Escorted Rail Tours to Middelburg
Dutch culture, history and stunning meet in Zeeland’s capital city
That Middelburg, capital of the Zeeland Province in the south-western Netherlands, is an old city is immediately apparent thanks to its abundance of historic buildings and remarkable architecture. Less obvious is that almost a third of the city's ancient buildings were destroyed by the German Luftwaffe during World War II. Unbowed, the city painstakingly rebuilt and restored its lost buildings after the conflict, restoring Middelburg to its pre-war glory.
Middelburg originated as a fortified town in the early Middle Ages, its defences intended to repel Viking raiders. By the twelfth century Middelburg has achieved city status and in subsequent centuries became a prosperous trading centre; the second most important after Amsterdam for the Dutch East India company.
Today, the city's historical legacy is remarkably well-preserved. The pedestrianised central area of the city is dominated by the Markt, a large open square where markets are held each week. Here, one of the city's most outstanding architectural gems can be seen: the Stadhuis. Originally built in the Gothic style in the fifteenth century this stunning former town hall was painstakingly restored after sustaining wartime damage.
Exploring Middelburg on foot reveals many more remarkable buildings from the twelfth century Abdji (abbey) complex to several churches which date from the fourteenth century onwards, as well as the city's many shops, museums and other attractions.