God created the world, but the Dutch created The Netherlands.Archibald Pitcairn (1652-1713)
History of Polders
Reclaiming land from the sea is nothing new for the Dutch. In fact, they have been doing this for centuries! For example the Beemster polder, now famous for its cheese. A water management engineer called Leeghwater initiated the reclamation of this land during 1609-1612! Fun fact: the name ‘Leeghwater’ means ’empty water’. Perhaps this man was born to reclaim land from the sea!
Flevoland: The Largest Polder
Flevoland is one of youngest provinces of Holland, but also has the largest polders of Holland. This area was created as a result of a devastating flood in 1916. Not wanting to repeat history, the government decided to build a ‘sea wall’ to close off its inland sea and reclaim the lands. This project, called ‘Zuiderzeewerken’ (South Sea Works), Rconsisted of two phases. The first stage consisted of building an embankment. This resulted in the Zuiderzee (South Sea) becoming the IJsselmeer lake. The second part of the works was the reclamation of new lands, thus creating the famous polder fields.
Flevoland Travel Ideas
But what to do with so much new land? Flevoland has been made into a very diverse province. You can walk around the Oostervaardersplassen. This national park is even featured in a very popular Dutch nature film (The New Wilderness). But with so many beaches, there are many water related activities you can do too! A nice boat tour over the IJsselmeer lake, or water sports if you’re adventurous! Flevoland has two large cities, Almere and its capital Lelystad. Lelystad is home to the famous Batavialand museum (don’t miss the replica of the Golden Age VOC ship!). But if you prefer something more relaxing, there is also a designer shopping outlet in Lelystad.
Come visit Flevoland and check out these beautiful features! We have a tour about history and water management. Feel free to contact us if you would like to book the History of Holland tour for your group. If you prefer a shopping tour, sport tour or something else with your group, send us an e-mail! Has our blog inspired you with even better travel ideas? Let us know, we would love to hear your ideas!