The name "Zeeland" points back to the original island kingdom. Almost the entire province (except the dune region) lies at or below sea level. The landscape is a patchwork of polder(s), intersected by creeks and many dikes.
The geography of Zeeland has changed dramatically over time. The many smaller islands have gradually grown together to form the larger (peninsular) islands we know today. Other formerly inhabited areas are now under water (including the Drowned Land of Saeftinghe and the Drowned Land of Zuid-Beveland).
It is a true estuary area with large estuaries of rivers where tidal action is strongly present. This tidal area is characterized by salt marshes, mud flats, plates and gullies.
Due to the many damming by the Delta Works in the second half of the 20th century, most estuaries changed into estuaries (such as the Eastern Scheldt), and lakes (such as the Veerse Meer and Grevelingen). The Westerschelde is still a true estuary and gateway to the world ports of Antwerp and Ghent (North Sea Port).
During the last ice age, Zeeland was largely a sandy polar desert, which after the end of the ice age, under the influence of rising sea levels, slowly changed into a peat swamp. The advancing sea then also drowned this marsh and turned Zeeland into a tidal area about 6300 years ago.
Through reclamation and draining of the peat, after the Roman Period the sea got hold of the area and the island kingdom developed which formed the basis for today's Zeeland. About 1000 years ago, diking of the higher salt marshes began and the constant struggle and life against and with the water began.
SALTY & SWEET
Mussels, sea lavender, samphire,... See all of Zeeland's sting products and dishes via this link.
Zeeland is a province in the southwestern part of the Netherlands, and consists of a number of peninsulas that were once separate islands. The south of Zeeland borders Flanders and is therefore called Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (Zeelandic Flanders).