"Amazing island even now it's not an island anymore" Urk by Pavlik_NL
Urk Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 47 photos
Not even a hundred years ago, Urk, was an island in the middle of the Southern Sea. This ended when the Dutch built the "Afsluitdijk" (= enclosing dike), a dike that stretches from the Northern tip of Holland to Friesland and closed the Southern Sea, making it into a lake. The salt water turned slowly sweet and huge poldering projects started. One of them created the "NoordOostPolder" (= North East Polder). For a town that lived from fishing, these changes were quite devistating, but ... Urk is know to have a fighting spirit (what do you want, being a little island from only a few square kilometres situated in what used to be one of the roughest seas in the world. The fishermen, bold as they were, choose to start fishing far outside the inland waters: on the North sea. This brought them fortune (and risks) and today the Urker fisher-fleed is the largest in NL. However much Urk is now attached to the mainland, it still is an island in some perspectives. One can still see that the old Urk is lifted from it's environment and on that little hill it's like walking in a little museum. The fishremen's houses are like they used to be. The green facades and nice little gardens in a criss-cross of little alleys.
Walking through these streets one also can notice the slight elevation, marking that once here the waves were constantly bashing off parts of the clay humb in the sea. Remarkable is the little lighthouse - first just a fire-beaken - that has a history of being replaced several times as it came to collapse into the wild waters. It was however so important for Amsterdam shipping that Urk had long time actually a kind of contract.
The other remarkable building is the little church by the sea and it's surrounding graveyard. Across it on a little square one can find the fishermen's monument ... really a place to become quite and understand the difficulties of this profession (especially in the old days). More in my tips about all these itmes.
Along the dike to Lemmer there are 50 windmills (Essent) of the windmill-park in the Nord-Oost Polder. The polderlands... more travel advice
The land is half surrounding Urk, making it a part of the Noord-Oost-Polder. The land is however still a few meters... more travel advice
Written Jul 12, 2003
Images of the harbour of Urk
Written Jul 12, 2003
Urk: houses and more ...
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Urk Travel Guide
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