The good people of Koudekerke are known as ‘moppenvreters’, namely “those who munch ‘moppen’”, a frugally uninspired biscuit, with not even a hint of naughtiness. It seems that before real cakes came on the market, the only cookies to be had here were the ‘moppen’.
Koudekerke was founded around 1067, between three ‘vliedbergen’, mounds of earth to which people fled during floods. A typical circular village, its streets cluster in a ring around the central church. When 17th century Middelburg flourished as a harbour and trade hub, several wealthy merchants built manor houses outside Koudekerke: Huis der Boede and Huis Ter Hooge are living reminders of those golden days.
The Michaëlskerk was built on the Dorpsplein square in the 17th century. It replaced a Gothic building, which had taken the place, long before, of a timber place of worship. The church was seriously damaged, as so many others in Walcheren, during the Eighty Years War. In 1963, its exterior was restored.
The De Lelie corn mill was built in 1872 to replace a predecessor destroyed by fire. Early in the 1980s, it was given a thorough restoration. When the wind is up – and it’s a Saturday – the mill still functions, and can be visited.
In the Second World War, Koudekerke was part of the Atlantikwall project, as still seen by many still intact bunkers and the tank moat. The Bunkerroute walking trail will open the wall, and your eyes.
Huis Der Boede
The stately Huis der Boede stands on the outskirts of the village, fostering its long history of numerous owners. The present manor was built after a fire in 1745, and until the Second World War private individuals resided there. After the war, it became a nursing home for the war wounded. Today, there are plans to build villa houses on the grounds and to open up Der Boede again as the manor of old.
Surrounded by arable fields and meadows, Koudekerke is on the main route to the coastal village of Dishoek. Earlier, this was a lookout post, nestling at the foot of the dunes, Nowadays, it is a tourist centre, with holiday homes, hotels and restaurants.
The finely woven ‘FIKS’ network of bike paths and marked walking trails is a great way to get to know the island of Walcheren. One bike route, ‘Boulevard en Bolwerkenroute’ combines the chic of Vlissingen boulevard with memories of old ramparts, while the themed 'Bunkerroute' opens the Atlantikwall up to new generations. An up-to-date listing of events in Koudekerke is here in the Events Calendar.