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ZEELAND (/ˈziːlənd/ ; Dutch pronunciation: (_ listen ), Zeelandic : Zeêland_ , historical English exonym ZEALAND) is the westernmost and least populous province of the Netherlands
Netherlands
. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and peninsulas (hence its name, meaning "Sealand") and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg
Middelburg
. Its area is about 2,930 square kilometres (1,130 sq mi), of which almost 1,140 square kilometres (440 sq mi) is water, and it has a population of about 380,000.

Large parts of Zeeland
Zeeland
are below sea level. The last great flooding of the area was in 1953 . Tourism is an important economic activity. In the summer, its beaches make it a popular destination for tourists, especially German tourists. In some areas, the population can be two to four times higher during the high summer season. The coat of arms of Zeeland
Zeeland
shows a lion half-emerged from water, and the text _luctor et emergo_ ( Latin
Latin
for "Ik worstel en kom boven" (I struggle and emerge)). The country of New Zealand
New Zealand
is named after Zeeland
Zeeland
- not Zealand
Zealand
(Danish : _Sjælland_) in Denmark
Denmark
, as sometimes claimed.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 2 Geography
Geography

* 2.1 Municipalities

* 3 Demographics * 4 Religion

* 5 Politics

* 5.1 Provincial council * 5.2 Provincial executive

* 6 Transportation * 7 Media * 8 Namesakes * 9 References * 10 External links

HISTORY

The County of Zeeland
Zeeland
in 1580.

Nehalennia is a goddess of the ancient religion known around the province of Zeeland. Her worship dates back at least to the 2nd century BC, and flourished in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. She was possibly a regional goddess, either Celtic or pre-Germanic – sources differ on the culture that first worshipped her. During the Roman Era , her main function appeared to be the protection of travelers, especially seagoing travelers crossing the North Sea
North Sea
. Most of what is known about her comes from the remains of over 160 carved stone offerings (votives ) which have been dredged up from the Ooster Schelde (Eastern Scheldt) since 1970. Two more Nehalennia offering stones have also been found in Cologne
Cologne
, Germany.

Zeeland
Zeeland
was a contested area between the counts of Holland
Holland
and Flanders
Flanders
until 1299, when the last count of Holland
Holland
died, the Counts of Hainaut gained control of the countship of Zeeland. Followed by the counts of Bavaria
Bavaria
, Burgundy and Habsburg . After 1585 Zeeland followed, as one of the 7 independent provinces, the fate of the Northern part of The Netherlands. North Sea flood of 1953 in a town in Zuid-Beveland

In 1432 it became part of the Low Countries
Low Countries
possessions of Philip the Good of Burgundy , the later Seventeen Provinces . Through marriage, the Seventeen Provinces became the property of the Habsburgs in 1477. In the Eighty Years\' War , Zeeland
Zeeland
was on the side of the Union of Utrecht , and became one of the United Provinces . The area now called _Zeeuws-Vlaanderen_ (or Zeelandic Flanders
Flanders
) was not part of Zeeland, but a part of the county of Flanders
Flanders
(still under Habsburg control) that was conquered by the United Provinces, hence called _Staats-Vlaanderen_ (see: Generality Lands ).

After the French occupation (see _département_ Bouches-de-l\'Escaut ) and the formation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands
Netherlands
in 1815, the present province Zeeland
Zeeland
was formed.

During World War II
World War II
, Zeeland
Zeeland
was occupied by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
between June 1940 and November 1944. In 1944, Zeeland
Zeeland
was devastated by the Battle of the Scheldt and the Walcheren
Walcheren
Landings between British and Canadian forces, and the occupying Germans.

The catastrophic North Sea flood of 1953 , which killed over 1800 people in Zeeland, led to the construction of the protective Delta Works .

GEOGRAPHY

A map of Zeeland.

The province of Zeeland
Zeeland
is a large river delta situated at the mouth of several major rivers, namely Scheldt
Scheldt
('Schelde'), Rhine
Rhine
('Rijn') and Meuse
Meuse
('Maas'). Most of the province lies below sea level and was reclaimed from the sea by inhabitants over time. What used to be a muddy landscape, flooding at high tide and reappearing at low tide, became a series of small man-made hills that stayed dry at all times. The people of the province would later connect the hills by creating dikes , which led to a chain of dry land that later grew into bigger islands and gave the province its current shape. The shape of the islands has changed over time at the hands of both man and nature.

The North Sea flood of 1953 inundated vast amounts of land that were only partially reclaimed. The subsequent construction of the Delta Works also changed the face of the province. The infrastructure, although very distinct by the number of bridges, tunnels and dams, has not shaped the geography of the province so much as the geography of the province has shaped its infrastructure. The dams, tunnels and bridges that are currently a vital part of the province's road system were constructed over the span of decades and came to replace old ferry lines. The final touch to this process came in 2003 when the Western Scheldt
Scheldt
Tunnel was opened. It was the first solid connection between both banks of the Western Scheldt
Scheldt
and ended the era of water separating the islands and peninsulas of Zeeland.

Zeeland
Zeeland
consists of several islands and peninsulas. These are, from north to south, Schouwen-Duiveland , Tholen
Tholen
, Noord-Beveland , Walcheren
Walcheren
and Zuid-Beveland . It also includes a strip of land bordering the Belgian region of Flanders
Flanders
, the Zeelandic Flanders
Flanders
. See also: List of cities, towns and villages in Zeeland

MUNICIPALITIES

The province of Zeeland
Zeeland
has 13 municipalities:

* Zeeuws-Vlaanderen ( Zeelandic Flanders) COROP region

* Hulst (7004273700000000000♠27,370 inhabitants) * Sluis
Sluis
(7004238010000000000♠23,801 inhabitants) * Terneuzen (7004547710000000000♠54,771 inhabitants)

* Overig Zeeland
Zeeland
COROP region

* Noord-Beveland (North Beveland) (7003746900000000000♠7,469 inhabitants) * Schouwen-Duiveland (7004338330000000000♠33,833 inhabitants) * Tholen
Tholen
(7004254440000000000♠25,444 inhabitants)

* Walcheren
Walcheren

* Middelburg
Middelburg
(7004476580000000000♠47,658 inhabitants) * Veere (7004219530000000000♠21,953 inhabitants) * Vlissingen (7004443530000000000♠44,353 inhabitants)

* Zuid-Beveland (South Beveland)

* Borsele (7004226510000000000♠22,651 inhabitants) * Goes
Goes
(7004370500000000000♠37,050 inhabitants) * Kapelle
Kapelle
(7004125220000000000♠12,522 inhabitants) * Reimerswaal (7004219990000000000♠21,999 inhabitants)

The largest cities are: Middelburg: 41.000, Vlissingen: 34.000, Goes: 27.000 and Terneuzen: 25.000 inhabitants.

DEMOGRAPHICS

_ THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (April 2014)_

As of 1 January 2014, Zeeland
Zeeland
has a population of 380,621 and a population density of 210/km2 (540/sq mi). It is the 12th most populous or least populous province and the 2nd least densely populated province of the Netherlands.

RELIGION

_ THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (June 2015)_

Zeeland
Zeeland
is mainly a Protestant region; Calvinism is dominant.

There are also adherents of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
. After being long part of the vast Franco-Flemish Roman Catholic Diocese of Cambrai , Zeeland
Zeeland
got its own bishopric, the Diocese of Middelburg
Middelburg
, on 5 December 1559, which was suppressed in 1603, its territory being merged into the Apostolic Vicariate of Batavia , only to be 'restored' on March 22, 1803 as the Apostolic Vicariate of Breda , which was promoted to the present large (yet counting few faithful) Diocese of Breda, whose See is in the other part, western North Brabant
North Brabant
, and enlarged further in 1955, gaining territory from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam .

POLITICS

The States of Zeeland are located in a former abbey in Middelburg
Middelburg
.

PROVINCIAL COUNCIL

The States-Provincial (_Provinciale Staten_) of Zeeland
Zeeland
are the provincial council, called the _ States of Zeeland _.

PARTIES 2007 2011 2015

CDA 10 6 6

VVD 6 7 6

SGP 5 4 6

SP 5 3 4

PVV - 5 4

PvdA 6 7 4

D66 0 2 3

ChristianUnion 3 2 2

Zeeland
Zeeland
Local - - 1

Party for Zeeland 2 2 1

GreenLeft
GreenLeft
2 1 1

50PLUS - 0 1

TOTAL 39 39 39

PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE

The Provincial-Executive (_Gedeputeerde Staten_) of Zeeland
Zeeland
and the King\'s Commissioner (_Commissaris van de Koning_) of Zeeland
Zeeland
are the provincial executive.

Han Polman , member of D66 , has been the King's Commissioner of Zeeland
Zeeland
since 2013.

As of the 2007 provincial election a coalition consisted of CDA, SGP, ChristianUnion and GreenLeft, with 20 of 39 seats.

As of the 2011 provincial election a coalition consisted of VVD, PvdA, CDA and SGP, with 24 of 39 seats.

As of the 2015 provincial election the same coalition consists of CDA, VVD, SGP and PvdA, with 22 of 39 seats.

TRANSPORTATION

The Oosterscheldekering .

There is one passenger railway, here with municipalities and official station abbreviations:

Vlissingen (vs, vss) – Middelburg
Middelburg
(mdb, arn) – Goes
Goes
(gs) – Kapelle
Kapelle
(bzl) – Reimerswaal (krg, kbd, rb) – connecting to Bergen op Zoom (bgn) ( Noord-Brabant
Noord-Brabant
).

Bus connections (of Connexxion , except # 395) include:

* bus 133: Vlissingen Middelburg
Middelburg
– Vrouwenpolder – Oosterscheldedam – Renesse – Zierikzee – Grevelingendam – connecting to Oude-Tonge , Rotterdam
Rotterdam
-Zuidplein * Interliner Express bus 395: Zierikzee – Bruinisse – connecting to Rotterdam
Rotterdam
-Zuidplein * bus 104: Renesse – Brouwersdam – connecting to Ouddorp – Spijkenisse * bus 20 and 50: see Westerschelde
Westerschelde
.

MEDIA

_ THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (April 2014)_

_ Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant _ and _BN/De Stem _ are the regional daily newspapers in the province.

NAMESAKES

The islands of New Zealand
New Zealand
were discovered for the western world by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman in 1642, although he did not land in New Zealand. Tasman named it _Staten Landt_, believing it to be part of the land of that name off the coast of Argentina
Argentina
. When that was shown not to be so, Dutch authorities named it _Nova Zeelandia_ in Latin
Latin
, _Nieuw Zeeland_ in Dutch . The two major seafaring provinces of the Netherlands
Netherlands
in its Golden Age were Holland
Holland
and Zeeland, and originally the Dutch explorers named the largest landmass of Oceania and the two islands to the southeast respectively Nieuw Holland
Holland
and Nieuw Zeeland. The former was eventually replaced by the name Australia, but the name New Zealand
New Zealand
remained in place for the latter. Captain James Cook of Britain subsequently called the archipelago _New Zealand,_ and soon after British settlers arrived in New Zealand, English became the main language.

The city of Zeeland
Zeeland
in the US state of Michigan
Michigan
was settled in 1847 by Dutchman Jannes van de Luyster and was incorporated in 1907. The city still maintains a distinctive Dutch flavour. Flushing , a neighborhood within the borough of Queens
Queens
, New York, is named after the city Flushing ( Vlissingen in Dutch) in Zeeland. This dates from the period of the colony of New Netherland , when New York was still known as New Amsterdam
New Amsterdam
. The Dutch colonies of Nieuw Walcheren
Walcheren
and Nieuw Vlissingen , both on the Antillian island of Tobago
Tobago
, were both named after parts of Zeeland. The Canadian town of Zealand
Zealand
, New Brunswick, was named for the Zeeland
Zeeland
birthplace of Dutchman Philip Crouse who settled in the area in 1789. Zeeland, North Dakota is another town named for this province and whose earliest settlers were of Dutch heritage.

Paramaribo
Paramaribo
, the capital and largest city of Suriname
Suriname
, has a Fort Zeelandia , the former For