Ode to the Landscape

There are few places in the world with such a diverse range of landscapes as the Netherlands. Our culture landscape has been largely formed by human hands. It is certainly time to celebrate this achievement in this year’s theme, 'Ode to the landscape' in 2021, as Flevoland is one of the highlights. 

Flevoland - created land

Flevoland renews itself constantly

No other Dutch landscape has been determined more by human agency than Flevoland – on the bottom of the former Zuiderzee, a good four metres below sea level. The largest reclamation project in the world, intended to supply the food needs of the Netherlands, was created from start to finish on the drawing board: with neatly outlined agricultural fields, roads and waterways, but also landscape art, wild nature and modern cities. Flevoland is created land, unique and unconventional. This is immediately evident when you drive into the province. The wide horizon, the clear lines, the space, so much nature; this can only be Flevoland.


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Islands in the polder

The Zuiderzee

The history of Flevoland is short. The former Zuiderzee islands of Urk and Schokland were simply incorporated in the polder. They are easy to recognise in the landscaped land. Schokland in particular is striking because it is surrounded on all sides by new land. If you cross straight through the province, you can feel yourself moving through time: the plots and the farms change, as do the villages, towns and activities. The experimental setups of the Waterloopkundig Laboratory from the last century now form part of the fully grown forest, the Waterloopbos (national monument). You can also find references to the distant past: sites of shipwrecks remind you that you are actually on the bottom of the Zuiderzee.

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New Land National Park

The youngest National Park

New history has been written in the Markermeer lake: recently the Marker Wadden were created, new islands intended to improve the nature of the Markermeer. According to the same method, Building with Nature, the Houtribdijk (dike) has been strengthened. Greater safety and nature development go hand in hand. At both places nature takes its course. That is the common theme of all nature areas in Flevoland: landscaped, but ultimately wild, pure nature – like, for example, the spacious Oostvaardersplassen and the intimate Horsterwold, the largest continuous deciduous woods of the Netherlands. The planned nature reserves formed together from the very start the newest national park of our country: New Land National Park.

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Land Art everywhere

Land Art

Flevoland is one huge landscape artwork: everything in Flevoland is still being designed and created by people. There is always space here for innovative ideas. For example, there are experiments with free building, nature development, an inflatable dike, there are plans for more new islands, the Floriade is coming there. At the same time, Flevoland cherishes its landmarks. For example Knardijk, the former outer boundary of Oostelijk Flevoland, which is still visible in the landscape. The deliberate choice for nine spectacular landscape artworks is typically Flevoland. Nowhere else in the world can you admire so much land art so close together. Works like the impressive Green Cathedral (Marinus Boezem), Sea Level (Richard Serra) and the 40-year-old Observatorium (Robert Morris) form unusual beacons in the human-shaped landscape.

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Locations - Ode to the Landscape

Locations - on the map