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St. Elizabeth's flood (1421)

St. Elizabeth's flood (1421)

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The St. Elizabeth's flood of 1421 was a flooding of an area in what is now 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...

. It takes its name from the feast day of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary
Elisabeth of Hungary
Elizabeth of Hungary, T.O.S.F., was a princess of the Kingdom of Hungary, Countess of Thuringia, Germany and a greatly-venerated Catholic saint. Elizabeth was married at the age of 14, and widowed at 20. She then became one of the first members of the newly-founded Third Order of St. Francis,...

 which was formerly November 19.

During the night of November 18 to November 19, 1421 a heavy storm near 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...

 coast caused the dikes to break in a number of places and the lower lying polder
Polder
A polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments known as dikes, that forms an artificial hydrological entity, meaning it has no connection with outside water other than through manually-operated devices...

 land was flooded. A number of villages were swallowed by the flood and were lost, causing between 2,000 and 10,000 casualties. The dike breaks and floods caused widespread devastation in 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...

 and Holland. This flood separated the cities of Geertruidenberg
Geertruidenberg
Geertruidenberg is a city and municipality in the province North Brabant in the south of the Netherlands. The city, named after Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, received city rights in 1213 from the count of Holland. The fortified city prospered until the 15th century.Today, the municipality of...

 and Dordrecht
Dordrecht
Dordrecht , colloquially Dordt, historically in English named Dort, is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, located in the province of South Holland. It is the fourth largest city of the province, having a population of 118,601 in 2009...

 which had previously fought against each other during the Hook and Cod (civil) wars
Hook and Cod wars
The Hook and Cod wars comprise a series of wars and battles in the County of Holland between 1350 and 1490. Most of these wars were fought over the title of count of Holland, but some have argued that the underlying reason was because of the power struggle of the bourgeois in the cities against...

.

Most of the area remained flooded for several decades. Reclaimed parts are the Island of Dordrecht
Dordrecht
Dordrecht , colloquially Dordt, historically in English named Dort, is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, located in the province of South Holland. It is the fourth largest city of the province, having a population of 118,601 in 2009...

, the Hoeksche Waard
Hoeksche Waard
thumb|right|[[Satellite]] [[image]] of the [[Rhine]]-[[Meuse river|Meuse]] [[river delta|delta]], showing the [[island]] of Hoekse Waard The Hoeksche Waard is an island between the Oude Maas, Dordtsche Kil, Hollands Diep, Haringvliet and Spui rivers in the province of Zuid Holland in the...

 island, and north-western North Brabant
North Brabant
North Brabant , sometimes called Brabant, is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country, bordered by Belgium in the south, the Meuse River in the north, Limburg in the east and Zeeland in the west.- History :...

 (around Geertruidenberg
Geertruidenberg
Geertruidenberg is a city and municipality in the province North Brabant in the south of the Netherlands. The city, named after Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, received city rights in 1213 from the count of Holland. The fortified city prospered until the 15th century.Today, the municipality of...

). Most of the Biesbosch
Biesbosch
De Biesbosch , is one of the largest national parks of the Netherlands and one of the last freshwater tide areas in Europe. The Biesbosch consists of a rather large network of rivers and smaller and larger creeks with islands. The vegetation is mostly willow forests, although wet grasslands and...

 area has been flooded since.

The cause of the flood was not a spring tide like in the great flood of 1953 (see North Sea flood of 1953
North Sea flood of 1953
The 1953 North Sea flood was a major flood caused by a heavy storm, that occurred on the night of Saturday 31 January 1953 and morning of 1 February 1953. The floods struck the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland.A combination of a high spring tide and a severe European windstorm caused a...

), but water from the storm in the North Sea surged up the rivers causing the dikes to overflow and break through.

See also

  • Kinderdijk
    Kinderdijk
    Kinderdijk is a village in the Netherlands, belonging to the municipality of Nieuw-Lekkerland, in the province South Holland, about 15 km east of Rotterdam. Kinderdijk is situated in a polder at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers. To drain the polder, a system of 19 windmills was built...

  • St. Elizabeth's flood (1404)
    St. Elizabeth's flood (1404)
    The St. Elizabeth's flood of 1404 occurred on or around November 19, 1404, the namesake day of St. Elizabeth. The floods were especially catastrophic in Flanders, Zeeland and Holland.The area in Zeeland and Flanders had been flooded 29 years earlier, on October 8, 1375. As a result of the floods,...

  • Floods in the Netherlands
    Floods in the Netherlands
    This is a chronological list of floods that have occurred in the Netherlands, until 1500 most parts of the Netherlands were in Frisia.*838 December 26: A large part of the northwest of the Netherlands was flooded by a storm. Lack of good dikes was an important cause of this flood disaster...

  • list of disasters
  • dispute between Geertruidenberg and Dordrecht
    Hook and Cod wars
    The Hook and Cod wars comprise a series of wars and battles in the County of Holland between 1350 and 1490. Most of these wars were fought over the title of count of Holland, but some have argued that the underlying reason was because of the power struggle of the bourgeois in the cities against...


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