Cycle route Neeltje Jans
Zierikzee, Neeltje Jans
Many ships used to carry the name 'Neeltje Jans', just like the sandbank in the Oosterschelde. But why this name?
In earlier times, people believed in the patron goddess Nehalennia. The goddess was supposed to protect travellers, such as seafarers and traders. That could explain why many altars to this goddess have been found near the mouth of the Oosterschelde at Colijnsplaat and Domburg. Over the years the name Nehalennia has been corrupted into Neeltje Jans. In order to be blessed, many sailors gave their ship the name Neeltje Jans. Also the ship which, despite its name, ran aground on a sandbank. On this same sandbank the work island for the storm surge barrier was eventually built and it was given the name Neeltje Jans again.
Now it is an information centre and nature reserve, a joint project of Het Zeeuwse Landschap and Natuurmonumenten. In this project, the nature areas are restored to their former appearance. As a result, meadow, marsh and coastal birds will have plenty of room again. This cycle route is therefore ideal for bird lovers!
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