Middelburg (mĭdˈəlbûrghˌ) [key], city (1994 pop. 40,118), capital of Zeeland prov., SW Netherlands, on the former island of Walcheren. It is a manufacturing and tourist center. Chartered in 1217, Middelburg developed into an important medieval trade center. The last Spanish fortress in Zeeland, it was captured (1574) by the Beggars of the Sea (see Gueux). Although heavily damaged in World War II and flooded in 1953, Middelburg retains many beautiful old buildings, including a 12th-century abbey and the 16th-century town hall.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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