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Europe > Benelux > Netherlands > Southern Netherlands > Zeeland > Zierikzee

Zierikzee

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Zierikzee is a town in the municipality of Schouwen-Duiveland in the Dutch province of Zeeland. The city has 11,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the municipality.

Understand[edit]

Zierikzee is a historic town on the Eastern Scheldt. It has 568 official monuments, a unique medieval street pattern and the oldest still playing carillon of the Netherlands. During high season it is crowded with visitors, mainly Dutch and German. It's a good hub to explore the rest of the province which has much to offer both culturally and scenically. Historical cities, attractions and beaches are nearby. Zierikzee offers good hotels and restaurants and is a pleasant city to stay.

History[edit]

De Haene (early 14th century)

The name Siricasha (Zierikzee) was first mentioned in 1156. The city rights were confirmed and expended by count William II of Holland. It is unknown when the city received its rights for the first time. At the end of the Middle Ages Zierikzee was an important city. In 1304 the Battle of Zierikzee took place where a combined French and Holland fleet was successfully in defeating the Flemish who had invaded Zeeland and Holland. During the 80 years war the city was taken by the Geuzen (Beggars) and later recaptured by the Spaniards. They left the city four months later after a mutiny of Spanish soldiers because of arrears. In the 17th century Zierikzee was primarily a fishery city and had a commercial fleet that limited herself to European waters. Unlike Middelburg the city had little input in the colonization of East and West Indian regions. In the 18th century the trade became more important than fishing. The merchant had to cope with setbacks about the middle of the 18th century. The fourth Anglo-Dutch war resulted in a decline of the fleet and the inhabitants of Zierikzee fell from 10,000 to 6,000. During the 19th century Zierikzee became to a more or less forgotten city.

Tourist office[edit]

  • VVV Schouwen Duiveland, Nieuwe Haven 7, +31 118 630173, . M-Sa 09:00-17:00. The staff at the tourist office inform and advise you about the events and facilities that Zierikzee (and the island of Schouwen-Duiveland) have to offer. This office is at Nieuwe Haven 7. It is expected that in the future this office will move to the Sint-Lievensmonstertoren.

Get in[edit]

The Zeelandbrug that connects Schouwen-Duiveland with Noord-Beveland

Zierikzee has no railway connection and there is no nearby airport. It can be reached by car or by public bus. Coming from the East follow A58 to the direction of Middelburg and turn right to N256 after Goes. The N256 ends at Zierikzee just after passing the 5km long Zeelandbrug.

Bus line 132 from Goes takes a half hour to Zierikzee bus station.
From Rotterdam to Zierikzee take bus line 136 (Arriva) and change bus in Oude Tonge to bus line 133 (Connexxion)

Get around[edit]

Zierikzee can be best visited by foot. Most monuments can be seen within the radius of about 3 km.

See[edit]

Zuidhavenpoort (gate) at the entrance of the old city harbor
  • 1 ’s Gravensteen, Mol 25. The building was built in 1358, then demolished and rebuilt in 1526. Translated Gravensteen means Building of the Count. In the building lived the steward of the count and his officials. In its heyday it also served as a court and prison. The numerous inscriptions, the oldest of which dates back to 1577, are a reminder of those prisoners. It remained a place of detention until 1923. Since the restoration in 2012 a Fair Trade Shop is housed in the building.
  • 2 Nobelpoort (Nobel Gate), Kortenobelstraat. The Nobelpoort is one of the three remaining city gates of Zierikzee and dates from the mid 14th century. In front of the gate was originally a drawbridge. Until 1866 the gates were closed every night.
  • 3 Noordhavenpoort (North port gate), Oude Haven. The Noordhavenpoort originally dates from the 14th century. The gate looks a lot less tough than the opposite gate. In 1559 the gate got its current ornamental facades on the city side.
  • 4 Zuidhavenpoort (South port gate), Ouden Haven. The Zuidhavenpoort dates from the 13th century and is more impressive then the Noorderhavenpoort. It is a variant of the Nobel Gate, but much more sober constructed. The building has three floors, accessible via a staircase turret placed against the building.
  • 5 Mill De Hoop (The Hope), +31 111 416 700. Sa 09:00-12:00. The Hope is a stone mills that replaced the old wooden mill in 1850. It has a height of more than 12 m and can be seen from a long distance.
  • 6 Mill Den Haas (The Hare), Bolwerk 1, +31 113 212466. On Friday and while the mill turns. Den Haas is a large mill dating from 1727 and is splendidly located. The mill was put back into service after restoration as a corn mill in 1987.
  • 7 Muziektent (Bandstand). The Muziektent at the Havenpark was built to commemorate the visit of HM Queen Wilhelmina and HRH Prince Henry on September 13, 1907.
  • 8 Nieuwe kerk (New Church). This neoclassical church was built in the period 1835-1848 as the successor to the Sint-Lievenmonster church that was laid in ashes in 1832.
  • 9 Sint-Lievensmonstertoren. According an uncontrollable source the church was founded in 1151. The basilica was dedicated to St. Livinus (Sint Lieven), a Scottish martyr. Over the centuries the church was expanded several times. In 1576 the church passed into Reformed hands. In 1832 the church was destroyed by fire and demolished. What left was the 62 meter tall tower, also known as the Dikke Toren (or Fat Tower) whose construction began in 1454. In summer the tower can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00. For €3 you can climb the tower for the panoramic view.
  • 10 Sint-Willibrorduskerk (Corner Paardenstraat and Hoge Molenstraat). The Catholic community was allowed to build a new church under restriction that it did not look like a church from the outside. The church was first used in 1768. The church was renovated in 1842 and got a new front finally showing that it was not just a house but a church. The little tower dates from 1931.
  • 11 De Wildeman (Hotel ‘t Poorthuus), Havenplein 25. This large house dates from the beginning of the 15th century. It was tastefully renovated in 2006 and now it’s a hotel with a grand café and a restaurant. The grand café on the front has a height of about 4.5 m and has an extremely stylish English appearance. A small haut cuisine restaurant is in an old vaulted cellar that served as a kitchen in the 16th and 17th century.

Do[edit]

There are lot of activities you can do in and around Zierikzee. First of all you will explore the historic centre by foot. Get a city map at the tourist office and stroll around. Look very carefully to the old buildings. Never forget to look up as most interesting can be seen on the upper floors or roofs like decorations, inscriptions and sculptures. In summer you can find lot of terraces on the squares and at the waterfronts to have a drink, lunch or dinner. If the weather is against you, go inside and admire the old atmospheric rooms.

Museums[edit]

  • 1 Camera Museum, Visstraat 12, +31 111 412694, . Summer Tu-Sa 11:00-17:00, Su 13:00-17:00, Winter Tu-Su 13:00-17:00. The Camera Museum tells the story of the history and the development of photography in all its aspects so far. By appointment you can contact us to take a photo in costume. €5/€2.5 adult/child.
  • 2 Het Stadhuismuseum (Town Hall Museum), Meelstraat 6-8, +31 111 454464, . Tu-Sa 11:00-17:00, Su 13:00-17:00. On one of the bells of the town hall is the date 1358 engraved which is probably the year that the building was first put into use. The first small town hall was demolished and rebuilt in 1554. The tower dates from the same year. On top is a statue of Neptune. With a trident in his hand the Roman God overlooks the town. The city council resided here until 1997. These days the Town hall museum is in this building. It is merged with the old maritime museum. Objects from 1000 years history can be admired here. The Town Hall Museum has its own bar area in the courtyard with a terrace. There can be solemnized marriages and registered partnerships. Adult or child €7.50.
  • 3 Museumhaven Zeeland (Port Museum Zeeland), Vissersdijk 2, +31 52166621, . May-Nov: Tu-Sa 13:00-16:30. The museum has two locations: On the outside location (at the Old Port of Zierikzee) is the collection of historic ships. In the near vicinity is the museum yard where restoration works are carried out. The address of the yard is Vissersdijk 2. Free.

Sports[edit]

  • 4 Cycling (Jan de Jonge fietsen), Weststraat 5, +31 111 412115, . Tu-Sa 08:30-17:30, M 13:00-17:30, Th until 21:00. Rent a bike for a day or more and cross the island as a bike offers you more freedom to reach remote spots. €7.50 per day.
  • 5 Sailing, Weg naar de Val, +31 651 329223, . With a maximum of 10 people you can help sailing or just relax on the Pieterman, a cabin sailing yacht. The price depends on your wishes and the posibilities. Always contact before for an offer.
  • 6 Sport fishing, Weg naar de Val, +31 111 421679, . Daily 08:00-16:00. A day fishing on the Oosterschelde with De Hector, an in 1929 built steam tug converted to a passenger ship. The Hector sails with 12 people.

Around Zierikzee[edit]

Dunes and beaches near Burgh-Haamstede
  • 7 Deltapark Neeltje Jans, Faelweg 5, Vrouwenpolder. Mar-Nov: daily 10:00-17:30. Neeltje Jans is an artificial island halfway between Noord-Beveland and Schouwen-Duiveland. It was constructed to facilitate the construction of the Oosterscheldedam. The island was named after a nearby shoal. It is a family theme park with lot of attractions. You can visit the Delta Works and walk through the inside of the storm surge barrier €22.50.
  • 8 Lighthouse and beaches, Vuurtoren 1, Burgh-Haamstede (West over N59). Zierikzee has no beaches but nearby between Neelje Jans (de Punt) en the Brouwersdam (Scharendijke) stretches 20 km of sandy beaches and dunes. Park your car near the lighthouse. The tower is 50 m high but is not open to visitors. Walk through the hilly dunes to the beach over a distance of about 600 m and enjoy the scenery.
  • 9 Watersnoodmuseum (Flood Museum), Weg van de Buitenlandse Pers 5, Ouwerkerk (8km south of Zierikzee. Bus 191 from Zierikzee stops in front of the museum), +31 111 644382, . Summer 10:00-17:00, Winter 12:00-16:00. The Flood Museum is in the four caissons used for closing the last hole in the dyke, which arose during the floods of 1953. Footage give an impression of the rescue, relief and reconstruction with the resources of that time. Dozens of newspapers give an impression of the disaster, as the photo folder, where 12,500 photos are housed. Relief supplies, but also the machinery fot the restore works are shown. On a large model are the numerous dyke breaches stated. €8/€3 adult/child.

Buy[edit]

There are a lot of shops in the center of Zierikzee. Many are retails. A nice shop to look around is the Fair Trade Shop in the Gravensteen. There is an antique and art shop on Havenplein 18 and next door is a candy shop, aptly named the syrup soldier.

Book shops[edit]

Markets[edit]

  • Week Market Zierikzee, Havenplein. Every Thursday 09:00-16:00. Typical week market with about 75 stalls with food, fruit, flowers, textile, shoes, toys, tools and so on.
  • Paardenmarkt (Horse Market), Havenplein. First Wednesday before the first Thursday in June, 09:00-16:00. This annual event originates from the old horse market who first took place in 1389 and lasted for two weeks. Until World War II the market dominated by trade in horses and small animals like rabbits, chickens and geese. After the war the horses disappeared but the horse market name was retained. In fact it became a normal year market. In the 1990s, the horse made a comeback, not in the form of a product but more as decoration of the event. Belgian horses were real eye-catchers that attracted many visitors. Nowadays there are again about 30 horses on the market, not for sale but just to look at. People can take a ride in a Lustig.

Eat[edit]

De Nieuwe Kerk (New Church)
  • De Banjaard, Nieuwe Haven 23, +31 111 412528. M-Th 11:00-24:00, F 11:00-02:00 Sa 10:00-02:00, Su 10:00-24:00. This cosy cafe restaurant has a terrace on the waterfront. They serve a wide range of dishes from simple rolls to grilled steaks for very reasable prices.
  • De Proeverij, Kraanplein 12-14, +31 111 412931, . Every day from 11:00. They promote the Zeeland way of living. €32.50 for a three course menu.
  • Marktzicht, Havenplein 12, +31 111 415195. M-Sa 10:00, Su from 11:00. This restaurant is on the market square. It has a fine atmosphere and good food for reasable prices. Specialities are mussels and fish but they serve good meat dishes as well.
  • Concordia, Appelmarkt 29-C, +31 111 415122, . M-Sa from 10:00, Su from 11:00. Specialized in self made pastries. It has terraces on the market square and serve a wide range of lunch and dinner dishes. €37.50 three course menu only by reservation on Saturday.
  • De Beuze, Havenplein 7, +31 111 417194, . Every day 11:00-21:30. In a 17th century building. Wide range of lunch and dinner dishes. They serve three and four course menus. €28.50 for a three-course menu.
  • 't Genot, Schuithaven 8, +31 111 417732, . W-M 12:00, Su 14:00. It has 90 seats on two floors and a lounge area. €25 for a three course menu.
  • Pizzeria Akino, Fonteine 1, +31 111 413264. They serve 40 different pizzas (max €11) and some Turkish dishes.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Town Hall

Camp sites[edit]

There are a lot of camp sites on Schouwen-Duivenland. You will find two just near Zierikzee. Most camp sites are in and around Renesse, 15km west of Zierikzee close to the beaches.

Cope[edit]

Connect[edit]

The international telephone country code for the Netherlands is 31, the area code for Schouwen-Duiveland (Zierikzee) is 0111. If dialing from abroad, use +31 but then leave out the 0 in the area code.

WiFi is available in most hotels. In some hotels you have to pay for WiFi service. Public free spots can be found at the Tourist Office (Nieuwe Haven 7), restaurant De Proeverij (Kraanplen 12-14) and Rijkse AAR (Havenpark 8).

Post offices[edit]

Go next[edit]

Visit the adjacent islands Goeree-Overflakkee and Walcheren. Both have beautiful little historic cities. Or take a closer look to the Delta Works.

This city travel guide to Zierikzee is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.