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Wandering alongside Middelburg's majestic harbour, across its Markt and through its winding cobbled streets, you'd never guess that in 1940, German bombers destroyed much of the town's historic centre. Unlike the similarly devastated Rotterdam, Zeeland's capital was recreated rather than redesigned, and retains a historic flavour. The fortifications built by the Sea Beggars in 1595 can still be traced in the pattern of the main canals encircling the old town, and the central Markt remains the pulsing heart of the town that it has been since it was built in 1575, especially during the Thursday street market.

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