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Canal through Walcheren

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Canal through Walcheren
Looking toward Middelburg from a bridge at Souburg.
Length14.5 km (9 mi)
Original number of locks3
Construction began1870
Date completed1873
Start pointVeerse Meer
End pointWestern Scheldt

The Canal through Walcheren in the Netherlands crosses the east of Walcheren. It connects the Westerschelde and the Oosterschelde.


In the 15th and 16th century Middelburg, capital of Zeeland was booming. The city was on Walcheren Island, and had a connection to the sea just to the east via the small river Arne. In 1535 the Havenkanaal was opened,[1] and Middelburg continued in prosperity. However, in the 17th and 18th century Middelburg's connections to the sea all silted up.[2]

In 1809 King Louis Bonaparte decided to construct the New Harbor Canal, which connected Middelburg to Veere. After the annexation by France this work was halted. After independence was regained in 1813, work continued. It was made possible by a national subsidy (a loan without interest) of 1,000,000 guilders. Middelburg would repay 25,000 guilders a year. The canal was opened in August 1817, but the prosperity of Middelburg was not restored.[3]


Railway map of 1897
Railway map of 1897

In 1871 the Sloedam was constructed for the Roosendaal–Vlissingen railway. The dam connected the islands Walcheren and Zuid-Beveland, and cut off the Sloe, which was the southern approach to Middelburg over water. Therefore, and to profit from the expected benefits of the railway, the new Canal through Walcheren was dug.

On the north side of Middelburg, the Canal through Walcheren follows the bed of the Havenkanaal (New Harbor Canal) of 1817.[3] In Middelburg the canal passed along the fortifications. Here it led to the demolishment of the Vlissingen Gate. In Vlissingen the canal was connected to extensive new harbor works.

The railroad entering Walcheren from the east does not cross this canal, but bends south and runs along it.


  • Hollestelle, Leo (2009), "Een majestueuze entree, Het havenkanaal van Middelburg 1535-1816" (PDF), De Wete, Heemkundige Kring Walcheren (, 38 (1): 3–17


This page was last edited on 6 March 2021, at 10:03
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