Ouwerkerk is the oldest village on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland. Quite a quiet place, but, like others in the area, it has a good number of local associations.
It was most likely founded in the 11th century. The church at its centre, is dedicated to St Geertruid, around which is the ring of houses so typical of a traditional ring village. The church tower was blown up in the Second World War, but along with the church itself it was reconstructed in the 1950s.
The village is most renowned for hosting the Watersnoodmuseum on the 1953 Flood, and the Watersnood monument. That disaster hit savagely here, claiming one in six villagers. Afterwards, the breached dike at Ouwerkerk was the last one to be closed. The caissons used for the closure now house the museum – the site of tens of thousands of respectful visits annually.
Scattered around the village are some very pleasant campsites, providing a base for some great holidays – the Oosterschelde with its wonders is just over the dike, and the town of Zierikzee with its many listed buildings only a few kilometres off. And down the road, in the younger sister village of Nieuwerkerk, you’ll find all kinds of essential shops, ranging from a baker to a supermarket.
This is creek country, all around. The Krekengebied area, a tangible result of the 1953 Flood, is now open to the public. There are many information boards about its history and its own biodiversity in flora and fauna. Several walking trails and bike paths have been set out, making the area accessible for people of reduced mobility (PMR).