Abdij

sights / Historic

Abdij information

This huge abbey complex dates from the 12th century and houses the regional government as well as three churches. It features a vast inner courtyard, the Abdijplein , unlike anything elsewhere in the Netherlands; it echoes with history.

The three churches are all in a cluster and reached through one tiny entrance (no ostentations for the Zeelanders!). The Wandelkerk dates from the 1600s and holds the tombs of Jan and Cornelis Evertsen, admirals and brothers killed fighting the English in 1666. It encompasses Lange Jan ('Long John'; it has its own locally brewed beer named after it), the 91m tower (207 steps).

The other two churches are reached through the Wandelkerk. Just east, the Koorkerk has parts that date from the 1300s. Just west is Nieuwe Kerk , which has a famous organ and dates from the 16th century. All surround a gem of a cloisters with a tiny herb garden.

The Zeeuws Museum is housed in the former monks' dormitories, and was given a recent massive revamp. Its collection is excellent, especially the traditional garb, which must have been an expensive burden for people barely eking out a living farming.