Lying on the island of Tholen, the village of Poortvliet is best known for its large strip of furniture outlets in a Dutch version of a strip mall. Poortvliet was first noted around the year 1200. It started on the banks of the Pluimpot channel, one of several – and one of the largest – to split Tholen island up into a number of smaller islands. It was closed off in 1957 and nature has since converted Pluimpot to a thriving nature area, adored by birdlife.
Located in the island’s largest and one of its oldest polders, Poortvliet was a place of considerable importance in the Middle Ages, as attested by the Gothic Sint-Pancratius church. The tower was built in the mid-14th century, the church a hundred years later.
A tad younger, the Korenaar wind mill was erected in 1710. During construction, it
slipped a bit askew and ever since it has leant a bit to one side. Hey, can happen. It no longer mills corn and has been up for sale since 2010. There used to be another cereal mill, the Graanhalm, dating from 1851. After a fire in 1957, however, all that remains is its stump.
More local history. When you stroll down the leafy Zuid Plantsoen lane, you’ll see an 18th century house with a pretty water garden. The village mayor once resided here.
Skip to the 21st century: Willie Wartaal, the Dutch presenter and rapper in the very irreverent R&B rap group De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig (means Kids Today), was born here in 1982. Real name, Olivier Mitshel Locadia, he soon moved – did he jump or was he pushed? – to live with his Mum up in Amsterdam. His famous 2008 hit ‘Watskeburt?!’ challenges people to get real about what’s happening.
On the village outskirts, the Kruytenburg country campsite lets guests pick their own from the herb garden several times a year. There is an annual fair, besides, end-June. For lovers of ‘herbaria’ of kitchen and medicinal plants, it’s a winning collection of 500+ species, 50 African exotics and 50 forgotten vegetables. You’ll find more on this and other delights in and around Poortvliet on our Events Calendar.