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1918

Launch of te world‘s largest hydraulic project ever

1930

The only genuine Zuiderzee polder

1932

From Zuiderzee to Lake

1942

New land

1957

Mud, everywhere mud; as far as the eye can see!

1968

Land for Almere and Zeewolde

1975

The Noord-Holland to Flevoland link road

2018

From Zuiderzee to Lake, 100 years on

Story

In the header images above you can see how the Zuiderzee Works has made the Netherlands of today look entirely different from the country it once was a century ago. The stories below, which include photographs and videos, provide an impression of how all this was achieved and what the eventual resulting impact of the 100 year old Zuiderzee Act was. 

1. FROM ZUIDERZEE TO (IJSSELMEER) LAKE

1. FROM ZUIDERZEE TO (IJSSELMEER) LAKE

“Once the sea raged with wrath here, but now no more. The Zuiderzee was tamed to become the sweet IJsselmeer. Tractors will dig ditches here now. And boats no longer cut their way across the far horizon” The ‘Zuiderzee ballade‘ of 1959 sketches the impact of the changes resulting from the Zuiderzee Works and how the creation of the IJsselmeer lake effected both man and environment.

 
2.	LELY‘S PLAN

2. LELY‘S PLAN

The Zuiderzee Act was not something that just happened. Plans to close off the Zuiderzee had been around for decades. The Zuiderzee Association was established at the end of the 19th century, and tasked with researching how best to close off and drain the Zuiderzee. Engineer Lely‘s plan was considered the most feasible.

 
3.	THE ZUIDERZEE ACT AND THE ZUIDERZEE WORKS

3. THE ZUIDERZEE ACT AND THE ZUIDERZEE WORKS

The piece of legislation paving the way to closing off and draining the Zuiderzee (the Zuiderzee Act) passed into law on 14 June 1918. This starting shot heralded the beginning of the Zuiderzee Works.

 
4. EXECUTION OF THE ZUIDERZEE WORKS

4. EXECUTION OF THE ZUIDERZEE WORKS

Once the Zuiderzee Act passed into law the work could commence under the auspices of the Zuiderzee Council. A separate Zuiderzee Works department was set up to project manage the hydraulic works and take responsibility for constructing dikes, polders and bridges.

 
5. From Zuiderzee to IJsselmeer lake. This process impacted considerably on a number of fronts: nature, fishing, people and the land usage across the wider region.

5. From Zuiderzee to IJsselmeer lake. This process impacted considerably on a number of fronts: nature, fishing, people and the land usage across the wider region.

From Zuiderzee to IJsselmeer lake. This process impacted considerably on a number of fronts across the wider region.

 
Shipwrecks: a time capsule brimful of stories

Shipwrecks: a time capsule brimful of stories

The sinking of the ‘De Zeehond‘ One hundred years ago, the restless, angry Zuiderzee was the name given to the water that once submerged what these days we call Flevoland. Ships regularly floundered and sank here. When the area was eventually drained, the former seabed finally gave up some of the physical remains of its shipwreck tragedies. These wrecks delivered time capsules full of fascinating historical information. Below is just one story of a Groningen skipper‘s family.

 

Background narratives