Discover the history of the largest polder in the world
Lelystad is the capital of the province of Flevoland. The municipality of Lelystad is located in Eastern Flevoland and has an area of 765 km², including a water surface of 531 km². Mayor has been Mieke Baltus since June 2021.
Lelystad was intended as the capital of the IJsselmeer polders. That is why the city was named after the father of the Zuiderzee project, ir. Cornelis Lely (Amsterdam, 23 September 1854 - The Hague, 22 January 1929). Cornelis Lely was a Dutch engineer, hydraulic engineer, minister, governor and politician. In 1891 Lely designed a plan for the closure of the Zuiderzee, after which it was closed off definitively in 1932 by the Afsluitdijk and the IJsselmeer was created.
The construction of Lelystad actually started before Eastern Flevoland was drained. In 1950 Plot P laid out, a work island in the middle of the IJsselmeer. The workers who lived on this work island had to build a construction pit for the Wortman pumping station, which was used to reclaim Eastern Flevoland. Lot P, the oldest part of Lelystad, is now called Lelystad Haven.
Construction of the rest of Lelystad started in 1965. The first residents arrived in September 1967. However, the development of Lelystad got off to a slow start, mainly because the connections with the old land were poor for years. Another problem was that decision-making about the Markerwaard dragged on for a long time. It was intended that this polder would become the hinterland of Lelystad.
In the mid-1990s, things changed in Lelystad. From now on, appealing architects were recruited to give the city its own identity and more self-confidence. Old neighborhoods were restructured and the city center was overhauled. The coastline also received a boost through high-quality housing and new recreational facilities.
Breathe the history
The traces of the former life on the island of the former pioneers are still clearly visible.
The former stone barracks have been renovated into homes and are now proudly inhabited. And the current Hotel Pension de Lange Jammer was used as a kitchen for the workers in the 1950s. The Wortman pumping station and the Wortman lock, with a height difference of 6 meters, together form the technological heritage of the drainage ponds. Come and take a walk along these impressive infrastructural works and experience for yourself how far we are below NAP Lelystad. Where the Netherlands is internationally renowned with its prohibition in Dubai, its origins can be found on the Werkeiland, more than 70 years ago!