The riverdelta in Brabant has an abundance of water, it has an open agricultural landscape and it offers many small-scale opportunities for recreation. There are many places of interest and enjoyable villages. During your stay we'd like to tell you more about the places worth seeing and the rich history of the region.
After a mud flat next to the Volkerak was reclaimed by the marquis of Bergen, the village of Ruigenhil came into being in 1565. In 1583 Willem van Oranje had the village fortified against the Spanish troops. His son, prince Maurits, granted the village the privilege of a town and renamed it Willemstad. The first Protestant church in the Netherlands, the Koepelkerk, was built here in 1607. The Mauritshuis dates back to 1623; it was the townhall of Willemstad between 1973 and 1997, when the municipalities of Willemstad and Moerdijk merged.
Nowadays the picturesque Willemstad, with its ancient buildings and squares, its restaurants and its old and new yacht-basins is an attractive place for holiday-makers.
In the 18th century defensive works were built for the fortification of Willemstad. These forts were around the town at the waterfront. At first these bastions consisted of earthen ramparts with stockades. At the end of the 18th century high mud flats had come into existence around these stockades. They were reclaimed and the new polder was named after the diking-in manager's wife: Sabina-Henrica. Around 1810 France decided to build two coastal fortifications: one at the most eastern point of Oostflakkee near Ooltgensplaat and the other at the Brabant embankment in the Sabina-Henricapolder: Fort the Ruijter (later renamed Fort Sabina). Fort Anna, which the French called L'Enfer - Hell - was refurbished; it is now called Fort De Hel. At the beginning of WWII the Dutch army took up the positions in fort Sabina. Since 1981 the fort is owned by Staatsbosbeheer.