Dirksland

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Dirksland (About this sound pronunciation ) is a town and municipality on Goeree-Overflakkee Island in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality had a population of 8,269 in 2004, and covers an area of 74.15 km² (28.63 mile²) of which 18.59 km² (7.18 mile²) is water.

The municipality of Dirksland also includes the communities Herkingen and Melissant.

The North Sea flood of 1953 did not have as much of a destructive effect on Dirksland as the rest of the island, because Dirksland is somewhat higher. Dirksland is the largest of the three communities within the municipality and also has the only hospital on Goeree-Overflakkee island. The Van Weel-Bethesda Hospital is one the smallest in the country, but has an excellent reputation. Dirksland can be recognized from a distance by the tallest water tower in 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 gate complex.

Engraving of Dirksland, ca. 1780.

The watertower of Dirksland.

Windmill "De Eendracht" in Dirksland

Herkingen lies on the south side of the island and borders the Grevelingenmeer, which is 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 has quite a large size yachting marina and is a large water sports area with the main recreational areas on Schouwen-Duiveland. The town of Herkingen currently hosts several of the largest modern windmills in the country.

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