Westkapelle is a village in the municipality of Veere on the island Walcheren, in the province Zeeland of the Netherlands. On 1 January 2005, it had a population of 2,671. Westkapelle is on the westernmost tip of Walcheren and is surrounded by the sea on three sides. Westkapelle is mainly known because of its lighthouse, standing prominently at the entrance to the village. This tower is the remains of a church that burned down in the 18th century. In the 19th century, a light was added to the top so that it could serve as a lighthouse. Westkapelle was a separate municipality from 1816 until 1997, when it was merged with Veere. On 3 October 1944, the dyke to the south of town was destroyed by British bombers (this event is still known in Westkapelle simply as "'t Bombardement" (= "the Bombardment")), to flood Walcheren to flood out German occupation troops to make liberation easier. 180 inhabitants of the village were killed in the bombing; the village was all but wiped off the face of the earth by the bombs and the incoming sea. The Allied troops performed an amphibious landing on 1 November 1944, on the northern and southern edges of the gap in the dyke. During these landings, only six people were left in the village — the rest of the survivors had been evacuated to the surrounding villages. It took until 12 October 1945, more than a year later, to finally close the gap.

A still-visible remainder of the Second World War is the beautiful little lake/creek that was created by the inrushing floodwater when the dike was bombed. Because this was originally seawater that remained after the dyke was closed, the lake holds brackish instead of fresh water. As a reminder of the war, but certainly also the village's liberation, a Sherman tank stands on the dyke. For a long time, Westkapelle was a very closed community, although this is less so nowadays due to tourism and the so-called import (people who moved to the village from other parts of the Netherlands). This was, and is, obvious from the limited number of surnames in the village; furthermore, because it was customary to name children after their grandparents, (great)uncles and (great)aunts, many people had the exact same name. Graphic sourced with thanks from Razziphoto.com

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Wind5.66 m/s
Cloudiness20 %
Temperature (min/max)12/15 °C
Pressure1005 hpa
Humidity93 %
Last update: 30 May 2024 @ 04:39

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