UNESCO World Heritage
Schokland, today an island on drained land, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Schokland offers you a unique combination of cultural history and nature. Also, Schokland is a symbol for the coexistence of the Dutch with water. Come over and have a look at how life was in the old times and what remained of it.
Take a hiking or cycling tour across the island and through the forest called Schokkerbos. Visit the museum and see how people lived on Schokland throughout time. Or get to the stone garden, the Gesteentetuin, to learn more: About how these stones were created and about the nature at and around Schokland. Guided excursions and round tours are offered on and near Schokland, as well as storytelling and workshops for shanty singing.
The island of Schokland is accessible free of charge. Only for the entrance to the museum an entrance fee must be paid.
Schokland is an excellent destination for all those who love hiking, archaeology, geology, nature, cultural history and the cultivation of traditional (Oud-Hollandse) plants from Holland.
Schokland was an island in the former Zuiderzee which elevated only little above the water. Severe storms and land erosion during the 18th and 19th centuries made life at Schokland increasingly unbearable. In 1859, King Willem III had the island cleared. However, some people still remained there: To operate the lighthouse, to maintain the coast-defence structures and to manage the harbour activities.
When the North-East polder was drained in 1942, Schokland became 'an island on dry land'. Since 1947 the Schokland museum exists on one of the former terps of the island. The museum actually consists of an assembly of buildings, grouped around a historical little church built in 1834. In 1995 Unesco declared the former island of Schokland as World Heritage.
That because this former island stands as a symbol for the fight of the Dutch against the water. After the drainage, another water-related problem came up: Exsiccation. To counter-steer subsidence of the land and also to preserve archaeological treasures, in 2003 the groundwater level at the eastern part of the island was raised.
The stone garden at the Schokkerbos forest
The Schokkerbos near Schokland is a varied forest. Especially valuable are the many glacial erratics left behind here during the last ice age. How they got here and how you can recognise them you'll learn at the museum of the stone garden, the "Natuurinformatiecentrum".