Lelystad, Netherlands

Lelystad, Netherlands

Lelystad was built in 1967 in the center of the Netherlands, in the province of Flevoland, on land reclaimed from the water. It got its name in honor of Cornelis Lely, who, in fact, contributed to the drainage of the site by designing a dam. Thanks to her, it became possible to build at a height (or at a depth?) About 3 m below sea level.

It would seem, what kind of tourist and why would want to go to such a young city? However, there are some. These are those who are attracted by the wonderful surrounding nature, the widest opportunities for water sports (especially windsurfing and sailing), two full-scale copies of historic ships of the Middle Ages, the history of sea voyages during the Golden Age of Holland and the trading East India Company, as well as shopping. See ANDYEDUCATION.COM for education and training in Netherlands.

Lelystad stands on the site of the former Zuiderzee lake. Approximately 6500 years ago this place was still above sea level and was inhabited. Near Lelystad, in Swifterbant, the oldest human skeletons in Western Europe were found. But as the general water level rose (and also because of storms), the soil was slowly washed away, and in Roman times a lagoon formed here, which turned into a lake in the Middle Ages.

One of the main attractions of Lelystad is a copy of the Batavia in the dock of the same name.


The Zuiderzee (“South Lake”) became the main transport line between Amsterdam and the North Sea with the Hanseatic cities. Since shipwrecks were not uncommon in Flevoland, today the National Center for Maritime History is located in Lelystad, and with it there is a museum and a shipyard where a replica of the Batavia, a Dutch ship of the 17th century, was built.

The main monument in the province to Cornelis Lely, “Father of Flevoland”, is located in Lelystad, and it is impossible not to notice it: the bronze Cornelis stands on a 32-meter column.

Works near the lake were started a long time ago and continued after the Second World War. By 1950, there were several artificial islands here, the largest of which was Lelystad Haven. Wooden barracks were lined up here, in which the workers lived. By 1955, they reached the “mainland” with an embankment, and it became possible to get to Lelystad by car. True, until 1967 the only inhabitants of the island were still engineers, superintendents and the same workers.

How to get there

The main railway station is located in the city center. Lelystad is easily accessible from Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Schiphol Airport and other key transport hubs in the country.

Entertainment and attractions of Lelystad

For natural reasons, there are no and cannot be old buildings in the city, but nevertheless there is a whole range of modern attractions that provide a fairly constant influx of tourists.

One of the main attractions of Lelystad is a copy of the Batavia in the shipyard of the same name. The original ship was built in Amsterdam in 1628 and armed with 24 cast iron cannons to travel to the East Indies for spices. The ship was wrecked on her first voyage and became infamous for the ensuing massacre of the survivors. The remains of the ship were discovered only in 1840, and the replica began to be built in 1985 and took 10 years to create. She was made from traditional materials such as oak and jute, and using the same tools and techniques that were in use in the century the original ship was built. And not so long ago, a second similar ship, the Seven Provinces, was built in the dock.

In 2000, a replica of the Batavia became the flagship of the Dutch team at the Olympic Games.

The National Aviation Museum is a great place for interested travelers. There is a very good collection here, including the KLM 747 Jumbo jet and the Lokheed Constellation. An interesting exhibition is dedicated to the old building of the Amsterdam airport: you can see how different from the modern way everything worked at the airport not so many years ago, and enjoy the development of technology. And the Aviadrom is a chic amusement park not only for children, but also for adults, where visitors are introduced to the world of aviation in a simple and understandable way.

Another city museum opened in 2005. It is an exhibition space in combination with a science center where you can learn more about the history of the Flevoland polder.

Walking around the city, it is impossible not to pay attention to modern architecture. Still: in any Dutch provincial capital you will not see this again. In 1980, the appearance of Lelystad seemed, without exaggeration, the architectural face of the future. Of course, some buildings of the 1980-1990s. today look really disgusting, but others are very interesting. For example, the City Hall. In general, the concept of building Lelystad corresponds to the modern Dutch urban fashion to combine commercial areas with residential areas, which creates a rather interesting environment in the city center.

The lakes of Oostvaardersplassen and the Lelystad Nature Park give everyone the opportunity to fully enjoy the world of wildlife: swamps, dunes, meadows and a variety of wildlife, including hundreds of species of birds and Przewalski’s horses.

Another full-fledged attraction of Lelystad is the Batavia Stade shopping center. This is an outlet where you can always find something branded with an incredible discount. Batavia Stud has both clothing boutiques and other shops; but if you are looking for something more traditional and “Dutch”, you should visit the De Gordian shopping center, which occupies a huge area for the island with cafes, restaurants and cinemas.

Events in Lelystad

The city hosts many one-day events throughout the year. Among them are the Lelystad Air Show, Water Festival, National Day of Antiquity, Lelystad Speedway, Architecture Day and various sporting events. In particular, races of cars, karts and stock cars, as well as meetings of car clubs are regularly held on the Midland ring track.

Lelystad, Netherlands