Which is easier to pronounce: the village’s formal name of ‘s-Heer Abtskerke or our nickname of Schrabbekerke? Hard to choose, eh? But do come anyway, here to Zuid-Beveland. The village lies amid the evocative De Poel nature area, and close to our shopping mecca of Goes. The previous name, Versvliet, was less of a mouthful when the village first grew on a creek ridge. Then the abbot of Middelburg built a church there, and re-named it ‘s-Heer Abtskerke – the church of the lord abbot. Farming was long the main occupation, and the small population was largely self-sufficient.
The 15th-century Gothic church, consecrated to St John the Baptist, is prominent in the centre. It’s a busy building: besides church services, it hosts concerts and cultural activities, and opens on summertime Saturdays, and National Open Monument Day.
Outside, there’s a ‘vaete’ watering hole, formerly for livestock, typical of Beveland villages.
The village sits snugly within the 66-hectare De Poel nature area, created on a pasture that grew in a 14th century polder. Ah, so this is what polders used to look like.
Its normal idyllic peace is shattered by the annual rally of tractors, when some one hundred engines growl all day, attracting masses of tractor geeks. You’ll find details of this and other events in the Events Calendar.