Zeeland

Zeeland

Zeêland  (Zeeuws)

Zealand
Coat of arms of Zeeland
Coat of arms
Motto(s): 
Latin: Luctor et emergo, Dutch: Ik worstel en kom boven
("I struggle and emerge")
Anthem: "Zeeuws volkslied"
("Zeelandic Anthem")
Location of Zeeland in the Netherlands
Location of Zeeland in the Netherlands
Location of Zeeland
Coordinates: 51°34′N 3°45′E / 51°34′N 3°45′E / 51.567; 3.750 Edit this at Wikidata

Zeeland (d/, Dutch: [ˈzeːlɑnt] (About this soundlisten); 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[5] 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").[6] The country of New Zealand was named after Zeeland after it was sighted by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman.

History

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,[7] and flourished in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.[7] 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 1970. Two more Nehalennia offering stones have also been found in Cologne, Germany.[7]

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.

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.[6] 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.[8]

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