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The village of Kerkwerve on Schouwen-Duiveland is close to historic Zierikzee.

It probably originated around 1200, when the island of Schouwen was dammed. Its name comes from the location of the church (Dutch: kerk). It stands on elevated ground, also called a werf or werve.

The village is one of Schouwen-Duiveland’s oldest parishes. A sister church to the one in Zierikzee was probably established here around 1200, and the village became an independent parish in 1298. The old church was demolished in 1899; its replacement stands there today.

One of Schouwen-Duiveland’s two vliedbergen (flight mounds) stands west of Kerkwerve; the other is in Scharendijke. Their origin was a mystery, but excavations suggest they were to house tower-like castles. Kerkwerve sits just above sea level, in an area known as the Platte van Schouwen. A restored corn mill, De Zwaan, stands in the nearby hamlet of Moriaanshoofd.

The annual Zeeland ‘Open Eel Smoking Championship’ is held in Kerkwerve. Dozens of competitors vie for the title at the Recreatieboerderij Van Langeraad camp site. With patience and precisely weighed ingredients, they cook the eels in smokers. Look for this and other happenings in Kerkwerve in our Events Calendar.

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