Exploring Middelburg

Went to Middelburg recently with friends from my department. It was amazing. Middelburg is a city in the province of Zeeland in Netherlands. Yes, you might think the name Zeeland is reminiscent of New Zealand. Yes, you see, this is the old Zealand, the one Abel Tasman and friends remembered when they saw present day NZ. Middelburg was a big player during the European Age of Commerce. They were involved in three commerce companies; VOC (Vereenigde Geoctrooyeerde Oost-Indische Company, The Dutch East Indies Company), WIC (West Indische Compagnie, The Dutch West Indies Company) and MCC (Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie, The Middelburg Commerce Company).

MCC was a big player in slave trade in Atlantic. They were part of the Triangular Trade you hear about in History Classes. The Zeeland archives recently launched MCC Slavenhandel website, which allows you to follow the trips made by the ships. If you are interested in slavery in the Atlantic, the website definitely worth a visit.

If you visit the city, you can directly understand why and how this city was involved in trade. It is surrounded by water and canals everywhere. It is obviously a city living from trade, and an old one at that. Every house has names, which is in these days unimaginable. Middelburg is not as famous as Amsterdam, and nowadays it is not the centre of trade activities in the Netherlands, but as a historical visit, it is more than sufficient.


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