The capital of the province of Zeeland has a grand past, which is still visible. The development of Middelburg dates back to the 9th century, to the time, the Vikings moved into Europa. A defensive ring wall fortress was built in order to defend the island of Walcheren against the intruders. After the threat of the conquerors had passed the fortress, due to its good location on the water, developed into a trade centre. Since this fortress was the middle fortress of Walcheren, the city was given the name Middelburg (Middel for 'middle' and 'burg' being the Dutch translation for fortress).
During the time of the Dutch East India Company, called VOC in Dutch, Middelburg was, after Amsterdam, the second most important city within the Netherlands. Over 300 new shops were built on the ship yards in 200 years time. These ships left for Asia to trade in among other things spice, textiles and procelain. The city centre of Middelburg still has buildings that remind of this Golden Age.
After a bombing in 1940, during which a devestating
fire destroyed a large part of the city, Middelburg was built up
again in traditional style. Middelburg has historic monuments
besides modern architecture. It is a city with an individual
character. It has intimate squares, lovely streets, cosy pubs and
special boutiques besides the large chain stores, as well as
galleries and art shops.
Source: VVV Zeeland
Take a look at our Historic Middelburg package that includes a round trip through the city centre of Middelburg.