The capital of Zeeland has a rich history that is still visible today. Middelburg was established in the 9th century during the Viking invasion of Europe. Circular defences were built on the island of Walcheren as protection against invasion, and when the threat of attack had subsided, this fortress started to benefit from its position on the water´s edge and developed into a centre of trade.
This was the middle of the fortresses on the island of Walcheren, which is where the city gets its name from: Middelburg meaning middle fortress. Middelburg was the second most important city in the Netherlands during the era of the Dutch East India Company, preceded only by Amsterdam. In 200 hundred years, more than 300 new ships were built in the city´s shipyard and trading vessels ventured to Asia to trade in goods such as spices, textiles and porcelain.
Middelburg still boasts historical buildings in its city centre that date from this golden age. The city was bombed in 1940 and the subsequent fires destroyed large parts of the city. Since then, Middelburg has been rebuilt in traditional style. In addition to historical monuments, Middelburg is home to a large array of modern architecture. Middelburg is a city with its own identity. It has intimate courtyards, pleasant squares, streets lined with cafés, well -known high street names, unique boutiques and art galleries.