Flushing, Netherlands

Flushing, Netherlands

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Vlissingen is a municipality
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

 and a city
City
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 in the southwestern Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 on the former island of Walcheren
Walcheren
thumb|right|250px|Campveer Tower in Veere, built in 1500Walcheren is a former island in the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands at the mouth of the Scheldt estuary. It lies between the Oosterschelde in the north and the Westerschelde in the south and is roughly the shape of a rhombus...

. With its strategic location between the Scheldt
Scheldt
The Scheldt is a 350 km long river in northern France, western Belgium and the southwestern part of the Netherlands...

 river and the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

, Vlissingen has been an important harbour for centuries. It was granted city rights
City rights in the Netherlands
City rights are a medieval phenomenon in the history of the Low Countries. A liegelord, usually a count, duke or similar member of high nobility, granted a settlement he owned certain town privileges that settlements without city rights did not have....

 in 1315. In the 17th century Vlissingen was a main harbour for ships of the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 (VOC). It is also known as the birthplace of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter
Michiel de Ruyter
Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter is the most famous and one of the most skilled admirals in Dutch history. De Ruyter is most famous for his role in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century. He fought the English and French and scored several major victories against them, the best known probably...

.

Vlissingen is mainly noted for the wharves on the Scheldt
Scheldt
The Scheldt is a 350 km long river in northern France, western Belgium and the southwestern part of the Netherlands...

 where most of the ships of the Royal Netherlands Navy
Royal Netherlands Navy
The Koninklijke Marine is the navy of the Netherlands. In the mid-17th century the Dutch Navy was the most powerful navy in the world and it played an active role in the wars of the Dutch Republic and later those of the Batavian Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands...

 (Koninklijke Marine) are built.

History




The fishermen’s hamlet that came into existence at the estuary of the Scheldt
Scheldt
The Scheldt is a 350 km long river in northern France, western Belgium and the southwestern part of the Netherlands...

 around AD 620 has grown over its 1,400-year history into the third-most important port of the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. The Counts of Holland and Zeeland
Zeeland
Zeeland , also called Zealand in English, is the westernmost province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. With a population of about 380,000, its area is about...

 had the first harbours dug. Over the centuries, Vlissingen developed into a hub for fishing, especially the herring
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

 fishery, commerce, privateering and the slave trade. During the heyday of the Dutch Golden Age
Dutch Golden Age
The Golden Age was a period in Dutch history, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. The first half is characterised by the Eighty Years' War till 1648...

, ships from Vlissingen set sail for the various outposts of the Dutch colonial empire and contributed to the world power of The Seven Provinces
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

.

The history of Vlissingen was also marked by invasion, oppression and bombardments. Because of its strategic position at the mouth of the Scheldt
Scheldt
The Scheldt is a 350 km long river in northern France, western Belgium and the southwestern part of the Netherlands...

, the most important passageway to Antwerp, it has attracted the interest, at one time or another, of the British, the French, the Germans and the Spanish. Floods have also been a constant threat. Vlissingen declined during the 18th century. The Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 were particularly disastrous. After 1870, the economy revived after the construction of new docks and the Walcheren
Walcheren
thumb|right|250px|Campveer Tower in Veere, built in 1500Walcheren is a former island in the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands at the mouth of the Scheldt estuary. It lies between the Oosterschelde in the north and the Westerschelde in the south and is roughly the shape of a rhombus...

 canal, the arrival of the railway and the establishment of the shipyard called De Scheldt. The Second World War interrupted this growth. The city was heavily damaged by shelling and inundation.

The city was rebuilt after the war. In the 1960s
1960s
The 1960s was the decade that started on January 1, 1960, and ended on December 31, 1969. It was the seventh decade of the 20th century.The 1960s term also refers to an era more often called The Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends across the globe...

, the seaport and industrial area of Vlissingen-Oost
Oost-Souburg
Oost-Souburg is a town in the municipality of Flushing, Netherlands .Oost-Souburg was a separate municipality until 1836, when it merged with West-Souburg to create the new municipality of Oost- en West-Souburg.---...

 developed and flourished. Now this area is the economic driving force behind central Zeeland
Zeeland
Zeeland , also called Zealand in English, is the westernmost province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. With a population of about 380,000, its area is about...

, generating many thousands of jobs. Nowadays approx. 50,000 ships annually from all corners of the world pass through the Scheldt. Tourists are attracted to Vlissingen not just because of its history and maritime character, but also because nowhere else in the world do large ships pass this close to shore. http://www.zeegat.nl/.

Etymology


The derivation of the name Vlissingen is unclear, though most scholars relate the name to the word fles (bottle) in one way or another.

According to one story, when saint Willibrord
Willibrord
__notoc__Willibrord was a Northumbrian missionary saint, known as the "Apostle to the Frisians" in the modern Netherlands...

 landed in Vlissingen with a bottle in the seventh century, he shared its contents with the beggars he found there while trying to convert them. A miracle occurred, familiar to readers of hagiography
Hagiography
Hagiography is the study of saints.From the Greek and , it refers literally to writings on the subject of such holy people, and specifically to the biographies of saints and ecclesiastical leaders. The term hagiology, the study of hagiography, is also current in English, though less common...

, when the contents of the bottle did not diminish. When the bishop realised the beggars did not want to listen to his words, he gave them his bottle. After that, he supposedly called the city Flessinghe.

Another source states that the name had its origins in an old ferry-service house, on which a bottle was attached by way of a sign. The monk Jacob van Dreischor, who visited the city in 967, then apparently called the ferry-house het veer aan de Flesse (the ferry at the Bottle). Because many cities in the region later received the appendix -inge, the name, according to this etymology, evolved to Vles-inge.

According to another source, the name was derived from the Danish word Vles, which means tides.

Historical English name "Flushing"


Vlissingen was historically called "Flushing" in English. In the 17th century Vlissingen was important enough to be a town that English speakers referred to and that had acquired its own English name. For example, Samuel Pepys referred to the town as "Flushing" in his diaries. In 1673 Sir William Temple referred to Vlissingen as "Flushing" once and "Flussingue" twice in his book about the Netherlands. Some English writers in the Netherlands also used the Dutch name.

Flushing
Flushing, Queens
Flushing, founded in 1645, is a neighborhood in the north central part of the City of New York borough of Queens, east of Manhattan.Flushing was one of the first Dutch settlements on Long Island. Today, it is one of the largest and most diverse neighborhoods in New York City...

, originally a Dutch colonial village and now part of Queens
Queens
Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. The largest borough in area and the second-largest in population, it is coextensive with Queens County, an administrative division of New York state, in the United States....

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, was first called Vlissingen after the town in the Netherlands. The English settlers who also came to live in the village shortened the name to "Vlissing" and then began to call it by its English name, Flushing, and this continued and grew after the conquest of New Netherland
New Netherland
New Netherland, or Nieuw-Nederland in Dutch, was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the East Coast of North America. The claimed territories were the lands from the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod...

. The corruption of "Vlissingen" into "Flushing" did not occur after the conquest of New Netherland
New Netherland
New Netherland, or Nieuw-Nederland in Dutch, was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the East Coast of North America. The claimed territories were the lands from the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod...

, but in England well before then. This village was the site of the Flushing Remonstrance
Flushing Remonstrance
The Flushing Remonstrance was a 1657 petition to Director-General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesant, in which several citizens requested an exemption to his ban on Quaker worship. It is considered a precursor to the United States Constitution's provision on freedom of religion in the Bill of...

.

The village of Flushing
Flushing, Cornwall
Flushing is a coastal village in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is situated three miles south of Penryn and eleven miles south-east of Truro. It faces Falmouth across the Penryn river, an arm of the Carrick Roads...

 in Cornwall was also named after Vlissingen. Originally named Nankersey, the village was given its name by Dutch engineers from Vlissingen in the Netherlands who built the three main quays in the village.

Even in modern times, some use "Flushing" as the English name of the town and maintain that it is still the correct English name.

Climate



Famous people


A surprising number of Dutch admirals were born in Vlissingen. Among them are Michiel Adriaanszoon de Ruijter, Joost
Joost Banckert
Joost van Trappen Banckert was a Dutch Vice Admiral who worked most of his sailing life for the admiralty of Zeeland....

 and Adriaen Banckert
Adriaen Banckert
Adriaen van Trappen Banckert was a Dutch admiral. In English literature he is sometimes known as Banckers. His first name is often rendered in the modern spelling Adriaan. Van Trappen was the original family name, but the family was also and better known under the name of Banckert...

 and the three admirals Cornelis Evertsen
Cornelis Evertsen
Cornelis Evertsen may refer to one of three Dutch admirals :* Cornelis Evertsen the Elder * Cornelis Evertsen the Younger , nephew of Cornelis the Elder* Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest , son of Cornelis the Elder...

. See further People from Vlissingen.

The English poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...

 was arrested in Vlissingen for counterfeiting coins, and deported from there back to England on 26 January 1592.

Transport

  • Railway stations
    Train station
    A train station, also called a railroad station or railway station and often shortened to just station,"Station" is commonly understood to mean "train station" unless otherwise qualified. This is evident from dictionary entries e.g...

    : Vlissingen
    Vlissingen railway station
    Vlissingen is a terminus railway station, in the town of Vlissingen, the Netherlands. The station opened on 1 September 1873. The station is at the western end of the Roosendaal–Vlissingen railway and has 3 platforms...

    , Vlissingen Souburg.
  • Ferry
    Ferry
    A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

     connection to Breskens
    Breskens
    Breskens is a harbour town on the Westerschelde in the municipality of Sluis in the province of Zeeland, in the south-western Netherlands. Its population is 4,280 ....

    , since the Western Scheldt Tunnel was opened on March 2003 for pedestrians and cyclists only.
  • There used to be a ferry
    Ferry
    A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

     service to Sheerness
    Sheerness
    Sheerness is a town located beside the mouth of the River Medway on the northwest corner of the Isle of Sheppey in north Kent, England. With a population of 12,000 it is the largest town on the island....

     operated by Olau Line. It was terminated in 1994.

Cultural references

  • Vlissingen is the setting for the conclusion of Arthur Ransome
    Arthur Ransome
    Arthur Michell Ransome was an English author and journalist, best known for writing the Swallows and Amazons series of children's books. These tell of school-holiday adventures of children, mostly in the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads. Many of the books involve sailing; other common subjects...

    's children's adventure novel We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea
    We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea
    We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea is the seventh book in Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series of children's books. It was published in 1937. In this book, the Swallows are the only recurring characters...


External links