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Flevopolders, Cornelis Lely and his dream

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We are now heading towards Marina Muiderzand, a marina in Flevoland. The fact that we have the Flevopolders, large areas of reclaimed land in the IJsselmeer, is quite normal to most Dutchmen. However, in the 19th century, the plan to hold out (what was then) the Zuiderzee with by building embankments was considered madness. And if you stop to think about it, it really was an ambitious plan, sectioning off and draining the enormous Zuiderzee at the time. 

This plan was a dream for Cornelis Lely, which he brought to fruition as engineer, and later as Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment. Especially the fear of floods, such as the flood in 1916 in the Zuiderzee area, gave Lely the opportunity to carry out his plans. 

By building the Dam in 1932 between North Holland and Friesland, he turned the Zuiderzee into the IJsselmeer, and then bit-by-bit the IJsselmeer was drained. This area is now made up of the Wieringermeerpolder, Noord-Oostpolder and two Flevopolders. The final polder, the southern Flevopolder, was drained in 1968. Lely passed away in 1929. The city of Lelystad is named after him. 

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