Location

 

Hellevoetsluis is located 30 miles south of  Rotterdam.

 

Hellevoetsluis, modern fortified city on the Haringvliet
Hellevoetsluis is a modern, lively place. Situated on the Haringvliet with the sea, beach and dunes close by, it is an excellent place to live. Here, on the extreme southern edge of the Rijnmond and Europoort areas, close to the broad Zeeland landscape, you can enjoy the clean air and countless recreational facilities. For water sports lovers especially, the town of Hellevoetsluis is one of the best in Holland.

History
The history of Hellevoetsluis is from olden times connected with the water. Thanks to its strategic situation Hellevoetsluis grew from the beginning of the 17th century to be the homeport for the Dutch war fleet. In later years the port was fortified more and more. Hellevoetsluis became therefore a unique combination of fortified town and navel port. Admirals such as Tromp, de Ruyter and Piet Heyn used Hellevoetsluis as their home base.

In the previous century the channel through Voorne allowed Hellevoetsluis to be an outport of Rotterdam. It was a period when the town grew and flourished; the shipping industry provided prosperity.

In the first half of this century, however, Hellevoetsluis deteriorated disastrously. The navy left, the Government shipyard was closed and to make matters worse the Germans destroyed three quarters of all buildings in 1944.

Facilities
Now those bad years are over and Hellevoetsluis is flourishing again. As a growth town the population doubled in the 1970's and facilities for the inhabitants were improved considerably. At this moment 39,000 inhabitants live in modern houses in pleasant surroundings with green areas in abundance. Following the construction of the Haringvliet locks, the Haringvliet is ideal water for surfing and sailing. Close by is the beach and the dunes at Voorne, one of the most beautiful dune areas of Western Europe. Numerous facilities are at the disposal of the inhabitants and visitors; education up to secondary school level, a library, community centres, health care, modern facilities for water sports lovers, etc., etc.

There are more than sufficient shops in Hellevoetsluis. In addition to the various small (community) shopping centres, there is the covered shopping centre De Struytse Hoeck, a top class addition for the inhabitants of Hellevoetsluis and the surrounding areas. This unique shopping centre, which has been partly built over the channel through Voorne, has more than 120 shops. Parking is free. If you prefer to come by boat: there are also mooring facilities.

Water sports
Hellevoetsluis is one of the largest water sports centres in Holland. There are 2,000 mooring places, spread over five harbours. With such a broad expanse of water as the Haringvliet and the North Sea close by, it is an ideal place for water sports lovers. Logically, the Haringvliet is being used increasingly for national and international water sports events.

Entertainment
The old town centre, the fortress is a bustling and agreeable place in the summer where there is much to see and to do. There are many terraces where you can enjoy a drink and look out upon the busy harbour. The various restaurants serve 'international' food - for example Italian, Chinese, Indian, Greek and of course Dutch. Also outside of the fortress you will find a large variety of restaurants and bars serving food. There are also other facilities such as a children’s farm, a sailing school, a fitness centre, tennis courts, a sauna, etc.

Events
Hellevoetsluis has various special yearly events. In august the "Fortress Days" are held. In 2003 this major event will take place on August 14, 15 and 16. Part of this event is the largest steam event in Holland. A fleet of ships can also be seen and there is a large, varied fair, airplane demonstrations and a big firework display.
Every two years, the Dutch Classis Yacht Regatta is held in the harbour of Hellevoetsluis. A large number of classic, sharp yachts add significantly to the nostalgie of the old fortress.

Museums
A walking tour through Hellevoetsluis, is a tour of history. A walk round the fortress is an inevitable item of the programme offered by a town, which boasts excellently preserved fortifications. This tour - which can be obtained from the VVV information centre for tourism and recreation at the Oostzanddijk 12 - leads to historical buildings such as the lighthouse, the Prinsehuis, Corn Mill De Hoop and a number of very interesting museums. The museum Gesigt van 't Dok situated at Oostzanddijk contains a beautiful replica of 1834 of town, fortress and naval shipyard. This replica forms the heart of a high quality exhibition on the development of Hellevoetsluis into a modern naval port at the beginning of the previous century.

The National Fire Museum, located in what used to be the Kuiperij and Grootmagazijn on Industriehaven, unfolds the history of fire fighting through the ages. The museum contains a very rich collection ranging from the most primitive fire fighting equipment from centuries ago to the highly sophisticated equipment of today. Water buckets, fire hoses, water barrels, uniforms hand and steam engines, every device that marks a point in the history of fire fighting is represented.

In the Oudheidkamer, also situated on the Industriehaven, there is a collection of items from daily life of the past two centuries. It includes items that relate to the past of Hellevoetsluis as naval port as well as agriculture-related articles.

1806 was the year in which a ship was dry-docked here for the first time in Holland, marking a revolutionary development in the history of shipbuilding and ship repair. The dry dock is still there and has become a major historical and industrial/archaeological monument.

Water sports lovers, day-trippers or local residents: everybody will be pleasantly surprised with the opportunities Hellevoetsluis has in store for them.

Where can you stay?
If you want to stay one or more nights in Hellevoetsluis (which we can recommend you), the websites of our camping’s and resort will provide you with more detailed information (in English).
- Camping de Quack
- Camping 't Weergors
- Resort Citta Romana

Or you can contact our
information centre for tourism and recreation:
VVV Hellevoetsluis, Oostzanddijk 12, tel. +31 (0) 181- 312318,
www.zuid-hollandse-eilanden.nl