The name Vlissingen had already appeared by the year 620. It was then a fishermen’s settlement. Only from 917 could it be considered to be a village. Its strategic location – on the estuary of the Westerschelde and at the entry to the North Sea – ensured for the city a rich and eventful history in the centuries to follow.
Vlissingen in the 21st century is a modern city with an ancient centre. Separated and some distance from the city is the industrial and port area Vlissingen-Terneuzen, after Rotterdam and Amsterdam the third port of the Netherlands. The Municipality of Vlissingen, with 45,000 residents, forms together with the Municipality of Middelburg the urban region Vlissingen/Middelburg with in total 90,000 residents, the civic and economic heart of Zeeland. Vlissingen also includes the villages Oost-Souburg (10,000 residents) and the nearby Ritthem (600 residents).
The city owes its charm, its structure, its character and its attractiveness to its seaside location. Vlissingen is all in all a lively seaside and tourist resort with an unmatched esplanade and lovely beaches.
Vlissingen’s maritime atmosphere is set by shipping traffic, the pilot service on the quay immediately in front of the esplanade and also by the activities in the ports, the presence of shipyards and the yachts in what used to be the medieval fishermen’s harbour. But also to Arsenaal with its attractions, the sheltered shopping mall and the constant interplay of wind, water and clouds …. All flavour Vlissingen with the tang of salt.