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The villages

History of Souburg and Ritthem

The villages of Souburg and Ritthem have (like Vlissingen) a long history. The earliest reference to the sources for Ritthem date back to the year 1235. From this source the conclusion can be drawn that the church of Ritthem was founded from the church of West-Souburg.


The name Souburg is derived from 'Sutburch' and means Zuidburg. Souburg is a reference to the location of the 'Carolingian burg or fortress' in Oost-Souburg. This defensive structure aimed towards resisting the Normans, was built in the second half of the ninth century. Oost- and West-Souburg began as 2 separate communities. Each with its own administration and (lower) legislature and until 1746 separate lords of the manor.

Boundary review

West-Souburg became after the municipal boundary review in the 1960s a suburb of Vlissingen. Oost-Souburg located is located on the opposite side of the Canal through Walcheren. Despite its merger with Vlissingen, it has (like Ritthem) remained a village with its own distinct character.