Wednesday, 17 October 2012

N is for...


Nagele is one of the ten 'green' villages surrounding the town where I live (Emmeloord). It isn't big, but it has one feature not found anywhere else in the Netherlands: all the buildings have flat roofs!

After the North East Polder was formed in 1942 by closing the last of the dykes, people started to dig ditches (by hand) to get rid of the remaining water in the polder. They planted crops that would help with the drainage as well and after a few years some small settlements started: Emmeloord, Marknesse and Ens, the latter two also being two of the ten villages, albeit the two largest. Here there were baracks to house the men who worked the land and the infrastructure. 

After the war, work started in earnest, the first houses went up in those three settlements and the first farms were built, attracting farmers from all over the country. The village of Nagele and the other villages started their life then as well. Since all the villages in the area were going to be completely new, it was of course a great place for architects and even though Nagele today is different from the original plans, there are still quite a few things that are the same, amongst which of course the flat roofs. Another original plan was the large common with three schools (Protestant, Catholic and Public) and churches. Even though the common and its buildings still exist, due to the smallness of the village, one of the churches is now a museum and the schools have joined up as well. 

And if you want to know what the other 'green villages' are called, here they are: Ens, Marknesse, Kraggenburg, Luttelgeest, Bant, Rutten, Espel, Creil, Tollebeek and Nagele. None of the villages are any more than 20 km removed from Emmeloord. All of the villages are named after former areas or villages on or in long forgotten places. 

This is the letter N for ABC Wednesday. Why not join?


  1. Hi Mara, great post! Your post and mine could be linked, for I wrote about the history of the Netherlands.
    From Kay I heard that she is coming half November and wants to meet the two of us. May be we can find a place to see each other. I have no car so I shall have to travel by public transport.
    I hope we can arrange something.

  2. Nifty locale
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  3. Such interesting history of the new villages and the way they grew, - I had to look up the word polder. When we built our house just after the war on a veterans' project it had a flat roof, but it was the only one that did......

  4. The houses sit nicely amongst the trees. I always think flat roofs and a northern climate are not generally a good combination.
    Joy - ABC Team

  5. Interesting history and explanation for the settlement.
    I would think the flat roofs and snow wouldn't be the best combination.

  6. Who knew? Interesting post. It's interesting how many changes there have been since the war -- the three schools becoming one, for example.


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