Visit Holland - The Netherlands

Term Definition

Waterland, as the name suggests, has both lived of and struggled against the water for many ages. Most of its grass and farm lands are situated well under sea level, on old bog layers, and are divided by numerous ditches and trenches. Evidence suggests that people were living here at least around the year 1000 already. Where the IJsselmeer is now, a much smaller lake area existed with a connection to the sea on the west. Extreme floods in the 12th and 13th century created the Zuiderzee, which would later be sealed of to become the IJsselmeer. These floods of course had a devastating effect on the region and brought its people to build dikes in order to protect them from the sea. Floods nevertheless occurred several times, until the famous "Afsluitdijk" was finished in 1932 and the Zuiderzee became the regulated IJsselmeer.