One of the smaller villages on Goeree-Overflakkee, Herkingen swells to XL in the summer season with water sport lovers. First though, there was Oud-Herkingen but the waves swept it away in 1511. Today’s Herkingen came later, again under the influence of water. Stubbornly staying in the flooded polders, it forced locals to move to drier spots, and other sources of income. Salvation, a tad briny, was found in cultivating oysters, mussels and winkles (‘krukels’). Don’t confuse the latter with the Dutch ‘winkel’, which we also have a lot of: shops.
And that same briny influence was behind the forced removal of the corn windmill from the site where the fish stall is today. The mill’s tower and sails were demolished, and the stump was converted to the fish trade. It’s the only relic of the village’s fishing era. That ended when Herkingen lost its fishing rights, and people turned to farming.
Today it’s tourism’s turn to be the main earner. The number of harbours has doubled: one is for a water sport club, the other is a commercial venture. Its location on the Grevelingenmeer lake draws many a water sport devotee. Other fun lovers enjoy the facilities of the village holiday park.
The Dankbaarheid (‘gratitude’) windmill, a ground-sail model, was built in 1841. After a spell of restoration, it resumed milling in 2000. It’s run by volunteers, and you can visit most Saturdays.
You’ll find other reasons to dally here and in the neighbourhood listed in our Events Calendar.