|— Municipality —|
Aerial photograph of Oosterland
|- Total||212.50 km2 (82 sq mi)|
|- Land||26.77 km2 (10.3 sq mi)|
|- Water||185.73 km2 (71.7 sq mi)|
|Population (1 January, 2007)|
|- Density||325/km2 (841.7/sq mi)|
|Source: CBS, Statline.|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|- Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Wieringen ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. It consists of a former island, also named Wieringen, and there are plans to make Wieringen an island again by widening the Amsteldiepkanaal into a lake called the Wieringerrandmeer.
The municipality of Wieringen consists of the following cities, towns, villages and/or districts: Dam, De Haukes, De Hoelm, Den Oever, Hippolytushoef, Hollebalg, Noordburen, Oosterklief, Oosterland, Smerp, Stroe, Vatrop, Westerklief and Westerland.
The landscape of Wieringen is not all flat: it is characterised by dam ramparts of boulder clay, which were formed during the Saale Ice Age. The name Wieringen has nothing to do with "wier"(seaweed in Dutch), but this connection was often made in former days. Probably the name came from Old Frisian wîr = "height".
The first known references to Wieringen is as "Wiron" or "pagus Wirense" in Latin in a list of property owned by the monastery at Fulda, dated late 8th century or early 9th century AD. In that list, the entries that mention Wieringen are:-
Silver treasure was found in 1996 in a pasture at the hamlet of Westerklief, showing that Wieringen in the 9th century was for a short time an operating base of Vikings. The treasure is approx. 1.7 kilograms of silver coins and jewels and small silver ingots. It now can be seen in the Rijksmuseum voor Oudheden in Leiden. Some years later were found smaller silver treasures from the same period which confirmed the picture. Wieringen became an island around 1200 as a result of successive storm floods.
The area was initially inhabited and controlled by Frisians, until the Dutch count Floris V made the Wieringers subject in 1284. Afterwards the area was unquiet for a time, and since 1297 was directly under the county of Holland, for it fell under Westfriesland. Westfriesland fell for some time under Frisian rule. In 1299 the county of Holland retook Holland and Westfriesland, and Wieringen fell under the district of Westfriesland. In 1432 all the island of Wieringen officially became one township and received city rights. But as more of Holland and Westfriesland developed and became more habitable, the importance of Wieringen decreased relatively.
In 1798, when the Batavian Republic formed, the province of Holland and West Friesland was divided differently: it fell under the département of Texel (from the Vlie to the Rhine). In 1807 under Napoleon the province was differently subdivided and in two types of provinces; Amstelland and Maasland, but in 1814 came to that an end. In 1815 Holland with Westfriesland became a province of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. To reduce the dominance of the province of Holland, in 1840 under King Willem I it was split into the provinces of Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland. Since then Wieringen has been under the province of Noord-Holland.
In 1924 Wieringen stopped being an island, because on 31 July 1924 the Amsteldiep was closed by a short dam called the Amsteldiepdijk. In 1930 the Eastern Wieringermeerdijk was completed in the Zuiderzee, and with it the adjacent polder the Wieringermeer. The closing of the Zuiderzee was completed in 1932 by the Afsluitdijk, a large dike which links Wieringen with Friesland. This dike starts at Den Oever.
Soon after these changes Wieringen became an exile refuge for the German crown prince Wilhelm. He with his father Wilhelm II fled in November 1918 from Flanders to the Netherlands and got political asylum. On 22 November 1918 he arrived on the island, and he left 10 November 1923 to Germany. In the meantime at the blacksmithy in Hippolytushoef he learned how to forge horseshoes.
The municipal council of Wieringen consists of 13 seats, which are divided as follows: