|Island and Municipality|
|Established||1 January 2013|
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Corstiaan Kleijwegt (PvdA)|
|• Total||422.34 km2 (163.07 sq mi)|
|• Land||262.00 km2 (101.16 sq mi)|
|• Water||160.34 km2 (61.91 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1 m (3 ft)|
|Population (August 2013)|
|• Density||184/km2 (480/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Goeree-Overflakkee (Dutch pronunciation: [ɣu.ˈreː ˈoː.vər.flɑ.ˌkeː]) is the southernmost delta island of the province of South Holland, Netherlands. It is separated from Voorne-Putten and Hoeksche Waard by the Haringvliet, from the mainland of North Brabant by the Volkerak, and from Schouwen-Duiveland by Lake Grevelingen.
Since 2013, Goeree-Overflakke has also been a municipality, consisting from west to east of the former municipalities of Goedereede, Dirksland, Middelharnis, and Oostflakkee. Largest towns are Sommelsdijk, Middelharnis, Ouddorp, and Dirksland.
Despite being part of South Holland Province, the island's scenery and dialect is closer related to Zeeland than to Holland. On the island they speak a form of Zeelandic, namely Goereês (zea) in the west and Flakkees (zea) in the east.
The municipal council of Goeree-Overflakkee consists of 29 seats, which are divided as follows:
|Municipal council seats|
|Reformed Political Party (SGP)||9|
|People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD)||4|
|Labour Party (PvdA)||4|
|Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA)||3|
The former municipality of Goedereede consisted of a number of places. From west to east, they were Ouddorp (with Oostdijk), Goedereede (with Havenhoofd), and Stellendam. Income consists mainly of tourism and fishery. Because of the extended and beautiful beach close by Ouddorp has a large number of camping grounds which is a big attraction for other inland Europeans, mainly Germans. Goedereede and Stellendam both have an extended fishing fleet. Entering the town of Goedereede is like entering a different time. A town that takes you back a few centuries with its beautifully shaped buildings and tall church tower. Goedereede is one of two towns on the island that ever obtained city rights. Stellendam was hit hard in the 1953 storm flood and several monuments in the town commemorate this tragic event. Next to Stellendam lies the Haringvlietdam which shelters the Haringvliet from the North Sea, this dam is part of the Delta Project. On the island's side of the dam a 'Delta Expo' can be found with informative tours that guide you through the dam.
The former municipality of Dirksland consisted of Melissant, Herkingen, and Dirksland. The 1953 flood did not have such an enormous effect on these places, because the lands they are on, lay generally higher than the rest of the island. Dirksland was the biggest of the three and also has the only hospital on the island. The Van Weel-Bethesda hospital is one the smallest in the country, but has an excellent reputation, coming out very high in national hospital grade polls. Dirksland is recognizable from a distance by the biggest watertower of the country! The towns are agriculturally focused and have several campgrounds for people who prefer a bit of rest over the busy Ouddorp area, but still want to be close to shore. Dirksland has an inland harbor with a newly restored gatecomplex. Herkingen lies on the south side of the island and borders the Grevelingenmeer. A saltwater lake that has been disconnected directly from the North Sea by the Brouwersdam, but still connects to the Oosterschelde which is saltwater. The Grevelingenmeer is a large watersports area with the main recreational areas on Schouwen-Duiveland. Herkingen is trying to join in with the tourism and has quite a large size yachting harbor. The town of Herkingen currently hosts several of the biggest modern windmills in the country.
The former municipality of Middelharnis, forming the center of the island, was the biggest of the four with over 17,000 inhabitants. It consisted of Sommelsdijk, Middelharnis, Nieuwe-Tonge, and Stad aan 't Haringvliet. Middelharnis has a shopping area called D'n Diek. This shopping center settled itself on a dike which used to be the last barrier for the towns from the Haringvliet. Now extensive this dike and the area is enjoying a huge face lift. On Fridays in the summer months, there are what is called the Diekdagen (Diekdays in Dutch). These days there are special activities like sports car racing and bicycle racing in the middle of the town. The town hosts a public and Christian high school. Middelharnis has an inland harbor with connection to the Haringvliet. There is also a small beach which can get very crowded in the summertime. The old main street in both towns are very pretty. Starting at the church and ending at the harbor in both towns, they are very identical. In Middelharnis the old main street has the old municipality building. Both towns have the church in the center and the rest of the towns sort of vane out from this center. In Sommelsdijk a sportcomplex with swimming pool is present called De Staver. Stad aan 't Haringvliet has a small harbor with beach. Like most of the towns on the island the old windmill has been preserved. Nieuwe-Tonge's main entry roads are the two dikes that form the edges of the town. And of course a traditional windmill is present.
The former municipality of Oostflakkee consisted of the following places: Den Bommel (with Zuidzijde), Oude-Tonge, Ooltgensplaat, Achthuizen, and Langstraat. Oude-Tonge was the main town of this former municipality with a considerable industrial area. It also has a large busstation. Oude-Tonge suffered most in 1953 flood and was visited by the queen in 2003 to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of this event. Den Bommel is quite similar to Stad aan 't Haringvliet with a harbor and beach on the shores of the Haringvliet. A few kilometres east of Den Bommel there is Zuidzijde, a very small town with a neat looking water tower. Ooltgensplaat is the most eastward town on the island with a harbor on the Volkerak. The town has a very old and beautiful municipal building. This town has the yearly start and finish of De Omloop - a 100+ km walk around the island within a 24 hour period. This event attracts thousands every year either participants or those to watch the spectacle. It is held yearly in the latter half of August. Achthuizen and Langstraat are other small towns nearby Ooltgensplaat.
Gorée in Senegal
- "Gemeentelijke indeling op 1 januari 2013" [Municipal divisions on 1 January 2013]. cbs.nl (in Dutch). CBS. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "Collegeleden" [Members of the board] (in Dutch). Gemeente Goerree-Overflakkee. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- "Postcodetool for 3241LB". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Goeree-Overflakkee.|
||Westvoorne (ZH), Hellevoetsluis (ZH), Bernisse (ZH), Korendijk (ZH)
|North Sea||Volkerak / Moerdijk (NB)|
Schouwen-Duiveland (ZE), Tholen (ZE)