The once mighty Veere is now a beautiful tourist town on the Veerse Meer lake. Where richly laden ships from Scotland once moored, pleasure yachts now bob in the harbours.
The history of Veere
The town began as the hamlet of Kampvere in the 13th century. Veere only began to flourish in the 16th century, when it became the staple port for Scottish wool. A Scottish colony was established in Veere at that time, complete with its own governor.
Veere was an important city in the Dutch Republic. But during the Batavian Republic that followed, it again became a poor fishing port.
Although Veere lost its staple rights in 1799, Scottish interest in the city remained. No European town ever played a more important economic role for Scotland than Veere once did.
The museum called De Schotse Huizen aan de Kaai (the Scottish houses on the quay) commemorates the Scottish heyday in the town. The museum is spread over two Scottish merchants’ houses: Het Lammeken and De Struijs. It includes a Scottish Room, decorated as a reception room, and an office of the Scottish governor, like that of the one who once ruled in Veere.
The 15th-century town hall was built by the Keldermans family from Mechelen, who also built the town hall in Middelburg. It is topped by a 16th-century carillon tower. The badly weathered images on the façade were replaced by new ones during the 1931-1934 restoration. The old images are now on display in De Schotse Huizen museum.
The Campveerse Toren (Campvere Tower) sits in a prominent place along the Veerse Meer. It was built as part of the city defences around 1500. Thereafter, it served as an inn and a lighthouse. It remains one of the oldest inns in the Netherlands.
The imposing Grote Kerk church stands on the southeast side of Veere. It was completed in 1521 and has played many roles over the years: house of worship, military hospital and poorhouse. Nowadays, it is used as a cultural centre.
A striking pink façade welcomes visitors to one of Veere’s nicest shops: Oma’s Snoepwinkel (Grandma’s Candy Shop). Here you can choose from more than 100 kinds of old Dutch candy, such as the sugary sweet ‘ulevellen’ and traditional ‘duimdrop’ liquorice. Plenty of other shops in Veere are open on Sundays.
There are always things to do throughout the year in Veere. For instance, you can attend ring riding and carriage riding events in the summer. Ring riding is a folkloric tradition in which a man on horseback tries to put a lance through a ring. In carriage riding, a man and a woman in traditional Zeeland costume ride in a chaise: a two-wheeled, often antique, carriage pulled by a horse. You can find these and other happenings in Veere on our event calendar.