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Middelburg is a municipality and a city in the south-western Netherlands and the capital of the province of Zeeland. It is situated on the peninsula of Walcheren. It has a population of about 46,600.
The city of Middelburg dates back to the early 9th century or possibly the late 8th century. The first mention of Middelburg was as one of three fortified towns erected on Walcheren (then an island) to guard against Viking raids. In 844 a monastery was built on the site, which remained in use until the Eighty Years' War, when the northern Netherlands won their independence from Spain.
Middelburg was granted city rights in 1217. During the Middle Ages, it became an important trading centre in the trade between England and the cities of Flanders. Later, in the 17th century - the Dutch Golden Age, it was an important centre for the Dutch East India Company.
Much of the old city center was bombed flat on May 17, 1940 by the German Luftwaffe, to force the surrender of the Dutch armies in Zeeland. After the war, much of the centre was rebuilt as much as possible along prewar lines. The city's archives, however, were lost to the flames.
After the reconstruction, modern Middelburg has re-gained much of its historic character. There are lavish 17th and 18th century merchant houses and storehouses standing along canals, of a similar style as found in cities like Amsterdam. The old city moats are still there, as is one of the city gates, the Koepoort gate. Part of the 18th century moat and defence works however were demolished in the 19th century to make way for a Canal which crosses Walcheren from Vlissingen to Veere. The medieval abbey is used today as a museum and as the seat of the provincial government.
Middelburg has a railway station with intercity train connections to Vlissingen, Goes, Roosendaal, Rotterdam, The Hague, Leiden, Schiphol International Airport and Amsterdam, among others.
Middelburg is an idyllic little town in Zeeland, in the Southwestern corner of the Netherlands. It is also the home of Derk Thijs — the founder of Thys Industrial Designs and the creator of the Rowingbike. Every year since 1999, Thys Industrial Designs hosts the European Rowingbike Championships at the Neeltje Jans/ Roompot Marina about 20km North of Middelburg. The championship attracts competitors from all over Europe. Although Rowingbiking is an obscure event, the quality of competition is very high. Despite all the top notch athletes at the event, the European Rowingbike Championships is open to everyone. Those that are less interested in competition can enter the touring class and join in a 50km ride on the Saturday and a 70km ride on the Sunday.
Each morning all the participants meet at the Roompot Marina and ride to the artificial island of Neeltje Jans. To get there you must cross over the Oosterschelde barrier, part of the Deltaworks project — the civil engineering wonder that keeps this low-lying part of the world from being consumed by the ocean. - Wikipedia
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