Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
I19
Elburg
1800

Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters

Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters

Elburg is traditionally a trading town with its own fishing fleet. Since 1750, the design of the local fishing boats has been evolving, which has resulted in a new type of boat: the botter. Botters were used primarily for fishing on the former Zuiderzee. These days, there are still a handful of boats cherished by enthusiasts, and being used as pleasure boats.

Botter
Botters are fast sailing ships that are intrinsically suited for sailing in the shallow waters of the Zuiderzee. The ships have a flat bottom and angular bilges that turn into rounded sides. The botters are fitted with a “bun”, a storage compartment on board for the fish. This compartment is made in such a way that fresh water can flow in through small holes in the hull. The sails on a botter were originally brown, because they were treated with tan, a brown-yellow disinfectant and colouring that protected the sail against the effects of the weather.

Trading town
In the Middle Ages, Elburg was a prosperous town, partly thanks to the collaboration with other trading towns in Northwest Europe in the so-called Hanseatic League, of which Elburg became a member in 1356. After trade started to decline, the town became almost entirely dependent on fishing. Characteristic parts of the old harbour are the Kop van ’t Ende which is the entrance to the harbour, the ‘Vischpoort’ gate, the fish auction and the ‘Werf Balk’ shipyard.

Registration code
In 1822, it became a legal requirement for all fishing boats to carry a registration number. Botters from Elburg were all given the letters EB, followed by a number such as EB29, the botter from 1920 that has recently been restored. Elburg became disconnected from the open sea in 1956 when the land in the eastern part of Flevoland  was reclaimed. This development led to the disappearance of the fishing industry, and the town now lies on what is called the Veluwemeer Lake. The Foundation for Restoration of the Elburger Botters, is trying to maintain a little bit of the historical allure of Elburg by keeping twelve botters on the water.

Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
Elburg – Traditional Dutch botters
i19-bottervloot-elburg
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