Located on eastern Schouwen-Duiveland island, Oosterland is one of its largest villages. It hums to the energy of a busy voluntary sector of associations, societies and clubs. Not that its easterly location is how it came by the name. The village took hold in the 14th century when local mudflats were impoldered, and was named ‘Oesternieuwelant’ – more likely derived from ‘oesters’ (oysters). And that became Oosterland.

Centuries later, a certain Suzanna Maria Cau, the Lady of the Manor of Oosterland, Sirjansland and Oosterstein, founded the cottage hospital on Sint Joostdijk. She did not live to see its construction in 1754 when it afforded free lodging to 14 poor families. After being bombed in World War Two, it was painstakingly rebuilt. The plaque of the coat of arms of the families of Cau and Lonque survived, though.

Mill Oosterland

Less assertive in the game of names, the Oosterlandse Molen windmill from 1752 has always been anonymous – or named after its local noble owners. It no longer works, but opens for visits by appointment.

Oosterland church tower

One listed monument is the Roman Catholic Sint Jodocus church, on the Torenplein square. The tower, built around 1400, has a gable roof. The church building itself followed a century later. The village is piously religious, witness the fact that it has four churches.

Walking in Ouwerkerk

Nearby Ouwerkerk is the site of the Watersnoodmuseum which recounts the tragedy of the 1953 flood disaster. It slashed deep wounds in the community and the landscape, with a heavy loss of life.