These pictures of the Biesbosch were made by my friend Jaques Chapel.
The Biesbosch area is very difficult of access.
In ancient times it provided a scanty meal for willow-cutters, rush plaiters, hunters and labourers on remote farms.
In the Middle Ages, the Groote or Zuidhollandse Waard was a very prosperous area and its biggest means of subsistence were agriculture and the making of peat and salt. In the Biesbosch area were many small villages scattered along the riverdikes and reclaimed paths and even a castle here and there.
In the night of 11 November, 1421 the sudden St. Elizabeth tide changed the whole area into an inland sea of about 30,00 hectares.
The old dike had burst in different places near the Moerdijk bridges and after this flood approximately 16 villages disappeared altogether.
The Biesbosch proved an excellent hiding-place for many people in World War II.
After 1970, the existent, centuries old culture disappeared due to the vanishing of the tides (caused by the Delta Works) and several polders were used an drinking-water basins.
These pictures of the Biesbosch were made on 2003-10-16
Enjoy the pictures.
Pictures of the Biesbosch 2.
On 2005 May 24 I made a boat trip on the Biesbosch near Dordrecht.
This trip was kindly offered by environmental policemen Ad van Zuilen and Dik Tempelaar.
Trip started at 07.45 am. At that time it was misty and very dark.
Later on we had quite a lot of rain but in the afternoon sunshine evaporated part of my weather disappointment.
The area is very beautiful. I saw and heard many different birds, beaver lodges, small and wider streams with amazingly strong tidal floods.
A lot of reed and original willow cultures are present, the latter originally meant for harvesting the branches for dike foundation.
We made two walks around and through recently inundated polders.
These areas were bought by the government and given back to nature by returning natural waterlevels and removing some superficial clay layers.
At the visitors centre one can hire cayaks and there is also a very nice low budget hotel.
I hope these pictures of the Biesbosch make you taste some of its beauty.