Vlissingen (Flushing), Netherlands
Located on an island at the mouth of the Sheide River, providing access from the North Sea to Antwerp, Vlissingen has been one of Europe’s pre-eminent ports for 1400 years. It acquired its English name of Flushing when the British fleet was garrisoned there in the 17th century as a hedge against the Spanish. Ironically, Flushing in England is named after Vlissingen, as is Flushing in New York, which was first named Vlissingen by Dutch colonists. As a result of its importance, it has been a contested property in various international conflicts. However, a wealth of worthy historical features remains for visitors to enjoy. The Market Building and its square, the venerable St. James the Great cathedral from 1308 are two. The Beeldenhuis is a private residence from 1730 that speaks to the wealth created during the Dutch Golden Age when trading ships of the Dutch East India Company sailed from Vlissingen. Fort Rammekens is a 16th century seafront fortress. The new MuZEEum is a multi-facted attraction that combines a maritime museum with a small aquarium. The 18th century Perry’s Dock is the oldest drydock in Europe, and a monument in this important shipbuilding city. For a wonderful overview, climb to the observation deck of the Arsenal.