Flevoland is the world's largest man-made island with most of the lands sitting several meters below sea-level on what was the
bottom of the Zuiderzee.
The Zuiderzee was once Lake Almere, but a series of severe floods, culminating in the devastating St Lucia Flood of 1287, created a direct opening to the North Sea.
This created huge opportunities for trade, first with the Hanseatic League and later the East and West Indies, but it also made the coastline vulnerable to flooding.
So, as part of
the Zuiderzee Works, the Zuiderzee was dammed in 1932 and became a lake again, the IJsselmeer, with the intention to create several
polders, drain them and reclaim the new land.
The Noordoostpolder was pumped dry in 1942, followed by Oostelijk Flevoland and Zuidelijk Flevoland.
These three polders, together with a large chunk of the Markermeer, became the 12th province of the Netherlands in 1986 with Lelystad as brand-new capital.
Today, most of the fertile lands are used for agriculture but there is plenty of room for housing, with the fast growing city of Almere functioning as overflow for a crowded and very expensive Amsterdam.
In this wide and open landscape the wind has free rein, and, not surprisingly, Flevoland sports the highest number of onshore windturbines.
The Netherlands' newest National Park, Nieuw Land was created in 2018 and includes Oostvaardersplassen, Marker Wadden and large parts of the Markermeer.