You’ll know that Bruinisse, Bru, is the mussel village of Schouwen-Duiveland the moment you see the huge mussel statue (no fries, sorry) standing on the harbour and overlooking the fishing boats as they jostle at their moorings.
It was at the close of the 15th century that Bru was founded at the command of Anna van Bourgondië, when the marshes at the eastern end of Duiveland has been dammed in.
The old shape of the village was circular but, on 5 January 1945, an Allied bombing raid destroyed dozens of houses, the church at its core and the Zwaluw corn mill.
With a reputation as a fishing and farming community, Bru has long had mussels as a key source of income. After the Brouwershavense Gat opening to the sea was closed in 1971, mussel seeds have been harvested up in the Wadden Sea. In Bruinisse, you’ll see various technologies for mussel seed collection, in their characteristic blue barrels sticking out of the water.
The mussel season begins in July, with three-day long fish festivities when the whole village celebrates, and eats, the mussel.
The intertwined history of Bruinisse and mussels is brought to life in the Visserijmuseum Brusea on Oudestraat. The monument building next door, the Oudheidkamer, has been arranged as an 18th century fisher folk dwelling.
Nowadays, thanks to its position on the Grevelingenmeer lake, Bruinisse has become a popular holiday destination and is attracting increasing numbers of water sports afficionados. This is Europe’s largest freshwater lake (and a cruising area) and it has its own unique fauna and flora.
Lying right on the lake, the marina of Bruinisse was recently renovated. It has new food and drink outlets, shops, extensive amenities, a public swimming beach and ample sunning spots. It is one of the most modern marinas in Zeeland.
Do you want to do Bru? One annual highlight are the fish festivities: mussels galore for the eating, fishing boats aplenty for the excursions, and all tastes of music for the ears. Check the Events Calendar for more details of other events.