Holland Before the Dikes

Van Mensvoort
December 3rd 2016

Oh no! What do we have here? A map of The Netherlands with all its major cities - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Almere - flooded and vanished into the ocean. Must be a speculative rendering of what happens when climate change kicks in and ocean levels rise. Is this our future? Think again, this is what some historians believe our past was, long before people started building dikes in the lowlands.

You are looking at a historical map of the dutch area in the early medieval period 250-950 AD. The biggest cities did not exist yet, there were no dikes and the ocean could flood a large part of the country. Although the name Holland - translated from hollow land - only came in to use around 1250, the area surely was already hollow in those early days. And it still is.

Compare this map with the one showing the parts of the Netherlands below sea level and the results are striking.

Peculiar image of the week. Via IJpelaan.nl

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