Despite the fact that Flevoland is reclaimed land from the former Zuiderzee (South Sea), the area itself has a very rich history. What used to be water has been transformed into an attractive residential and recreational area with a growing number of inhabitants. But a lot of things happened before that!
The Zuiderzee constituted a considerable threat to the surrounding areas. Increasingly, storm tides led to dangerous circumstances in which thousands of people lost their lives; this was sufficient reason to drain part of the Zuiderzee. A start was made in 1924 when the 2.5-kilometre long Amsteldiepdijk between the mainland of Noord-Holland and the island of Wieringen was closed. Then the Afsluitdijk was built, a dyke between Wieringen and the Friesland mainland. Creating a dyke in the sea seemed an impossible job, but it became reality in 1932. A monument was erected on the place where the dyke was closed, which states the following: ‘A nation that lives, builds on its future’.
The area was reclaimed bit by bit, eventually resulting in a new Dutch province: Flevoland. The museum Nieuw Land in Lelystad has an extensive collection of objects, documents, maps, film material, instruments, and tools to tell the story of the most important reclamation project ever.