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Veere | 5 x things to do in the most charming fortified town of Zeeland

by Steven

Napoleon came to Veere in Zeeland in 1810 and 1811 and saw that everything was all right. The minor general inspected the fortification of several Zeeland towns against a possible attack by the British. And in the meantime, Napoleon must have secretly enjoyed the beautiful Veere, located on Lake Veere.

With its little old houses, nice streets, cozy atmosphere and because of its beautiful location on the Veerse Meer, a visit to this town is an absolute must. It is not big, has only 1,600 inhabitants and yet you can spend a whole day here. Are you going to Zeeland soon? Then don’t miss Veere on the island of Walcheren…

What would you like to know about Veere in Zeeland?


The harbor of Veere in Zeeland
View of the harbor of Veere and the Veerse Meer. The photo was taken from Queen Beatrix’s bridge officially opened in 1981 during her first Queen’s Day.

A brief history of Veere


A visit to this beautiful town in Zeeland cannot begin without knowing its history. Because do you know what the connection is between Veere and Scotland? And what was Napoleon doing here in 1810? Read on and you’ll find out soon enough… It all started around 1200 when this place was known as ‘kampvere’.

1509 – A storm surge ravages Veere
We all know that in 1953 a great flood-ravaged Zeeland. But in 1509 there was also a storm surge, called the second Cosmas and Damian flood. It affected not only Zeeland but also Groningen and Friesland. The polders near Middelburg were flooded and Veere had a hard time.

1541 – Scottish wool provides economic growth
In 1444 Wolfert VI van Borselen, stadholder of a.o. Zeeland married the Scottish Mary Stuart. It was the beginning of the Scottish influence in Veere. In 1541 Veere was chosen as a warehouse for Scottish wool. This leads to economic prosperity & prosperity. Many Scots come to Veere to trade and in the year 1600 300 of the 3000 inhabitants have Scottish nationality.

1810 – A visit by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
During the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648) Veere defends itself against the rule of the Duke of Alva. Defensive work was constructed. About 200 years later, Emperor Napoleon, who in the meantime had annexed the Netherlands to France, reinforced the town of Veere. He himself came 2 times to check up on things and saw that it was all right. At least for the time being …

The shopping street of Veere, Walcheren
Grab a terrace? That’s possible too, like here on the market square.

Sightseeing – 5 x things to see and do in Veere


Surely a town of 1,600 inhabitants can be seen within an hour? Nothing could be further from the truth, because Veere has so much to offer that you can spend a whole day here. Are you a lover of art and culture? Then this is the place to be. Do you like to make a nice walk? Fine, this is the place to be. Would you like to enjoy the beautiful nature? This is the place to be. And do you want to end the evening with a nice dinner on the nice terraces in this fortified town? Then you’ve probably guessed it… You can do it all in the nicest place in Zeeland…

1. Visit Museum Veere in the Scottish houses and the beautiful town hall


A visit to Veere is not complete without visiting Museum Veere. This museum is housed in two buildings: the Scottish houses at the harbor and the town hall. The museum gives a good picture of the history of the town and has several special objects in its possession. For example, you will find here the gilded cup of Count Maximilian, made in 1546 by order of the German Emperor Charles V. The town hall also has a collection of statues from the 16th century that adorned the facade of the town hall for years. Already curious? Then don’t miss this museum.

The Great Church or the Church of Our Lady in Veere
The Church of Our Lady or the Great Church. Today it is an experience and culture center.

2. Discover the Great Church of Veere


Isn’t this church a bit too big for a village of 1600 inhabitants? Wherever you stand, you won’t lose sight of this building. And to think that the big thick tower was probably twice as high as it is now.

It all started around 1330 with the construction of a small church. In 1465 the wife of Wolfert VI van Borselen, the Scottish Mary Stuart, was buried in the church. After that, from 1480 to 1520, this church grew into a “large church. After the Iconoclasm of 1566, the building was used by the Protestants. Part of the church was also used as a Scottish chapel since Veere had 300 Scottish inhabitants at that time.

In 1686 the church was badly damaged by a fire. And in 1809 the British bombed the building causing it to be badly damaged. Today the large church is used as an experience and cultural center. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

A walk on the ramparts of Veere
View of the ramparts and the Veere Lake

3. Take a walk over the ramparts of Veere


West of the harbor are the city walls. At this spot, during the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648), a line of defense was built to protect Veere from the Spanish Duke of Alva (1507-1582).

After 230 years of relative peace, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte gave the order to strengthen Veere against the British enemy. This line of defense had to protect the access roads of the city and consisted of 6 bastions. And in 1810 Napoleon came to Veere to take a look!

To experience a part of this history yourself, a beautiful walking route has been mapped out. The starting point is across the Scottish houses behind the restaurant De Werf. More information about this route can be found here (only Dutch).

Molen de Koe (the cow mill) on Walcheren, Zeeland
On a walk along the ramparts, you will also come across this beautiful mill: Molen De Koe.

4. And have you seen the rest of Veere?


Have you seen the Great Church? And have you discovered the town hall and the Scottish houses? And have you seen the rest of Veere? Because a walk through the streets of this authentic town will take you past cute little houses, beautiful monumental buildings, and small authentic stores. And say it yourself … the pictures below say enough how colorful it is here?

Tip: Don’t forget to stop by Oma’s candy store for authentic Dutch candy. You can find her store near the Grote Kerk.

5. Take a boat trip on the Veerse Meer


Would you like to end your day with a breath of fresh air? Then buy a ticket and take a boat trip on the Veerse Meer. Between May and September, it is possible to take a cruise. There are trips of 1 or 2 hours. The boat leaves between 11 and 16 hours and prices for adults start at € 9.80. For more information visit the website of Rondvaart Veere.

Make a boat trip on the Veerse Meer of 1 or 2 hours

Accommodation – Staying overnight in this fortified town?


Did you stick around and would you like to spend the night in this historic town? You can! There are some interesting hotels or guesthouses to be found in Veere. But do you really want to spend the night in a special historical location? Then choose Hotel Auberge de Campveerse Toren. This hotel is located on Lake Veere and has a special history. Since 1400, guests have been welcomed in this building. A very special guest was William of Orange, founding father of the Netherlands. In 1575 he and Charlotte de Bourbon celebrated their wedding. Isn’t that special? If you need a nice location for a party…

Looking for accommodation? Then click here for more nice hotels and guesthouses in Veere

Finally, looking for a nice restaurant? Of course you can go to Auberge de Campveerse Toren. But also at the harbor near the Scottish houses, you will find several nice restaurants. Also on the market square, you will find a few nice cafes and restaurants, including ‘T Waepen van Veere.

Auberge de Campveerse Toren: on the other side you will find the Veerse Meer.

Transportation – How do you get to Veere on Walcheren?


Veere is located about 8 kilometers north of Middelburg on the island of Walcheren. If you have a hotel in Middelburg it is a nice idea to visit Veere by bike. Are you coming from Kamperland? Then you can take the bike on the boat. Between 10 and 17 hours, a boat leaves almost every hour for Veere.

Another possibility is to come by car. At about 500 meters south of the village are two parking lots where you can park for free. Also in the center of town near the Veerse Meer is a parking lot. However, in the summer there is paid parking.

A day trip to Zierikzee? Discover this special monument city in Zeeland

A boat on Lake Veere
A boat on the lake Veerse Meer

Do you have any tips, remarks, or ideas about Veere in Zeeland? Then feel free to leave a message below.

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