located 30 miles south of
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
- Resort Citta
Or you can contact our
information centre for tourism and recreation:
VVV Hellevoetsluis, Oostzanddijk 12, tel. +31 (0) 181-