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Vlissingen is a municipality and a city in the southwestern Netherlands on the former island of Walcheren. With its strategic location between the Scheldt river and the North Sea, Vlissingen has been an important harbour for centuries. It was granted city rights in 1315. In the 17th century Vlissingen was a main harbour for ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). It is also known as the birthplace of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter.
Vlissingen is mainly noted for the wharves on the Scheldt where most of the ships of the Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine) are built. The fishermen’s hamlet that came into existence at the estuary of the river Scheldt 620 A.D. has grown over a 1,400-year span into a tourist attraction and into the third-most important port of the Netherlands. Because of Vlissingen's favourable geographical situation, the Counts of Holland and Zeeland had the first harbours dug. Nowadays 50,000 ships annually from all corners of the world pass through the river Scheldt. Tourists are very pleased with this phenomenon, because nowhere else in the world do ships pass this closely to the shore.
The derivation of the name Vlissingen is unclear, though most scholars relate the name to the word fles (bottle) in one way or another.
According to one story, when saint Willibrord landed in Vlissingen with a bottle in the seventh century, he shared its contents with the beggars he found there while trying to convert them. A miracle occurred, familiar to readers of hagiography, when the contents of the bottle did not diminish. When the Bishop realised the beggars did not want to listen to his words, he gave them his bottle. After that, he supposedly called the city Flessinghe.
Another source states that the name had its origins in an old ferry-service house, on which a bottle was attached by way of a sign. The monk Jacob van Dreischor, who visited the city in 967, then apparently called the ferry-house het veer aan de Flesse (the ferry at the Bottle). Because many cities in the region later received the appendix -inge, the name, according to this etymology, evolved to Vles-inge.
According to another source, the name was derived from the Danish word Vles, which means tides. Flushing, a colonial village in New York, now part of New York City, is named after Vlissingen. -Wikipedia
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