aerial view to river delta Verdronken land van Saeftinghe, Netherlands, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, Verdronken land van Saeftinghe RM
W. Pattyn/© W. Pattyn
Saeftinghe was once a prosperous area of small villages specializing in agriculture, peat-burning and trade—until most of the land was ‘drowned,’ first through a series of floods and then, finally, the result of strategic dike stabbing in 1584 during the Thirty Years’ War. Today, the renamed Drowned Land of Saeftinghe—which forms part of the Scheldt riverbank close to Antwerp—is a nature reserve. Regarded as one of the most important and largest brackish tidal marshes in the Netherlands, it hosts abundant plant and birdlife.