Goeree-Overflakkee

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Image:RMSDeltaSouth.jpg
Satellite image of the Scheldt delta
Goeree-Overflakkee (7 in the image, only partly shown) is the southernmost delta island of the province of South Holland, Netherlands.

From west to east, it consists of the municipalities Goedereede, Dirksland, Middelharnis, Oostflakkee.

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[edit] Goedereede

This municipality consists of a number of towns. From west to east, they are Ouddorp (with Oostdijk), Goedereede (with Havenhoofd) and Stellendam. Income consists mainly of tourism and fishery. Because of the extended and beautiful beach closeby Ouddorp has a large number of camping grounds which is a big attraction for other inland Europeans, mainly Germans. Goedereede and Stellendam both have an extended fishingfleet. Entering the town of Goedereede is like entering a different time. A town that takes you back a few centuries with its beautifully shaped buildings and tall church tower. Goedereede is one of two towns that obtained cityrights. Stellendam was hit hard in the 1953 stormflood and several monuments in the town commemorate this tragic event. Next to Stellendam lies the Haringvlietdam which shelters the Haringvliet from the North Sea, this dam is part of the Delta Project. On the island's side of the dam a 'Delta Expo' can be found with informative tours that guide you through the dam.

[edit] Dirksland

Consisting of Melissant, Herkingen and Dirksland. The 1953 flood did not have such an enormous effect on these towns, because the lands they are on lay generally higher than the rest of the island. Dirksland is the biggest of the three and also has the only hospital on the island. The Van Weel-Bethesda hospital is one the smallest in the country, but has an excellent reputation in the country. Coming out very high in national hospital grade polls. Dirksland is recognisable from a distance by the big watertower. The towns are agriculturally focused and have several campgrounds for people who prefer rest over the busy Ouddorp area but want to be close to shore. Dirksland has an inland harbor with a newly restored gatecomplex. Herkingen lies on the south side of the island and borders the Grevelingenmeer. A saltwater lake that has been disconnected directly from the North Sea by the Brouwersdam, but still connects to the Oosterschelde which is saltwater. The Grevelingenmeer is a large watersports area with the main recreational areas on Schouwen-Duiveland. Herkingen is trying to join in with the tourism and has quite a large size yachting harbor. The town of Herkingen currently hosts several of the biggest modern windmills in the country.

[edit] Middelharnis

Forming the center of the island, this municipality is the biggest of the 4 with over 17,000 inhabitants. Sommelsdijk, Middelharnis, Nieuwe Tonge and Stad aan 't Haringvliet are the towns that form this municipality. Sommelsdijk and Middelharnis are quite special, because they form a 'twin town' something not seen very often. The both sort of form a heart with each town being a chamber in the heart. Middelharnis has lots supermarkets and a big shopping area D'n Diek. This shopping centre settled itself on a dyke which used to be the last barrier for the towns from the Haringvliet. Now extensive building has started north of this dyke and the area is having a huge facelift. Fridaynights is considered the shoppingnight of the week and shops stay open till 9 PM. On Fridays in the summermonths are what is called the Diekdagen (Diekdays in Dutch). These days there are special activities like sportscar racing and bicycle racing in the middle of the town. The town hosts most of the highschools on the island. With a large public and Christian school. Middelharnis has an inland harbor with connection to the Haringvliet. At the entrance of the harbor a new vacationresort has been established called 'Nieuw Zeeland'. There is also a small beach which can get very crowded in the summertime. The old mainstreet in both towns are very pretty. Starting at the church and ending at the harbor both towns, they are very identical. In Middelharnis the old mainstreet has the old municpalbuilding. Now this building is the Rien Poortvliet Museum. Both towns have the in the centre the church and the rest of the town sort of vanes out from this center. In Sommelsdijk a big sportscomplex with swimmingpool is present called De Staver. Stad aan 't Haringvliet is the second town with city rights and has a small harbor with beach. Like most of the towns on the island the old windmill has been preserved. Nieuwe Tonge's main entry roads are the two dykes that form the edges of the town.

[edit] Oostflakkee

Oostflakkee consists of the following towns Den Bommel (with Zuidzijde), Oude Tonge, Ooltgensplaat, Achthuizen and Langstraat. Oude Tonge is the main town of this municipality with a considerable industrial area. It also has a large busstation. Oude Tonge suffered most in 1953 flood and was visited by the queen in 2003 to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of this event. Den Bommel is quite similar to Stad aan 't Haringvliet with a harbor and beach on the shores of the Haringvliet. A few kilometers east of Den Bommel there is Zuidzijde, a very small town with a neat looking watertower. Ooltgensplaat is the most eastward town on the island with a harbor on the Volkerak. The town has a very old and beautiful municipal building. This town is the yearly start and finish of De Omloop - a 100+ km walk around the island in a 24 hour period. This event attracts thousands every year either participants or bystanders. It is held yearly in the latter half of August. Achthuizen and Langstraat are other small towns nearby Ooltgensplaat.

[edit] External link

nl:Goeree-Overflakkee

Goeree-Overflakkee

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