Zwinstreek is also partly in the Meetjesland
Maldegem and Sint-Laureins are part of a glorious Flemish Past
During the early Middle Ages, the Zwinhaven brought prosperity to Bruges but also to Ghent. The
Zwinstreek now lies in a tranquil area between Knokke-Heist, Damme, Sluis and the Meetjesland
municipalities of Maldegem and Sint-Laureins. The traces of a glorious past are not always so
obvious, but still very much present. This is the cradle of Flanders' prosperity (so a little in the
Zwinstreek in the Meetjesland, how come?
The Meetjesland creek area owes a lot to ancient floods that affected "De Honte," present-day Westerschelde, during the Middle Ages. De Honte was less of an estuary and more of a delta, a jumble of channels, canals, inlets, and flood plains. The most well-knownestuary towards the sea was "Het Zwin," heading towards Meetjesland and connected to the Passageule. This is where we find the source of the creek area, but also the origins of settlements such as Middelburg-in-Vlaanderen and Watervliet, which had lofty ambitions during Flanders' early medieval economic boom. We like to say that Meetjesland fits into West Flanders and Zeeland Flanders like a puzzle piece. Here in Maldegem and Sint-Laureins, this is via the Zwinstreek.
Eight ways to experience the Zwinstreek with us
Together with the municipalities of Knokke-Heist, Damme and Sluis, our aim as the Meetjesland section was to make the Zwinstreek 'tangible' for you, our visitor. There are eight ways to experience our region:
The Zilte (Salty) Zwinstreek: our creek area and polders still reveal many traces of the sea. It's not uncommon to see mussel and oyster shells unearthed in the ploughed fields. The salinity can also be seen in plant growth as well. And we are a region of headwinds, sea breezes that can be fairly gusty.
The artisanal Zwinstreek: in 'our' part of the Zwinstreek, farmers are the artisans par excellence. Try our local produce.
The vibrant Zwinstreek: we are also a dynamic region. There's a lot going on in our villages. Maldegem, for example, offers visitors a fun combination of shopping, enjoyment andleisure. So we're definitely part of the enjoyable Knokke-Sluis-Damme belt. Life in the brewery!
The natural Zwinstreek: as a fascinating and thriving biotope, our creeks are a veritable asset within the Zwinstreek. During the winter, many thousands of birds come here to stay for the season. Unrivalled nature.
The Zwinstreek at war: the Meetjesland has had its fair share of past conflict. We were also on the Dutch-Spanish lines, plus this is where the Canadians and Poles fought in '44 to safeguard the port of Antwerp, that other Flemish world port. Our Canada Poland Museum bears witness to this.
The Zwinstreek without borders: look out for the border village of Middelburg on the 'three-Flanders point' between Zeeland, West Flanders and East Flanders. With its unique history and its Flemish Master in situ, a surprising and valuable painting in the church.
The submerged Zwinstreek: water is our region's main theme: the creeks, the parallel canals (the Stinker and the Blinker), the Ede, ...
The tasty Zwinstreek: also in gastronomic terms can the Meetjesland part of the Zwinstreek hold its own against the culinary giants of Knokke-Heist, Damme and Sluis. Our 'Sentse eel' is a good example. But we've also got proper tasty addresses in Maldegem centre or in the polders, check out Tripadvisor.