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Zeêland  (Zeeuws)

Zeeland wapen.svg
Coat of arms
Latin: Luctor et emergo , Dutch: Ik worstel en kom boven
("I struggle and emerge")
Anthem: "Zeeuws volkslied"
("Zeelandic Anthem")
Zeeland in the Netherlands.svg
Location of Zeeland in the Netherlands
Zeeland by Sentinel-2.jpg
Coordinates: 51°34′N3°45′E / 51.567°N 3.750°E / 51.567; 3.750 Coordinates: 51°34′N3°45′E / 51.567°N 3.750°E / 51.567; 3.750
Country Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Capital Middelburg
Largest city Terneuzen
   King's Commissioner Han Polman (D66)
 (2017) [1]
  Total2,934 km2 (1,133 sq mi)
  Land1,783 km2 (688 sq mi)
  Water1,151 km2 (444 sq mi)
Area rank 8th
 (1 November 2019) [2]
  Rank 12th
  Density216/km2 (560/sq mi)
  Density rank 10th
Demonym(s) Zeeuw
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code NL-ZE
HDI (2017)0.904 [3]
very high · 10th
Website Official website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Zeeland ( /ˈzlənd/ , Dutch:  [ˈzeːlɑnt] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Zeelandic: Zeêland [ˈzɪə̯lɑnt] ; historical English exonym Zealand) 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 (hence its name, meaning "Sealand") and a strip bordering the Flemish provinces of East and West Flanders. Its capital is Middelburg with a population of 48,544 [4] as of November 2019, the largest municipality in Zeeland is Terneuzen (pop. 54,589) 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 [2] as of November 2019.


Large parts of Zeeland are below sea level. The last great flooding of the area was in 1953. Tourism is an important economic activity. In the summer, its beaches make it a popular destination for tourists, especially German tourists. In some areas, the population can be two to four times higher during the high summer season. The coat of arms of Zeeland shows a lion half-emerged from water, and the text luctor et emergo (Latin for "I struggle and emerge"). [5] The country of New Zealand was named after Zeeland after it was sighted by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman.


The County of Zeeland in 1580. 1580 Zelandicarum v Deventer.jpg
The County of Zeeland in 1580.

Nehalennia is a mythological goddess of an ancient religion known around the province of Zeeland. Her worship dates back at least to the 2nd century BC, [6] and flourished in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. [6] She was possibly a regional god, either Celtic or pre-Germanic – but sources differ on the culture that first worshipped her. During the Roman era, her main function appeared to be the protection of travelers, especially seagoing travelers crossing the North Sea. Most of what is known about her mythology comes from the remains of carved stone offerings (votives) which have been dredged up from the Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt) since 1870. Two more Nehalennia offering stones have also been found in Cologne, Germany. [6]

Zeeland was a contested area between the counts of Holland and Flanders until 1299, when the last count of Holland died. The Counts of Hainaut then gained control of the County of Zeeland, followed by the counts of Bavaria, Burgundy, and Habsburg. After 1585 Zeeland followed, as one of the 7 independent provinces, the fate of the Northern part of The Netherlands.

North Sea flood of 1953 in a town in Zuid-Beveland Netherlands. Viewed from a U.S. Army helicopter, gives a hint of the tremendous damage damage wrought by the flood - NARA - 541705.tiff
North Sea flood of 1953 in a town in Zuid-Beveland

In 1432 it became part of the Low Countries possessions of Philip the Good of Burgundy, the later Seventeen Provinces. Through marriage, the Seventeen Provinces became the property of the Habsburgs in 1477. In the Eighty Years' War, Zeeland was on the side of the Union of Utrecht, and became one of the United Provinces. The area now called Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (or Zeelandic Flanders) was not part of Zeeland, but a part of the county of Flanders (still under Habsburg control) that was conquered by the United Provinces, hence called Staats-Vlaanderen (see: Generality Lands).

After the French occupation (see département Bouches-de-l'Escaut) and the formation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815, the present province Zeeland was formed.

During World War II, Zeeland was occupied by Nazi Germany between June 1940 and November 1944. [5] In 1944, Zeeland was devastated by the Battle of the Scheldt and the Walcheren Landings, which brought about the Inundation of Walcheren, between British and Canadian forces, and the occupying Germans. [7]

The catastrophic North Sea flood of 1953, which killed over 1800 people in Zeeland, led to the construction of the protective Delta Works.


A map of Zeeland. 2013-P09-ZD-b.jpg
A map of Zeeland.

The province of Zeeland is a large river delta situated at the mouth of several major rivers, namely Scheldt ('Schelde'), Rhine ('Rijn') and Meuse ('Maas'). Most of the province lies below sea level and was reclaimed from the sea by inhabitants over time. What used to be a muddy landscape, flooding at high tide and reappearing at low tide, became a series of small man-made hills that stayed dry at all times. The people of the province would later connect the hills by creating dikes, which led to a chain of dry land that later grew into bigger islands and gave the province its current shape. The shape of the islands has changed over time at the hands of both people and nature.

The North Sea flood of 1953 inundated vast amounts of land that were only partially reclaimed. The subsequent construction of the Delta Works also changed the face of the province. The infrastructure, although very distinct by the number of bridges, tunnels and dams, has not shaped the geography of the province so much as the geography of the province has shaped its infrastructure. The dams, tunnels and bridges that are currently a vital part of the province's road system were constructed over the span of decades and came to replace old ferry lines. The final touch to this process came in 2003 when the Western Scheldt Tunnel was opened. It was the first solid connection between both banks of the Western Scheldt and ended the era of water separating the islands and peninsulas of Zeeland.

Zeeland consists of several islands and peninsulas. These are, from north to south, Schouwen-Duiveland, Tholen, Noord-Beveland, Walcheren and Zuid-Beveland. It also includes a strip of land bordering the Belgian region of Flanders, the Zeelandic Flanders.


The province of Zeeland has 13 municipalities:

Municipalities in Zeeland GemeentenZeelandNrs.png
Municipalities in Zeeland

The largest cities are: Middelburg with 41,000 inhabitants; Vlissingen with 34,000; Goes with 27,000; and Terneuzen with 25,000.


As of 1 January 2014, Zeeland has a population of 380,621 [8] and a population density of 210/km2 (540/sq mi). It is the 12th most populous or least populous province and the 2nd least densely populated province of the Netherlands.


Zeeland is mainly a Protestant region; Calvinism is dominant.

There are also adherents of the Roman Catholic Church. After being long part of the vast Franco-Flemish Roman Catholic Diocese of Cambrai, Zeeland got its own bishopric, the Diocese of Middelburg, on 5 December 1559, which was suppressed in 1603, its territory being merged into the Apostolic Vicariate of Batavia, only to be 'restored' on March 22, 1803 as the Apostolic Vicariate of Breda, which was promoted to the present large (yet counting few faithful) Diocese of Breda, whose See is in the other part, western North Brabant, and enlarged further in 1955, gaining territory from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam.


The States of Zeeland are located in a former abbey in Middelburg. Middelburg Abdij R01.jpg
The States of Zeeland are located in a former abbey in Middelburg.

Provincial council

The States-Provincial (Provinciale Staten) of Zeeland are the provincial council, called the States of Zeeland .

CDA 10667
SGP 5465
FvD ---5
VVD 6764
PvdA 6744
PVV -542
Party for Zeeland 2212
GreenLeft 2112
ChristianUnion 3222
50PLUS -012
SP 5342
D66 0231
PvdD --11

Provincial executive

The Provincial-Executive (Gedeputeerde Staten) of Zeeland and the King's Commissioner (Commissaris van de Koning) of Zeeland are the provincial executive.

Han Polman, member of D66, has been the King's Commissioner of Zeeland since 2013.

As of the 2007 provincial election a coalition consisted of CDA, SGP, ChristianUnion and GreenLeft, with 20 of 39 seats.

As of the 2011 provincial election a coalition consisted of VVD, PvdA, CDA and SGP, with 24 of 39 seats.

As of the 2015 provincial election a coalition consisted of CDA, VVD, SGP and PvdA, with 22 of 39 seats.

As of the 2019 provincial election the same coalition consists of CDA, VVD, SGP and PvdA, with 20 of 39 seats.


The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was 13.6 billion € in 2018, accounting for 1.8% of the Netherlands economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 30,900 € or 102% of the EU27 average in the same year. [9]


The Oosterscheldekering. Deltawerke-Oosterschelde-Sturmflutwehr Strasse.jpg
The Oosterscheldekering.

There is one passenger railway, here with municipalities and official station abbreviations:

Vlissingen (vs, vss) – Middelburg (mdb, arn) – Goes (gs) – Kapelle (bzl) – Reimerswaal (krg, kbd, rb) – connecting to Bergen op Zoom (bgn) (Noord-Brabant).

Bus connections (of Connexxion, except # 395) include:


Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant and BN/De Stem are the regional daily newspapers in the province.


The first westerners to sight New Zealand were captained by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman in 1642, although he did not land there. Tasman named it Staten Landt, believing it to be part of the land of that name off the coast of Argentina that is now known as Isla de los Estados. When that was shown not to be so, Dutch authorities named it Nova Zeelandia in Latin, Nieuw Zeeland in Dutch. The two major seafaring provinces of the Netherlands in its Golden Age were Holland and Zeeland, and the Dutch explorers originally named the largest landmass of Oceania and the two islands to the southeast Nieuw Holland and Nieuw Zeeland, respectively. The former was eventually replaced by the name Australia, but the name New Zealand remained in place for the latter. Captain James Cook of Britain later Anglicised the name to New Zealand and, after British settlers arrived in New Zealand, English became the main language.

The city of Zeeland in the US state of Michigan was settled in 1847 by Dutchman Jannes van de Luyster and was incorporated in 1907. Flushing, a neighborhood within the borough of Queens, New York, is named after the city Flushing (Vlissingen in Dutch) in Zeeland. This dates from the period of the colony of New Netherland, when New York was still known as New Amsterdam. The Dutch colonies of Nieuw Walcheren and Nieuw Vlissingen, both on the Antillian island of Tobago, were both named after parts of Zeeland. The Canadian town of Zealand, New Brunswick, was named for the Zeeland birthplace of Dutchman Philip Crouse who settled in the area in 1789. [10] Zeeland, North Dakota is another town named for this province and whose earliest settlers were of Dutch heritage.

Paramaribo, the capital and largest city of Suriname, has a Fort Zeelandia, the former Fort Willoughby during British colonization.

Fort Zeelandia was a fortress built over ten years from 1624–1634 by the Dutch East India Company, in the town of Anping (Tainan) on the island of Formosa, present day Taiwan, during their 38-year rule over the western part of it.

Related Research Articles

The Christian Union is a Christian-democratic political party in the Netherlands. The CU holds socially conservative positions on issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion and euthanasia and is Eurosceptic while maintaining progressive stances on economic, immigration and environmental issues. The party describes itself as "social Christian".

Scheldt river in France, Belgium and the Netherlands

The Scheldt is a 350-kilometre-long (220 mi) 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").

Terneuzen Municipality in Zeeland, Netherlands

Terneuzen is a city and municipality in the southwestern Netherlands, in the province of Zeeland, in the middle of Zeelandic Flanders. With over 55,000 inhabitants, it is the most populous municipality of Zeeland.

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.

Middelburg City and municipality in Zeeland, Netherlands

Middelburg 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, it has a population of about 48,000.

Hulst City and Municipality in Zeeland, Netherlands

Hulst is a municipality and city in southwestern Netherlands in the east of Zeelandic Flanders.

Western Scheldt Estuary of the Scheldt river

The Western Scheldt in the province of Zeeland in the southwestern Netherlands, is the estuary of the Scheldt river. This river once had several estuaries, but the others are now disconnected from the Scheldt, leaving the Westerschelde as its only direct route to the sea. The Western Scheldt is an important shipping route to the Port of Antwerp, Belgium. Unlike the Eastern Scheldt estuary, it could not be closed off from the sea by a dam as part of the Delta Works. Instead, the dykes around it have been heightened and reinforced.

Zeelandic Flanders Region in Zeeland, 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.

Zuid-Beveland Peninsula in Zeeland, Netherlands

Zuid-Beveland is part of the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands north of the Western Scheldt and south of the Eastern Scheldt.

Vlissingen Municipality in Zeeland, Netherlands

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.

Bouches-de-lEscaut former French department (1810-1814)

Bouches-de-l'Escaut was a department of the First French Empire in the present-day Netherlands. It was formed in 1810, when the Kingdom of Holland was annexed by France. Its territory corresponded with the present-day Dutch province of Zeeland, minus Zeelandic Flanders, which was part of the department of Escaut. Its capital was Middelburg.

Zeelandic dialect of the Dutch 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.

2007 Dutch provincial elections

Provincial elections were held in the Netherlands, on March 7, 2007. The election also determined the members of the Senate, since the 564 members of the twelve States-Provincial elect its 75 members. This election took place on May 29, 2007.

Nieuw- en Sint Joosland Place in Zeeland, Netherlands

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.

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.

Western Scheldt Tunnel Tunnel under the Western Scheldt estuary in the Netherlands

Western Scheldt Tunnel is a 6.6-kilometre (4.1 mi) tunnel in the Netherlands that carries highway N62 under the Western Scheldt estuary between Ellewoutsdijk and Terneuzen. It is the longest tunnel for highway traffic in the Netherlands.

A58 motorway (Netherlands) freeway in the Netherlands

The A58 motorway is a motorway in the Netherlands. It is approximately 145 kilometers in length. The A58 is located in the Dutch provinces of North Brabant and Zeeland.

Vlissingen railway station railway station in the Netherlands

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.

2011 Dutch Senate election

The elections of the Dutch Senate of 2011 were held on 23 May 2011, following the provincial elections on 2 March 2011. The 566 members of the twelve States-Provincial elected the 75 Senate members. The new Senate was installed on 7 June 2011. The term ended on 8 June 2015.

2012 Dutch general election election of the members of the House of Representatives

Early general elections were held in the Netherlands on 12 September 2012 after Prime Minister Mark Rutte handed in his government's resignation to Queen Beatrix on 23 April. The 150 seats of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands were contested using party-list proportional representation. The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) received a plurality of the votes, followed by the Labour Party (PvdA).


  1. http://www.waarstaatjeprovincie.nl/Paginas/Ruimtelijke%20ordening/Oppervlakte.aspx
  2. 1 2 https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/37230ned/table
  3. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  4. https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/70072ned/table
  5. 1 2 DeWaard, Dirk Marc (1983). Luctor et Emergo: The impact of the Second World War on Zeeland (M.A. thesis) Wilfrid Laurier University
  6. 1 2 3 Lendering, 2006.
  7. "Operation Infatuate – Walcheren". Combinedops.com. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  8. "Regionale kerncijfers Nederland". CBS StatLine (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  9. "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.
  10. "Zealand, New Brunswick, Canada". University Educational Series, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2008.