The village feels like a capital. Rightly so: it is home to council of Noord-Beveland. Records from the 13th century show its site further south, but that was submerged in recurrent floods. It came to its present site in the mid-17th century.
The staid street grid is based on the ‘voorstraat model’ adopted by medieval polder villages, perpendicular to the dike. Town planners of today enjoy their research and study trips to Wissenkerke. The former harbour silted up after the impoldering of the 17th and 18th centuries closed off the Cruijckel creek. Locals have appropriated the nearby Sophiahaven marina.
The harbour, and some kick-starting camp sites and lodgings, have boosted tourism here. Wissenkerke is in a sweet spot indeed: the Oosterschelde is close by, as are the beach, Waterpark Neeltje Jans and the Delta Works, not to mention some exceptional nature areas.
The village is a great place to start or end a walking or cycling trip. You’ll find several routes in and around Wissenkerke in our web shop.
Experienced divers have discovered a new use for the old Oesterput, known locally as ‘glasjesnol’. Briefly used a century ago as a oyster pond, and then as a sugar beet harbour, divers love it for the underwater wildlife. Above water, you’ll see flocks of grebes, tufted ducks and coots – and the odd osprey in the winter. The isolated and unspoilt nature of the Oesterput has also created an admiring band of astronomers.
Of the two windmills in Wissenkerke, the grain mill, called de Onderneming, was built in 1860. This majestic tower mill ceased operating on 1 January 2017, having been put on the market. The Landzigt ground-sail mill was converted to a house in 1962, and is now available as a holiday home.
An annual summer event, the Zeeuwse Folkloreweekeinde in Wissenkerke is a worthy celebration of Zeeland culture. Traditional arts and crafts are on display (some with audience participation), jugfuls of music on tap (all participatory) and tilting the ring (not at all, stand back!). You’ll find more on these days, and other events, in our Events Calendar.