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The area around Bunschoten-Spakenburg is a classic example of how the Dutch have reclaimed land from the sea.

In January of 1916 a flood hit all of the provinces around the Zuiderzee. This flood was caused by stress from a winter storm and dikes at several places along the Zuiderzee (the current IJsselmeer) broke. This particular flooding made it necessary to decide to tame the Zuiderzee, even though the plan had been discussed for a long time prior. The new dams that were to be built had brought opposition from fishermen along the Zuiderzee who would lose their livelihood and other people who feared that higher water levels would result. The decision was made, however to enclose the Zuiderzee and create new land for agriculture and in June 1918 the project got under way. After the dike had been built, the Zuiderzee was changed from a dangerous shallow inlet of the North Sea into the tame IJsselmeer and created 1650 square kilometers of new land. The image on the right is a map of the area showing the new land created in green.

Map of Ijsselmeer
Click the picture to see a larger map

The red arrow shows where the new dike was built and the red star indicates the location of Bunschoten-Spakenburg.

A price was paid for these changes however because Bunschoten-Spakenburg could no longer be the bustling commercial fishing village since the main route to the sea had now been cut off. But today it remains a popular tourist attraction and a haven for small fishing boats and yachts.

The picture on the right shows the harbor for yachts. The statue of the then Queen Wilhelmina was erected as a commemoration of the homes and lives that were lost or altered because of the flooding and as a promise that it would never happen again.


The pictures below show the area around the wharf and inlets to the town. Click on the thumbnail on the left and the image will open on the right


Along the Canal

Vintage Boats

Reclaimed Land




Some information on the floods and history obtained from Wikipedia.org
Information also obtained from my husband, Hein.



Copyright: Rollie Braam - 2000 - 2006
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