The Oosterschelde fishing village of Colijnsplaat, fondly named ‘Colijn’ by the people of Zeeland, is on Noord-Beveland island, famed for its inlets. It is an old village, created when the Oud-Noord-Beveland polder was reclaimed in 1598. The ‘Colinsplate’ salt marsh was partly closed off by dikes, and hey, the village had its name.
In Roman times, north of this salt marsh was the city of Ganuenta, a key layover for heavily laden ships en route to Britain. The Roman Nehalennia temple was later retrieved by Oosterschelde fishermen; its replica is now in the village of West-Zeedijk.
In the 1953 Flood, a freight ship slammed into the dike, miraculously blocking a hole. The village was protected from the floods, something people still remember. There is now a monument called ‘Houen jongens’ (‘Hold on, boys!’) to commemorate the very spot of the miracle.
The village has not one, but two windmills. ‘De Oude Molen’ (old mill) dates from 1727 and ‘Nooitgedacht’ (who’d have thought) from 1864. The latter is also known as the new mill (‘De Nieuwe Molen’).
To this day, Colijnsplaat remains a village a-bustle with farming and fishing. Fishing boats from Arnemuiden, Kortgene and Tholen are moored here – places that became landlocked over time. The boats still needed a harbour, though, and Colijnsplaat welcomed them. The fish quay opens for business every Thursday; why don’t you come and see? The local specialty: Oosterschelde lobster. When you’re here, be sure to visit the old wooden jetty.
Every year in August, the Colijnplaat’s Days take place, a two-day event entirely devoted to fishing. Youngsters can have fun catching crabs, there are boating tours on the Oosterschelde and of course there is fish, fish and, oh, some more fish, for you to savour. Don’t miss the inevitable blowout party at the fish market on the final evening. Find out what else is happening in Colijnsplaat on our Events Calendar.