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Urk

Urk

Urk used to be an island in the former South sea. After the reclamation it became a village in the province of Flevoland. Although it is no longer an island, it has retained its typical Urk character. For example, people live on Urk and not in Urk, and sailing and fishing are still very important. Urk has the largest fishing fleet of the Netherlands. In addition, People on Urk still have their own dialect and national anthem. This anthem is mostly sung on Kingsday of other formal events. One tradition on Urk is the golden earring that is worn by the males. These earrings served as funeral insurance when a skipper stranded. The funeral could be paid with the earring.

History of Urk

More than a 1000 years have passed since the first time Urk was written on paper. Urk is mentioned in documents as an island in the Almare in the year 966 and which belonged to Salland. The island was about 80 hectare and consisted of a high boulder, mountain and a meadow. Agriculture was a big income for Urk, but the pasture was often flooded by the sea. Fishing become increasingly more important and made a lot of income. In 1660 the village Urk and Schokland were purchased by Amsterdam and was ruled by several regents. This lasted until 1792. It was an important village for Amsterdam, since this was the central point for fishing in the South sea. The weapon of Urk was unveiled in 1819. It shows a fish with the slogan: ‘being lazy loaded with a haddock in its natural colour’. This shows how important the fishery was. The fishery grew enormously in the 16th century and at the end of the 1700 century, all men who lived on Urk lived from fishing.

Characteristics of the village Urk

Urk is the smallest town in Flevoland with about 20.000 residents on more than 11 square meter. Due to the reclamation of the ‘Noordoostpolder’ and the creation of the province Flevoland, the village is connected to the mainland. It can be called the most Christian township in the Netherlands. The construction of the big dam in 1932 caused Urk to no longer be an island, so after 1939 it became part of the province Flevoland. It is called the ‘miracle of Urk’ that the fishery is still the biggest source of income and that Urk has the largest fishing fleet in the Netherlands.

What can you do on Urk

Urk is a very nice place to visit. If you go visit Urk, there is no going around the harbour where you can eat a nice fresh fish. The lighthouse is at the highest point of the former island and cannot be missed. In addition, there is a lot more to see. Like the monument, the Ommelebommelestien, the little church, the museum ‘the old townhall’ and a tour around the city on the ‘Ginkiestocht’ trough the small alleys of Urk.