to the town as "Flushing" in his diaries. In 1673 Sir William Temple referred to Vlissingen as "Flushing" once and "Flussingue" twice in his book about the Netherlands. [7] Some English writers in the Netherlands also used the Dutch name.

Flushing, originally a Dutch colonial village founded in 1645 and now part of Queens, New York City, was first called Vlissingen after the town in the Netherlands. The English settlers who also came to live in the village [8] shortened the name to "Vlissing" by 1657 and then began to call it by its English name "Flushing." The Anglicisation of "Vlissingen" into "Flushing" did not occur after the conquest of New Netherland, but in England well before then. This village was the site of the Flushing Remonstrance.

The village of Flushing in Cornwall was also named after Vlissingen. Originally named Nankersey, the village was given its name by Dutch engineers from Vlissingen in the Netherlands who built the three main quays in the village. Michigan and Ohio in the US have villages called Flushing as well.

Tourist attractions



Topographic map of Vlissingen (city), Sept. 2014


Vlissingen has a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) that is milder than the rest of the Netherlands due to its more southern location on the coast. [9] It is approximately 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer annually than Groningen in the northeast. It is also one of the sunniest cities in the Netherlands, receiving approximately 180 more sunshine hours than Maastricht in the southeast. Its all-time record is 36.8 °C set on 27 July 2018 and -18.9 °C on 21 February 1956

Climate data for Vlissingen
Record high °C (°F)14.2
Average high °C (°F)6.0
Daily mean °C (°F)4.0
Average low °C (°F)2.1
Record low °C (°F)−15.3
Average precipitation mm (inches)58.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)129119101091011121313128
Average snowy days55210000002318
Average relative humidity (%)87858378787878788083878882
Mean monthly sunshine hours 67.889.2134.2187.2218.3215.5223.2207.4152.9116.568.752.11,733.1
Source #1: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1981–2010 normals, snowy days normals for 1971–2000) [10]
Source #2: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1971–2000 extremes) [11]

Notable people

Other maritme travellers
The Arts


  • There used to be a ferry service to Sheerness operated by Olau Line. It was terminated in 1994.
St. Jacobskerk Vliss StJacob.jpg
St. Jacobskerk

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  1. "Burgemeester Letty Demmers-van der Geest" [Mayor Letty Demmers-van der Geest] (in Dutch). Gemeente Vlissingen. Retrieved 22 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 4382MA". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 22 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. Garrett Mattingly (1959), The Armada , Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Ch. V, "Plans of Operations", p. 44.
  6. www.zeegat.nl/
  7. Sir William Temple, Observations upon the United Provinces of the Netherlands, ed. Sir George Clark (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1672), pp. 40, 48 & 116
  8. Russell Shorto, The Island at the Centre of the World (Black Swan, 2004) pp. 338-9
  9. Climate Summary for Vlissingen, Netherlands
  10. "Klimaattabel Vlissingen, langjarige gemiddelden, tijdvak 1981–2010" (PDF) (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute . Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  11. "Klimaattabel Vlissingen, langjarige extremen, tijdvak 1971–2000" (PDF) (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  12. Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography, Horn, Van de retrieved 30 July 2019
  13. Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition, Volume III, Bekker, Elizabeth retrieved 30 July 2019
  14. IMDb Database retrieved 30 July 2019
  15. p49 of the House of Stratus edition, ch4. The Romantic Prince, Rafael Sabatini, 2001