Monuments and Nature Reserves

De Kreek (The Creek)

During the war in 1944 the dike in Westkapelle was bombed. Through a large hole in the dike a huge amount of sea water constantly flooded in and out, thus creating a deep gully, which now forms the creek.
At present the water in the creek still remains saline, and is home to a number of saltwater fish like flounder and eel. Also trout has been introduced. On the surface cormorants, ducks, geese and other birds can be seen. Several hiking trails can be followed around the creek.

Het Vroon

Het Vroon is a recently designed wetland, home to many bird species. In spring dozens of seagulls, common terns and avocets have their nests on the barren islets. Also plovers and sandpipers are common guests in the nature reserve and geese, ducks and grebe species all come to nest in the pools and their reedy embankments.
The nature reserve is closed to the public but can easily be watched from the dike or the surroundings. Do not forget to bring your binoculars and enjoy the busy bird life. If you are lucky, you might even spot buzzards and some deer!

Monuments on the dike

Along the dike around Westkapelle, several monuments can be seen.

Memorial to fallen British Liberators

On the Erica dune, south of the former hole in the dike, two memorial signs commemorate the 172 crewmembers of the English landing crafts, who died in Westkapelle on November 1st 1944. Here every year on the first of November a commemoration ceremony is held and flowers are laid on the monument.

De Schoppesteele

A monument called De Schoppesteele (the Spade Handle) can be seen in the dunes along the creek. This is one of five memorial signs for the bombardments in 1944. Three other memorial signs can be found at the location of de broken dikes in Veere, Ritthem and Vlissingen. The fifth memorial sign is located in Middelburg.
De Schoppesteele is a 7 meter high steel construction, in the form of the handle of a spade with an oval shaped “bomb” on top. The monument depicts the bombs that breached the dike and the spades that closed it again.

Sherman Tank

On the dike close to the Polderhuis museum a “Sherman Tank” stands to the memory of World War 2 and to the honour and gratitude for the liberators. In the Allied Forces landing on November 1st 1944 this tank was used by the Royal Marine Commands. The tank is temporarily gone due to renovation

Millstone of the Prins Hendrik dike mill

The millstone next to the Sherman Tank was rescued after the Prins Hendrik mill was destroyed in the bombardments of October 3rd 1944.

Charley Toorop Art Object

On the dike at dike pole 212 an art object has been erected in the honour of Charley Toorop (1891-1955). She was a famous artist who spent between 1924 and her death in 1955 a large part of her summer seasons in Westkapelle. Some of her most famous paintings were inspired by the village and its people, and in turn her paintings made Westkapelle and Zeeland well known over the world.
In the Polderhuis museum a theme island has been dedicated to Charley Toorop and the influence of Westkapelle in her works.

Monument Molukkenkamp

Close to the iron lighthouse on the dike there is a monument dedicated to the Moluccan people that fled from the Indonesian ruler in the early 1950’s.
The Moluccan people were housed in the complex that formerly had been used by the reconstruction workers who closed the dikes between 1945 and 1947.

Monument for the civil victims of October 1944

On the cemetery grounds behind the Lighthouse you can find a large white stone cross, placed on a circular brick pedestal. This is a monument dedicated to the civilian victims from October 1944. Around the cross there is a wooden commemoration bench. The graves of 158 war victims are put in a half circle behind the cross. Each grave has a tombstone of natural stone.