Zeeland … that is wind in your hair and salt on your lips. A province of dyke and dune, wind and windmills, polders and poplars, fish and pheasant, clouds and cormorants, seaweed and shellfish, sun and sea. A delta area where water has been turned into land. But also where land has been reclaimed by water. And that makes this province unique. Nowhere else in the Netherlands has the landscape been so shaped through the centuries by the love-hate relationship between the forces of nature and the will of man.
A glance at the map or from the air says more than a thousand words. Former islands surrounded by water. With capricious shapes and clearly demarcated robust delta dykes. Here and there, whole bites of land have disappeared. And that has left a coastline that never follows a straight path for long. There are more than one hundred drowned villages – invisible, for they have disappeared under water or a layer of clay. It is not without reason that the people of Zeeland call the sea the arch enemy. They live on land that has been wrestled from it. Their provincial anthem tellingly begins with the line ‘No better loved spot for us on earth’.