Wednesday, 18 March 2009

I is for...

Island

Now, you're probably looking at this photo and thinking: she's lost it! She's gone completely doolally if she doesn't know the difference between an island and a small mound in the land. Well... you would be wrong. Of course I know the difference, but in this case, it actually IS an island. An island in the land. It used to be an island in the sea, but they built a few dykes and pumped all the water out and hey presto: an island in the land!

This is Schokland and it's one of the oldest parts of the area I live in. Most of it (including where I live, about 15 kilometers away) was only made after 1942, but Schokland was there way before. The island changed shape continually due to the sea: flooding and loss of land were a given and in the end, there was only a very narrow bridge between the northern and southern part. All the flooding also meant that on quite a regular basis people would loose their lives. In 1859 the government decided to close down the island, forcing all islanders to demolish their houses and leave. The only things left were the church (the bigger building) and the keeper's house. Irony of irony: after everyone left, there weren't anymore floods and the island stayed the same size until 1942!
Nowadays the island houses two farms (new) and a museum. Some houses have been rebuilt as part of the museum and it has made the Unesco World Heritage list. Most of the skirting of the island was used for roads in the newly made polder and there's even a road named after it: Palenweg (Poles Road). There have been some problems with the island sinking due to bad watermanagement, but they are working hard at combatting those problems.
So you see: I haven't gone doolally and it is (was) an island!

For more I words please check out: ABC Wednesday

16 comments:

  1. Hweyyyyyyyyyyyyy we are coming your way.....travelling to France via Netherlands & belguim........any chance to meet up?

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  2. Wow. I love it. Very cool (and totally non typical) island!

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  3. Very interesting post...enjoyed reading all the info...it doesn't look like an island, but...

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  4. Interesting post! I'll take your word for it being an island!! :)

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  5. Very interesting and well written story, enjoy it. With the global warming, and sea level rising. May be one day it will be back to be an island again!! Thanks for visiting our blog and nice comment.

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  6. Oh, we have those 'islands' here, and for exactly the same reason! We live on the edge of the English Fens, which were drained by your fine Dutch engineers a couple of hundred years ago. In many of the villages, the church is on the highest patch of land to avoid flooding and perhaps to provide a safe place of sanctuary for those times when the village was under water.

    I don't much like the area because it is so flat, but it certainly has history, and it's interesting!

    I like your island!

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  7. A good "i" word and photo.

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  8. Nice photograph and interestng post. The history is intriguing.
    Thank you for sharing and visiting. Have a great week.
    Smiles

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  9. It reminds me of a film that I used to show in class, "Hold Back the Sea." It was about floods, and polders and the Zuider Zee.

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  10. Brilliant idea to post about Schokland, you clever girl! Very interesting.

    Good to hear that Sophie is doing OK. Hope you get some good news Friday. Will you keep me posted?

    Hugs (en hou je taai!)

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  11. How very interesting--a lovely photo of such a green & peaceful setting.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  12. @Mrs Nesbitt: I would love to meet up, where and when?
    @Grace and Bradley: Well, if Schokland becomes an island again, my house would be under water, so no thank you...
    @Jay: yes, it is flat over here, but since I have to cycle to work, that's not such a bad thing!
    @Anvilcloud: wow! that's a film I would love to see. About my part of the world.

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  13. How fascinating! And what a BEAUTIFUL green it is there!

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  14. That is so cool..an island on land...

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  15. Well that is an extraordinary story of an island, quite amazing and a great post for ABC Wednesday.

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Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!