Schokland is a former island in the Zuiderzee and is seen throughout the world as the ultimate symbol of the Dutch fight against the waters. Visit this dry island to find out why.
- Schokland is the first Dutch monument on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.
- Discover the gorgeous nature and cultural history of Schokland.
- Visit Museum Schokland and learn more about the history of this former island.
Schokland, an ancient island in the former Zuiderzee, has been dry since the reclamation of the Noordoostpolder. It’s a unique place full of gorgeous nature, culture and history. With countless monuments and its unique dwelling mounds, Schokland is an impressive place. Over 160 archeological sites show the development and history of the residents of Schokland. In 1984, human footprints dating back more than 4000 years were actually found here, which can be admired in Museum Schokland today.
The history of Schokland
For centuries, Schokland was a densely populated island where people made a living through fishing and overseas trade. But the ongoing battle with storm surges and floods forced the people of Schokland – with the exception of the lighthouse keeper – to leave the island. Later, when parts of the former Zuiderzee, now IJsselmeer lake, were reclaimed, Schokland lost its function as a beacon for ships and became an island in the polder.
The first world heritage site in Holland
When driving to Schokland, you will notice how proudly the island sits in the polder landscape, a symbol of the fight against the sea. Visit the remains of the lighthouse, the former harbor on the northern point, the church ruins in the south and the Schokland Museum. The cultural history of the island and the people symbolizes the unparalleled battle of the Dutch against the sea. You will immediately understand why Schokland became the first Dutch monument included in UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites.
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Accessibility and parking at Schokland and Urk
Schokland lies in the province of Flevoland at approximately an hour’s drive from the capital city of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Schokland has parking facilities in Middelbuurt and Oud-Emmeloord.
Another way to discover the islands of Schokland and Urk and their surroundings is, of course, through the very Dutch means of the bicycle. There is a beautiful route, the Zuiderzee-eilandenroute (Zuiderzee Islands Route), which leads past the former islands, the architects’ village of Nagele and various splendid museums.