The Zealand ( Zeeland , literally Ground of the Sea ) is a province of the south-west of the Netherlands, bordering the Belgian border .
The islands and almost islands which constitute Zealand are:
- Walcheren (peninsula)
- Noord-Beveland (island)
- Tholen (peninsula)
- Schouwen-Duiveland (island)
- Sint-Philipsland (peninsula)
The remaining part which is neither an island, nor a peninsula, and whose only terrestrial access with the remainder of the Netherlands was done until 2003 while passing by the Belgium, is called the Flanders zélandaise ( Zeeuws Vlaanderen ). For this year, the Tunnel of the Western Scheldt, which leads Terneuzen to Borsele, has connected the Flanders zélandaise directly with the remainder of the country.
The chief town of the province is Middelbourg ( Middelburg ). Flessingue ( Vlissingen ) is an important seaport, just like Terneuzen. The other big cities are Hulst, Goes and Zierikzee. The number of inhabitants is approximately 380.000.
In most of the province, the population speaks about the dialects zélandais and in Hulst one speaks a Flemish dialect. In the big cities, the dialect is lost gradually, but 60% of Zélandais use it still daily.
HistoryThe first traces of occupation of Zealand go up at the time Celtic and Roman. In 52 before J. - C., Jules César managed to subject the Ménapiens which occupied this area then. The Gallia Belgica , of which Zealand formed part, was located on the commercial road which connected the '' Germania Inferior '' (in particular Cologne) with the '' Britannia '' and was of of this fact certain interest.
During IVe century, the Roman empire declined and Zealand was inserted more and more in the the North Sea. This will last until the Life century and caused the exodus of the population. At the end of the Life century, small colonies of merchants appararurent again and it is supposed that this time the new arrivals were Frisons.
Until the 13th century, Zealand was made up of small seigniories independent from/to each other. Of 1256 with 1290, the count Florent V of Holland took control and was entitled of it count de Zélande . As from this time, the destinies of the Holland and Zealand will be dependant.
With the development of the railway network in the Netherlands, the islands of Zuid-Beveland and Walcheren were connected by dams to the province of the Brabant-Septentrional during the XIXe century. Since 1870, Middelbourg, Flessingue and Goes are connected by the rail with Bergen COp Zoom and Roosendaal.
During the night of the January 31st to the 1953, Zealand was touched by a natural disaster: under the effect of high tides, combined with low atmospheric pressures, a tidal wave broke the dams in several places, submerging the islands. 1.865 people found death and 500.000 were disaster victims at the time of the greatest catastrophe of after war in the Netherlands. To in the future avoid the renewal of such a catastrophe, the Plan Delta was adopted in 1958. This plan envisaged the construction of four principal stoppings as well as several secondary stoppings intended to close the estuaries. These stoppings were built starting from 1960 and they caused beneficial to appreciably improve the connections of the province with the remainder of the Netherlands, the stoppings also being used as transportation route. In addition, the whole of these stoppings reduced the coast of 700 km, creating fresh water tanks, putting an end to salinity grounds, formant of the water levels for the pleasure and avoiding the floods. In 1987 the project was enclosed with the completion of the dam Oosterscheldedam (or " stopping of the the Eastern Scheldt " in French). The economic and social structure of the islands of Zealand since was strongly modified thanks to these new permanent access roads with the dry land. Indeed, the areas previously isolated are now easily accessible conveys some, which also allowed the strong development of tourism.
Communes of the province of ZealandThere were not in Zealand 143 communes in 1812, it is not any more but 13 in 2007 of them: to see the article Old communes of Zealand.
The New Zealand, whose name rises from the province of Zealand.
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