This historic city with countless medieval alleyways and thoroughfares and around 11,000 inhabitants takes pride in its 568 historic buildings. The town’s vibrant trading history, fuelled by industry and fishing, left a lasting architectural legacy. Medieval city gates, historic gables, churches, towers and mills adorn the silhouette. Since 1971, the city’s architecture and skyline has enjoyed protected status.
In 2020, Zierikzee is the Netherlands’ best-kept secret destination. The glories of Schouwen-Duiveland’s proud capital are waiting to be discovered. And now the Mondragon is here, Zierikzee is ready to be found. Wander through the old town and marvel at its splendour. The name Zierikzee combines the first name Zierik (Siric) and the Old Dutch word ‘aa’ or ‘ee’ that stands for water. The name first appears in 1156, although the spot was settled as far back as 976. And now we’re celebrating the fact that Zierikzee was granted city rights 800 years ago, which naturally coincides beautifully with the official opening of Mondragon. Did you know that Zierikzee has the largest number of listed buildings in the Netherlands?
Another gem that’s worth exploring is the Town Hall Museum. Unlock the port town’s illustrious history. Linger in amazing rooms steeped in Zierikzee’s past glories, its glittering days in the Golden Age and its involvement in the maritime world stage.
Lose yourself in the old-world charm of picturesque streets like the Appelmarkt, Poststraat, Mol and of course the Oude Haven. Boutiques with real and almost real antiques tempt the collector in you. And how can you resist the delights of our cosy eateries - with home-made cakes and pastries! Zierikzee is also home to the best bar in the Netherlands (yes, really, this bar’s a prize winner!). And it’s just around the corner from Mondragon.
Take an evening stroll along the Nieuwe Haven and admire the yachts moored next to fishing boats. At dawn, the fishermen set sail to catch flatfish and shrimps in the North Sea, or to gather Oosterschelde’s famous oysters. Locals say that if you get there early, you might be able to get first dibs on the skipper’s catch.
The Zuidhavenpoort is located between the Nieuwe Haven and the Oude Haven. Back in the day, the fortified tower protected the city. Now, it’s home to a unique carillon whose clear chimes ring out throughout the centre every hour.
There’s plenty to see and do in the vicinity of Zierikzee. Wine lovers will enjoy a trip to Dreischor to sample the offerings of our now famous vineyard De Kleine Schorre. Their Pinot Gris + has been heaped with prizes. Even better, you can taste and buy all of these traditionally crafted wines. And, of course, enjoy these local wines in Restaurant Cristó. We’re proud of our local vintners!
Just to the east of Zierikzee is the Flood Museum, where you can discover all about the spring of 1953 when the country was gripped by a terrible flood. Dive into this watery chapter of Dutch history, brought to life in four caissons.
You’ll also learn all about the ground-breaking contemporary hydraulic engineering works that have been designed to protect Zeeland and the rest of the Netherlands.
And if you’d like to visit the North Sea coast, it’s within easy reach of Zierikzee. Just fifteen minutes by car or a thirty-minute bike ride. Or, if you’d prefer, why not take public transport. What better way to enjoy beach life all day long—throughout the year—and return to town just as the sun is setting.
Did you know that Mondragon rents out electric bicycles? With an electric bike, you can beat even the stiffest headwinds!