The Noordoostpolder is a polder, municipality and region in the
Dutch province of Flevoland. The municipality has 47,618 inhabitants
(1 August 2020, source: CBS) on a land area of 460.05 km², making
it one of the largest municipalities in the Netherlands in terms of
land area. With a water surface (mainly IJsselmeer ) of 135.36 km²,
the total area comes to 595.41 km². The largest town in the
municipality is Emmeloord, where the town hall is located.
The polder that was dried up in 1942 largely belongs to the municipality of the same name in the province of Flevoland ( see map on the left ). The former island of Urk (including an adjoining part of the polder acquired later) is not part of the Noordoostpolder municipality, but is an independent municipality. A small part of the polder has also been added to the Frisian Lemmer (municipality of De Friese Meren ) for the construction of the residential area Lemstervaart.
VVV tourist information office Noordoostpolder, De Deel 25 (inside the tower), ☏ +31 527-612000. The tourist information office has a good range of services and can also assist in finding a place to stay. There's a large number of maps, routes, information leaflets and souvenirs for sale.
With the adoption of the Zuiderzee Act in 1918, it
was decided to construct and reclaim the Zuiderzee /
IJsselmeerpolders, the " Lely Plan ". In order to gain experience
with reclamation and cultivating soils with a high salinity, the
Andijk Proefpolder was first constructed. The experiences gained in
this test polder have accelerated the development of the
Wieringermeer . Because the Wieringermeer was built in the Zuiderzee
before the Afsluitdijk was closed, the Noordoostpolder was strictly
speaking the first IJsselmeerpolder. Initially the intention was to
first build the Markerwaardbut due to the bad economic conditions of
the 1930s, after initially talking about dismantling further
reclaimed land, it was decided to go to the other side of the
IJsselmeer . It would probably be easier to find aspiring farmers
there. After all, the area behind it was much larger. Moreover, the
Noordoostelijke Polder, which was still a file name at the time, was
much smaller and therefore cheaper in construction.
Preparatory work began on 2 February 1936, and in 1937 the construction of a total of 31.5 kilometers of dyke was put out to tender. On October 3, 1939 the dike between Lemmer and Urk was closed. Urk was no longer an island . In December 1940, the dike on the south side of the polder near Schokkerhaven was closed, and the drainage could begin. The polder officially fell dry on September 9, 1942. Now Schokland was no longer an island; Schokland was from now on in the polder. Because the seabed rose sharply against the Overijssel side, a first crop (rye) could already be harvested there in 1941.
The brand new polder soon became a refuge for people in hiding , because the workers were exempt from the Arbeitseinsatz . At the time, the abbreviation NOP (for the Noordoostpolder) was said to also stand for "Nederlands Onderduikersparadijs". In total, approximately twenty thousand people would have gone into hiding during these war years. In November 1944, about 1,800 pioneers and people in hiding were arrested during a major raid and transported to Meppel via Vollenhove . The then landdrost Smeding managed to recover about half of that, in order to be able to thresh the grain harvest. To this day, there are at least two roads in the polder that remind us of the people in hiding: the Onderduikersweg and the Onderduikerspad , in Espel / Creil .
The construction of farms started as early as World War II , initially the same types as in the Wieringermeer. These are mainly located on the east side of the polder, usually at the beginning of a road. Because they were used to bring the polder into culture, these farms are called Culture Farms. After the Second World War, stones and masons were still scarce; It was then that precast concrete elements were used for the first time . Land allocation began in 1947. The new farmers were rigorously selected. They mainly came from Friesland , Noord-Holland , and Zeeland (including from Walcherenwhich had been flooded by the Allies in October 1944). After the flood of 1953 , many farmers from Schouwen-Duiveland , Tholen and South Beveland came over.
The design of the polder was based on one central location (Emmeloord ) and star-shaped connecting roads to ten smaller villages. This form of furnishing is based in part on the central place theory of the German economist and geographer Christaller who described it in 1933. In the design of the Noordoostpolder, it was still assumed that centers were within cycling distance , but the emergence of the moped and later the car made this planning obsolete during implementation. In Eastern Flevoland, dried up in 1957, it was therefore possible to start from a larger scale classification (centers at a car distance), whereby a number of planned villages could be scrapped.
Today, the (motorway) A6 between Lelystad and Joure and the (motorway) N50 between Emmeloord and Kampen are the main connecting roads.
Different names were in circulation for the new polder; in 1944 the name Urkland was officially recorded, just like the names of the villages. During the war, Schokkerwaard, Urkerwaard and Nieuw Schokland were also mentioned as alternative names for the polder. In 1948 Noordoostpolder became the official name. From the establishment of the Noordoostpolder municipality in 1962 to the formation of the province of Flevoland in 1986, the polder was part of the province of Overijssel . Before that time, the area was administratively under the government.
On November 1, 2008, the Noordoostpolder got a new village and it had the newest village in the Netherlands: Schokland. The former island thus separates from the centers of Ens and Nagele. A new benchmark in the history of the former island that almost disappeared into the sea. Schokland consists of no more than four households, a museum, a restaurant and the home of the light keeper.
On January 1, 2019, the municipality of Urk on the north and south sides was expanded with parts of the municipality of Noordoostpolder to enable the expansion of the Urkerbos to the north and the construction of a business park to the south of the town. As only a small number of residents were involved in this, Noordoostpolder was not involved in the 2018 municipal redivision elections .