Historical market in Veere

Tuesday, 16th of August

Every Tuesday in the summer season, Veere turns back the clock for and through its historical market. Although I have lived in Zeeland for some 20 years, I must confess to my shame that I have never been to Veere.

Finally to Veere

My good friend Will even has a stall at the historical market, but even that has never made me get in the car and plunge into this tourist activity. Busy, busy, and with what? Working, shopping, doing the laundry, studying, working even more, preparing parties, bringing the children home, cleaning the house, cooking and shopping again because there is always something forgotten. Add to that a busy partner and time flies faster than you can imagine.

Thanks to this website, I am finally going to discover Zeeland and delve into what this beautiful province has to offer. I feel very privileged that my 11-year old daughter likes it all and wants to accompany me. So today, Veere is on the agenda. Finally! Fortunately, parking is well organised in Veere. There is a large car park on the edge of the town and the nice thing is that from here you can immediately go for a nice walk across the fortifications towards the town centre. We soon catch sight of the Veerse Meer and I am amazed at the large amount of nautical activity. River cruise ships of considerable size seem to feel at home here and when we walk a little further, we see that it is very busy at the mooring place of the tour boat. The Campveerse toren stands there majestically and imperturbably. I admire its beauty and think about how much it must have had to endure. Screaming children run up and down the dike and stop every now and then because the parental authority really wants them to have their picture taken with the tower. After having braved the Spaniards, the Beggars, the French and the English, a crowd of exuberant tourists will also do.

The most beautiful terrace in the Netherlands

We walk a little further along the Kaai along the marina. On the other side we see restaurant De Werf. At home, I had already seen that it had been proclaimed the restaurant with the most beautiful terrace in the Netherlands. What a good prospect that we can report at 12: 00 for a lunch but now first to the historical market.

The buildings are so beautiful that it becomes dangerous to walk here. You cannot help but look up but standing still is not an option either as the crowd moves across the market like a whirlpool. It produces strangely drunken images at 10:00 in the morning. Every stall we see is manned by a vendor in traditional dress. I ask a seller of fragrant bread how it is. He is from Breda but once a week he immerses himself in the Zeeland atmosphere. So he’s not from Zeeland but apparently it works, because he sells like crazy. And to be honest, it looks fantastic! Another market vendor later tells me with a wink that they only talk about the hysterical market among themselves. I have to laugh at this, but I am grateful that they have taken the trouble to dress up like this for the day. It doesn’t matter which way I turn my camera, it will always make a nice picture. Slowly, we walk further along with the stream and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere. A man with a guitar and mouth organ sings together with his wife, in traditional dress of course, to the passing public. They are doing a great job as the coins are flying through the air. We have to laugh a little at the song they have chosen: Brabant by Guus Meeuwis. A little further on, we see children in traditional costume playing old Dutch games. The inner courtyard of the market lends itself as a kind of arena. When I grab my camera and take the first picture, one of the children arrives with a basket that says that if you take a picture, a donation is expected for the foundation. Of course, I donate generously, but I wonder how the parents involved could have got their children so crazy. My daughter is clear about it: “not in this life”.

Extraordinary history of Veere

When we walk on again, I finally see my friend Will with her beautiful tableware. She is busy selling so we take a look at her neighbour who makes fresh peanut butter on the spot. Of course, we take a jar home with us. Will has a love of history and when she’s finished with her customer, she asks me, “Did you know that around 1600, 10% of the population of Veere was of Scottish origin?” Um, no I certainly didn’t know that. I’ve heard about Spanish and French invasions but never about Scots. According to Will, it was not because of an invasion but because of a trade treaty for Scottish wool between Emperor Charles V and the Scottish king. But there is more connection with Scotland. There was also a princess Mary Stewart who married Wolfert van Veere and this marriage seems to have brought much prosperity to the city. I immediately make up my mind to visit the museum of Veere on my next visit because it already sounds worthwhile to dive into its history. Unfortunately, we have no time for that now as we have made reservations at De Werf. A great alternative because it is lovely terrace weather! So it is certain that we will be coming back and I would advise everyone to be smarter than I am and reserve a day for Veere when they visit Zeeland for the first time…