The village of Eede straddles the border of Zeeland-Flanders and Belgium. The place rose to fame nationally when Queen Wilhelmina set foot on Dutch soil here in 1945, in her homecoming after a five-year exile during the war. In the 17th century, the river Ee, then running from through Aardenburg to the ‘t Zwin, provided the border-side spot for the village. In 1813, the river was permanently closed.

For ages, flaxing lyrical was the name of the game here: the cultivation of flax being a key source of income. Flax was woven into linen, before being made into cloths and clothes. Even now, there are flaxen fields in parts of Zeeland, offering a stunning blue when the crop is a-flowering. In Eede, there is an annual day to rejoice over flax, the Vlasdag. Besides the demonstration of many a flaxen use, other former artisans set to a-weaving-baskets, a-smoking-eels and a-mixing-mustard.

Huge discrepancies in the prices between the Netherlands and Belgium prompted a lively smuggling trade route in the borderland. Butter, salt and sugar were peddled a-plenty in these parts. Go for a jaunt on the Smokkelroute, ‘Smuggle Route’, zigzagging across the border region to former smuggling haunts. Our web store has many biking and walking routes in the Eede environs, as do our VVV-Inspiration points. All legal, to be sure.