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Zuiderzee, botters en de typisch Spakenburgse feestdagen

Zuiderzee, botters en de typisch Spakenburgse feestdagen

Spakenburg: A fishing village on the former Zuiderzee. Where once the botters used to fish in the salt water, but where the Afsluitdijk came to an end. The Zuiderzee became IJsselmeer, salt became sweet and the fishing boats stayed in the harbor. Yet that was not the end of the fishing village, because the Spakenburg fish farmers are still standing on markets throughout the country. And not only with fish, you can also find biscuit farmers at markets and pitches throughout the country.

Flevoland was constructed even later than the closure of the Zuiderzee. Where once you could have an endless view of the sea, now land was suddenly in sight. From then on, Spakenburg was situated on a randmeer, the Eemmeer, the most southern of all fishing villages along the former Zuiderzee. Ships still pass by here every day, for professional and pleasure craft. The ports of Spakenburg are always full of boats of all sizes. The water is in the blood and gives a feeling of freedom. Young boys and girls set sail with their dinghies, retirees with their spacious yachts and everything in between. The fishing boats have been preserved and they still sail regularly, with the highlight on the Tuesday evenings when the botter sailing competitions are held, because a fantastic scene, even with the correct position of the sun, in the summer, a sun sinks like a red ball into the water on the background.

Those old wooden barges, of which Spakenburg has the most of all fishing villages, are also maintained and refurbished in its own shipyard. This can be seen at the old museum harbor, right in the center. Always nice to see the activity, or the launch when another botter is ready. Especially the Fishery Day on the first Saturday of September is a fantastic day to take a look around the harbor with the old houses, where for one day everything is transformed into a long way back in time. Young and old walk in traditional costume, fish is baked on and at the botters, the long underpants hang on old-fashioned clotheslines straight across the street. The atmosphere breathes 'as it once was'.

The Spakenburg Days are always held on the last two Wednesdays in July and the first two Wednesdays in August. A large fair in the center, where the old costumes and crafts also have a prominent place. A real tourist attraction that always attracts many people. The day will end with a musical party evening on the square. Recommended!

And there are more fun festivities throughout the year. The Zuidwal, the Solexrees, eel smoking competitions, Spakenburgs Montmatre and, of course, every now and then a real village derby between red and blue. All this is all around the center. The Bunschoter Boeren Beestenboel is also a very nice day out, just on the Bunschoten side of the village. Then take a look at the mill.

The Zuiderzee is therefore no longer there. But Spakenburg does. A square full of cozy terraces, restaurants and cafes and many nice shops. Stroll through the old streets with fishermen's houses and walk along the Kleine Zeetje. Visit a museum and imagine yourself back in time. And especially for people from the city: enjoy the peace on Sunday. It will be a unique experience when you notice that almost everything is really standing still. (A number of eateries are open by the way…)

Feel very welcome in this special village, which is not yet buried under mass tourism ...

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Published 19-11-2020 / Copyright © Hartje Spakenburg