Zonnemaire is a village on the road from Zierikzee to Brouwershaven on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland. Its dikes and outlying areas border on the lake called the Grevelingen.
In all probability, the name of the village has its roots in the Sunnonmeri, the water that flowed between the islands of Bommenede and Schouwen around the year 776. A new polder at this place in about 1400 was named after the water: ‘Sunne’ meant ‘water’ ... and later, when nobody remembered that, another word for water, ‘mere’, was added to it.
The town next door, Bommenede, had once been a small, thriving trading city. Repeatedly it was plagued by flooding, and the residents fled to the Dike of Bommenede. Eventually the town had deteriorated so much that it was then joined up with Zonnemaire; the little harbour of Bommenede is still there to remind us. The same fate befell the hamlet of Bloois, itself originally part of Bommenede. Evidence can be found in the Blooisedijk by Zonnemaire.
On the Molendreef is De Korenbloem, the tower mill built in 1873 to mill grain. These days the windmill is used to produce animal feed. The mill is open for visits most Saturdays, and when it is turning.
Physicist Pieter Zeeman was born in Zonnemaire. In 1902, together with Hendrik Lorentz, this scientist was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. The Prize was for the ‘Zeeman effect’: the influence of magnetic fields on spectral lines.
Zonnemaire has a thriving club and organisational life as well as a few campgrounds popular among those seeking peace and quiet. Zonnemaire Buitengewoon is an art festival that you can attend to enjoy music, poetry, art and theatre. It is held on the farm of its originator, Jaap Verseput. Check our events calendar for this and other interesting events in Zonnemaire.