Meliskerke, or Melis, is a proper village in the Walcheren countryside. Just like a village should, it has a baker, a butcher and a supermarket. These not only attract the villagers, but also tourists and residents of nearby villages, coming for their bread and Zeeuwse bolus, a local take on the cinnamon roll.
The village lies in the heart of Walcheren, part of the Dutch Bible Belt. It was first mentioned in a charter from the bishop of Utrecht, when it was called Meilofskerca. Meliskerke has always been an agrarian village with a strong Christian community.
The oldest building is the Odulphus church, with a slightly crooked tower. While under construction it began to sag a bit, ultimately settling 60 cm out of plumb. This charming mistake is now one of the village’s most well-known features.
Meliskerke achieved national fame with the publication of ‘Dorsvloer vol confetti’ (‘Confetti Harvest’). It was written by Franca Treur, who grew up in the nearby countryside. The book describes the life of a girl growing up in a strictly religious family in 1990s Zeeland. The book was made into a film that suddenly put Meliskerke on the map.
The centre of Meliskerke is not large—only 1,500 inhabitants—yet the village has 10 shops. These include an artisanal baker and butcher, a supermarket, a bookshop and a flower shop.
In addition to its daily business, Meliskerke hosts special events in the summer, such as ring riding (or rienkrieë). In that sport, a rider astride an unsaddled horse must gallop along a path and try to stab a ring with a lance. You can find an overview of all the events in Meliskerke in our event calendar.